Zinc deficiency and depression are interlinked entities. It is due to the zinc quantity in the system dipping that one remains gloomy and also displays suicidal traits. In order to know more about zinc deficiency and its effects on an individual’s mental and psychological well-being, read through this article.
Depression is a state of mind that demands to stay aloof at all times. It could be due to a particular incident in an individual’s life, death of a loved one, being subjected to a failing grade in a research paper, or a tense and torturous relationship. There may be innumerable reasons for an individual delving into the creases of his mind trying to dig out the answers that may improve the grievous condition of life. It is at these levels and periods that we understand that our health, too, has taken a backseat. The reason for depression is the event that took place; however, to alleviate the condition further, it is observed that there is a dip in the zinc levels as well which makes one feel depressed and even suicidal.
Functions of Zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral of the body. Research proves testimony that zinc is very important to boost one’s physical well-being and improve the immunity system. It is also responsible for maintaining the normal condition of the prostate gland, thereby preventing one from enduring prostatitis — a prostate gland infection in men that results in frequent urge to urinate and severe pain in the genital areas. It has also been proved that zinc is a vital nutrient for resisting the collagen levels in the skin — a pigment that is responsible for retaining the elasticity and luminosity of the skin. If the collagen levels dip, one may develop wrinkles and crow’s feet, which are also signs of aging. Zinc is also very important in maintaining the concentration level in children.
Effects of Zinc Deficiency
It has been found that zinc and depression are interwoven. It is when zinc levels in the body dip that depression elevates, there are episodes of mood swings that tend to rise, irritability with the members of the family and at work also increases, and one loses the ability to concentrate. Studies depict that subjects suffering from depression, bipolar cyclothymia, schizophrenia, or obsessive compulsive disorder have low levels of zinc. Due to zinc not remaining in adequate quantity in the body, one becomes lethargic and may display low energy levels. The reason for zinc depletion in the body is due to the influx of fast foods and eateries that people prefer over fresh fruits and vegetables. The deficiency, thus, is visible and endured due to a slash in the consumption of fresh foods that are rich in mineral content.
Another theory linking zinc deficiency and depression is an imbalance between copper and zinc in the body. When the content of zinc is low, there is an interference with the functioning of the other. This imbalance between the two mineral components leads to depression, mood swings, and violation of mental stability. Also, when zinc depletes in the body, copper has the tendency to elevate. Excess of copper in the body can lead to depression.
It is when levels of zinc dip, that one may not be able to concentrate. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition noticed predominantly in children. It is a condition in which the individual is unable to concentrate or focus for long stretches of time, making the attention span too short. In terms of children, they are always in the mood for mischief and will display a constant urge to move about and indulge in any activity. ADHD can strike adults, as well; however, it is most common in children. Increase the intake of fiber in your daily diet with fruits and vegetables being rich sources of zinc.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), girls, in their adolescence, require 8 to 9 mg of zinc per day, and boys need 8 to 11 mg of the mineral. As adults, women require 8 mg and men need 11 mg of zinc per day. The zinc intake for women varies when they are pregnant; i.e., it increases from the stipulated 8 mg to 11 mg per day. Lactating mothers need 12 mg of zinc daily.
Nevertheless, the practitioner may like to check the level of zinc in your body by prescribing certain tests. He may then decide on prescribing medication and supplements with their daily dosage after evaluating the reports thoroughly.