Saffron and postpartum depression 

Doctors wanted to compare the effects of saffron with that of Prozac on symptoms of postpartum depression. The study included 68 women, four to 12 weeks after giving birth, with moderate depressive symptoms according to a standard depression rating scale.

The women took 15 mg of saffron or 20 mg of Prozac, each twice per day, while not taking any other psychotropic drugs or receiving any behavior therapy during the trial.

After six weeks, 18.8 percent of those in the saffron group, and 21.9 percent of those in the Prozac group were in remission. While all the women in both groups reported at least a partial response, women taking Prozac reported more frequent headache, dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation and sweating.

B-vitamin deficiency

Vitamin B12 and other B-vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. Recent evidence suggests a link between the nervous system and the immune system, and that the immune system plays a significant role in depression.

Doctors reviewed studies from 2008 through 2016 on B-vitamins, immune system, inflammation, and the links between these and depression. Overall, there is a clear link between B-vitamins, the immune system, and depression. Low levels of vitamins B1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 are common in depression.

One of the major findings: B-vitamin supplementation reduced depressive symptoms. Doctors also discovered a link between pro- inflammatory profiles and depression, and that anti-inflammatory nutrients improve depression outcomes.

Discussing the findings, doctors said, “It is clear that deficiency in B-vitamins results in symptoms of depression that affect the health and well-being of individuals.”

Reference: Pharmacopsychiatry; 2017, Vol. 50, No. 2, 64-8
Natural Insights for Well Being December 2017

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