Depression and Low Zinc Levels

From Psychiatric News Alert: An analysis of studies measuring blood concentrations of zinc has found concentrations lower in patients with depression. The senior researcher was Krista Lanctot, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, and results are published in Biological Psychiatry.

It is not yet known whether depression creates a zinc deficiency or a zinc deficiency helps set the stage for depression. Either is possible. Appetite changes are a common component of major depression. On the other hand, a zinc deficiency can induce depressive-like behaviors in animals, which can be reversed by zinc supplements. Either way, “the potential benefits of zinc supplementation in depressed patients warrant further investigation,” the researchers note.

A comprehensive overview of depression and how to offer optimal care to depressed patients can be found in the new American Psychiatric Publishing book, Clinical Guide to Depression and Bipolar Disorder: Findings From the Collaborative Depression Study. For more on treating depression, see Treatment-Resistant Depression: A Roadmap for Effective Care.