Benefits of analyzing tryptophan levels in postpartum mood disorders

BMC PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | August 10, 2022



Up to three-fourths of parturients have postpartum blues and/or PPD.

Parturients with PPD have a decreased quality of life, are at increased risk for addictive behavior and suicide, and require more healthcare resources than parturients without PPD.

Moreover, the offspring of parturients with PPD are at risk for impaired development, decreased cognition, and emotional issues.

The literature was searched for studies in which tryptophan levels were measured during the puerperium in women who were evaluated for PPD or postpartum blues.

A low total tryptophan level on postpartum days 1-5 was associated with PPD. No such association existed between the free tryptophan level and PPD.