‘Acupuncture can alleviate symptoms in patients with postpartum depression (PPD) and may achieve this by up-regulating anti-inflammatory cytokines and down-regulating pro-inflammatory cytokines.’

In a study carried out in China, 121 women diagnosed with PPD underwent eight weeks of acupuncture, of which 96 completed the eight week assessment and 46 completed the blood sample collection. Depression scores showed statistically significant reduction at week 8 compared with baseline. The 46 subjects who completed blood sample collection were divided into treatment responders and non-responders according to their depression scores. In responders, IL-6, IL-10 and IFN-y levels were significantly lower, while TGF-ß1 was statistically higher after eight weeks of treatment. In non-responders, the levels of IL-5, TNF-a and TGF-ß1 were statistically higher, while IFN-y was statistically lower. (Peripheral Blood Inflammatory Cytokine Factors Expressions are Associated with Response to Acupuncture Therapy in Postpartum Depression Patients. J Inflamm Res. 2023 Nov 13:16:5189-5203).