Research conducted by Azabu University, the Independent Administrative Agency for the Promotion of Regional Healthcare Functions, Sagamino Hospital, and Ota Yushi Co., Ltd. has revealed that ingesting α-linolenic acid during pregnancy may have the effect of stabilizing postpartum mental health. became.
Global surveys have shown that 10-20% of pregnant women experience postpartum depression, and Japan is no exception.On the other hand, the mother needs to provide sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids for the growth of the fetal brain, but since omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesized in the body, they must be obtained from food.Omega-3 fatty acids include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is abundant in perilla oil and flaxseed oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are abundant in seafood.If a mother's intake is low, it may affect not only the growth and development of the newborn, but also the mother's own brain function, leading to instability in her mental health.
In this study, we asked first-time mothers who had no experience in childbirth and childcare to consume perilla oil or fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, for 12 weeks during pregnancy. By investigating mental health scores, we attempted to elucidate the relationship between omega-1 fatty acid intake and postpartum mental health.
The results showed that the group that consumed perilla oil, which is rich in alpha-linolenic acid, had better postpartum mental health scores than general scores (data obtained in existing trials).In addition, another case-control study found that low levels of maternal alpha-linolenic acid in red blood cells are associated with unstable postpartum mental health, suggesting that alpha-linolenic acid intake during pregnancy may prevent postpartum depression. I found out.
Until now, it has been thought that the Japanese people, as a fish-eating people, have the highest intake of EPA and DHA in the world, but this study shows that they are in line with recent examples of insufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids worldwide. It has been confirmed that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids among pregnant women in Japan is as low as in Europe and the United States.It is necessary to be conscious of omega-3 fatty acid intake, not only for the supply of omega-XNUMX fatty acids to the fetus, but also for the stability of the mother's own mental health.
Paper information:【Nutrients】Effects of Varied Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Postpartum Mental Health and the Association between Prenatal Erythrocyte Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels and Postpartum Mental Health