How Zinc Deficiency Can Affect Your Mood and Mental Health: Importance of Supplementation for Optimal Brain Functioning

Did you know that almost thirty-three per cent of the world’s population has zinc deficiency? Mood swings are the most common symptoms associated with this mineral deficiency.

Depression, anxiety and aggressive behaviour are among the most common psychological symptoms that exist in the industrialized and developing world.
There are many reasons for these mental health conditions, but nutrition is one that is often overlooked and holds great promise. Because of the nutrient depletion of key minerals in fruits and vegetables due to industrial farming procedures and the large percentage of fast foods most people consume, correcting vitamin and mineral deficiencies is key to improving mental and physical health.

Previous research studies have shown a link between serotonin deficiency, a key brain chemical and depression.

Japanese researchers measured the impact zinc supplementation could have on mood. Thirty young women were placed randomly into 2 different groups – to receive either multivitamins and zinc plus multivitamins for ten weeks. The study participants were given 7 milligrams of zinc.

The multivitamins were given to prevent other vitamin deficiencies. They provided half of the Japanese government recommended dietary allowances of vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid and niacin.

At the end of the study, only the women taking zinc demonstrated reductions in depression and anger. Their zinc blood levels also increased significantly.
Interestingly, animal studies have found that only zinc-deficient female animals experienced increased aggression. This new research appears to support the anger reducing the impact on women who were taking zinc supplements.
“Our results suggest that zinc supplementation may be effective in reducing anger and depression,” said the researchers.

The findings were reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Although our findings are preliminary and should be interpreted with caution, they may prompt further investigations to evaluate the relationship between zinc nutrition and mood states, in women.”