Feeling Blue? Zinc May Help You
Researchers concluded that zinc supplementation may reduce anger and depression in young women
New research offers hope for a natural way to better manage mood. It points to the potential of zinc, a common mineral, for helping those affected by certain mood disorders.
Mood disorders, such as depression, can be devastating for those affected. Unfortunately, some people do not benefit from medications used to treat these conditions, either because the medications don't work or the side effects are intolerable.
Zoning in on zinc
To look at how zinc might affect mood disorders, researchers invited 30 young women to participate in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. The women were randomly selected to take a multivitamin or a multivitamin with 7 mg zinc daily for ten weeks. Blood levels of zinc were measured, and psychological tests were administered before and after the study.
After ten weeks of supplementation, the researchers found that compared with the women taking the multivitamin alone, those who took the multivitamin plus zinc experienced:
The researchers concluded that zinc supplementation may be an effective way to reduce anger and depression in young women.
Meeting your zinc quota
This study looked at using a 7 mg zinc supplement to improve mood in young women. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for zinc for women 19 years old and up is 8 mg per day. So the zinc supplement used in the study was relatively low dose that falls in the range of zinc intake that is safe for adult women.
To make sure you get enough zinc, try the following:
Lastly, avoid getting too much zinc. Zinc can interfere with the absorption of other minerals, so you don't want to overdo it.
(Eur J Clin Nutr 2010; 64:331--33)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.