Did you know that almost thirty-three per cent of the world’s population has zinc deficiency? As a physician, I was amazed to make this discovery. Mood swings are the most common symptoms associated with this mineral deficiency.
Depression, anxiety and aggressive behavior 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.
Earlier research studies have shown a link between serotonin deficiency, a key brain chemical in depression.
Japanese researchers at two universities tested the impact zinc supplementation could have on mood, 30 young women and placed them 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 recommended dietary allowances of vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid and niacin by the Japanese government.
When the study ended, 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 impact in women proceeding zinc supplements noted the researchers, as well as the preceding research studies’ findings.
“Our results suggest that zinc supplementation may be effective in reducing anger and depression,” the researchers noted.
This study was 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.