2017 study: magnesium zinc and postpartum depression

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2017 study: magnesium zinc and postpartum depression

Post by jimmylegs » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:08 am

encountered this study while looking for research on anxiety and magnesium.

thought here would be the most suitable place on the forum to file this tidbit.

Effects of zinc and magnesium supplements on postpartum depression and anxiety: A randomized controlled clinical trial
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1 ... 16.1235074
"Postpartum anxiety and depression are prevalent disorders. The authors of this study aimed to determine the effects of zinc and magnesium supplements on depressive symptoms and anxiety in postpartum women referred to three governmental, educational hospitals in Tabriz, Iran during 2014–2015. In this triple-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial, the participants were randomly assigned to the zinc sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and placebo groups (n = 33 per group). The intervention groups received a 27-mg zinc sulfate tablet or 320-mg magnesium sulfate tablet per day for 8 weeks, whereas the control group received a placebo tablet each day during the same period. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were completed before and 8 weeks after the intervention. Blood samples were drawn from each participant to determine serum levels of zinc and magnesium before intervention at 48 hours after delivery. Also, a 24-hour dietary questionnaire was used during the first and last 3 days of the intervention. Adjusting for baseline scores as well as zinc and magnesium serum levels, no significant difference was observed between groups 8 weeks after delivery in mean scores of depressive symptoms (p = .553), state anxiety (p = .995), and trait anxiety (p = .234). This study concluded magnesium and zinc did not reduce postpartum anxiety and depressive symptoms."

i found this an annoying read due to the study design.

luckily, the authors do review the many studies which counter their findings in the full text discussion, and did pick up on the main issues as noted in the full text's conclusion:

Considering the results of the present study, which indicated that zinc and magnesium supplements cannot prevent postpartum depressive symptoms and anxiety in non-depressed women, it is recommended that the effects of these two supplements with different doses and with longer follow-ups should be evaluated in future studies. In addition, administration of these supplements should be accompanied by studying their serum levels before and after the intervention"

we already knew that before and after piece, which has been previously included in best practice recommendations for nutrition studies. tsk tsk, edalati fard et al. let's hope we don't have to deal with this particular kind of limitation in future.

given the above, proposed abstract revision:

original - "This study concluded magnesium and zinc did not reduce postpartum anxiety and depressive symptoms."

revision - "Magnesium and zinc, in the formulations and doses used in this study, did not reduce postpartum anxiety and depressive symptoms."

(now that's not to say mg and zinc won't get thrown out with bathwater anyway - other abstracts that read like the proposed revision above have still been used to vilify certain nutrients when it was clearly the formulation causing the problem).
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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