Can Vitamin B6 Help to Prevent Postpartum Depression? A Randomized Controlled Trial

Maryam Khodadad, Parvin Bahadoran, Gholam Reza Kheirabadi, Ali Mohammad Sabzghabaee


Background: A low level of vitamin B6 may theoretically cause symptoms of depression. Aims: To investigate the effect of vitamin B6 on the prevention of postpartum depression (PPD) among mothers at risk for PPD. Methods: This single‑blind, placebo‑controlled clinical trial was conducted on 81 pregnant women who were at risk of PPD from February to July 2016 at six selected health centers in Isfahan, Iran. A simple random sampling method was adopted. Forty cases and 41 controls received 80 mg vitamin B6 and placebo, respectively from the 28th week until the end of pregnancy. The risk of PPD was assessed as the main inclusion criteria using a structured clinical interview using hospital anxiety‑depressive scale (HADS), social support appraisals scale (SS‑A), and Holmes and Rahe life change and stress evaluation questionnaire (HRLCSEQ). The Edinburgh postpartum depression scale (EPDS) was used to assess the rate of depression prior to and 1.5 months after the intervention (end of pregnancy). Data were analyzed using SPSS 20 and statistical tests (Chi‑square, independent t‑test, Mann‑Whitney’s, and Exact Fisher Test). Results: Forty‑three subjects were assigned to each group and the final analysis comprised 81 subjects (40 in the case and 41 in the control groups), the mean age of the case and control groups being 5.8 ± 29.6 and 4.6 ± 28.2, respectively. The mean depression score was 10.4 ± 1.4 in the case and 9.3 ± 4.2 in control groups (P = 0.34) before and 4.2 ± 2.7 in the case and 10.4 ± 3.4 in control groups (P < 0.001) after intervention. Conclusions: Vitamin B6 has a positive effect on reducing postpartum depression scores among mothers at risk for PPD. These may be clinically useful for preventing PPD in high‑risk women.


Clinical trial; depression; postpartum; primary care; vitamin B6 supplementation

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