Dietary Supplement May Reduce Vulnerability to Postpartum Blues

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Supplement designed to counter functions of elevated monoamine oxidase activity
Supplement designed to counter functions of elevated monoamine oxidase activity

(HealthDay News) — Researchers suggest that three days of an experimental dietary supplementation may eliminate depressed mood after childbirth, according to a study published online March 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jeffrey Meyer, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and co-creator of the product, and colleagues developed a dietary kit to be taken in the first three to five days after childbirth. The ingredients included blueberry juice and blueberry extract and the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine. To test the product, the researchers assigned 21 healthy new mothers to receive the supplementation for three days, and compared them with 20 new mothers in the control group. The mothers' average age was 32 years.

The researchers found that on day five after childbirth -- when sadness tends to peak -- those who took the supplements scored better on tests of mood. Also, women in the control group showed "robust" signs of depressed mood, while those in the supplement group did not.

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"This dietary supplement designed to counter functions of elevated monoamine oxidase activity eliminates vulnerability to depressed mood during the peak of postpartum blues," the authors write.

Meyer is developing natural health products to treat high-risk states for major depressive episode, and is listed as the inventor on a patent application for this dietary supplement.

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