DHA deficiency is thought to be associated with maternal depression. While DHA supplements could be used to treat the deficiency, there are reports that EPA is more effective at relieving depressive symptoms. Researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center have completed a report studying the effectiveness of DHA vs EPA supplementation.
A total of 126 women took part in the study. All women were at increased risk of depression based on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale or a medical history of depression. A random group of patients was assigned to the EPA group, DHA group or placebo group. Various tests, including the Beck Depression Inventory, were used to assess treatment results. Testing was performed prior to treatment, at 26 to 28 weeks gestation, at 34 to 36 weeks gestation and again at six to eight weeks after birth.
Conclusion: Researchers found no difference between DHA and EPA treatment. Depressive symptoms were not affected in either group.
Source: Mozurkewich EL, Clinton CM, Chilimigras JL, Hamilton SE, Allbaugh LJ, Berman DR, Marcus SM, Romero VC, Treadwell MC, Keeton KL, Vahratian AM, Schrader RM, Ren J, Djuric Z. The Mothers, Omega-3, and Mental Health Study: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Apr;208(4):313.e1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.01.038.