Effects of zinc and magnesium supplements on postpartum depression and anxiety: A randomized controlled clinical trial

Women Health. 2017 Oct;57(9):1115-1128. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2016.1235074. Epub 2016 Sep 12.


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.

Keywords: Anxiety; depressive symptoms; magnesium; postpartum; zinc.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / blood*
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Depression, Postpartum / blood*
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium Sulfate / administration & dosage*
  • Magnesium Sulfate / blood
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zinc Sulfate / administration & dosage*
  • Zinc Sulfate / blood


  • Magnesium Sulfate
  • Zinc Sulfate