A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (medicines gold standard for testing) involving 85 first time pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy, found that selenium supplementation during pregnancy may exert a protective effect against postpartum depression. 44 pregnant women were given 100ug of selenium daily and 41 women given a placebo daily until delivery. The symptoms of postpartum depression were evaluated during the eight weeks following delivery by means of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Mean EPDS score was found to be significantly lower in the selenium-supplemented group, compared with the placebo group. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, “These findings suggest that supplementation with selenium during pregnancy might be an effective approach for the prevention of postpartum depression.” 
Greg’s Comments: Postnatal depression is a serious health problem not only for the mother but also for the family. These findings…..that an inexpensive mineral may play a major role in preventing postnatal depression, should be a big news item worldwide. Sadly it’s not, and women have to suffer and find relief in medical drugs or have counselling. To worsen the selenium dilemma Australian soils are amongst the most selenium-deficient soils in the world.
Mokhber N, Ferns G, et al, J Matern. Effect of supplementation with selenium on postpartum depression: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Fetal Neonatal Med, 2010 Jun 8; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Psychiatry, Ibn-Sina Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS), Mashhad, Iran).