Depression is sometimes thought of as most easily treated through psychotropic medication that can rebalance hormones or brain chemicals. For those not ready to sign up for heavy pharmaceuticals, there might be another way. Well regarded as a power mineral for the body’s central systems, zinc repletion might be vital in relieving symptoms of depression. While it’s naturally found in trace amounts in the body, clinical studies have shown that those suffering from depression are also zinc deficient. The more depressed tested individuals are, the lower their zinc levels have proved to be.
Low Zinc Levels & Diet
The most talked about symptoms of low zinc levels range from wounds that won’t heal to a decreased sense of smell and taste to open sores on the skin. Children who are not getting enough zinc suffer from stunted cognitive and motor abilities. One of the most significant contributing factors to low zinc levels is poor or restrictive diets. It’s found in the highest concentrations in animal proteins such as oysters, beef, and dark meat chicken. Non-animal sources do include beans, mushrooms, and spinach. The issue becomes low-quality diets or those such as vegan or vegetarian diets that do not contain enough foods rich in zinc.
As levels of this critical mineral continue to dip, the chances for depression creep higher. People who know they may not be taking in enough zinc according to their diet alone should consider a supplement to ward off all adverse side effects associated with deficiency.
Supplements For Depression
As early as the 1920s doctors were using zinc supplementation to treat psychosis and emotion regulation issues. Today’s studies are more focused on the role zinc plays in neurological formation, communication, and function. The highest concentration of zinc in our bodies is found in our brain, specifically in the hippocampus. This part of the brain is primary in short and long term memory formation. It also plays a role in regulating our emotions. Our hippocampus requires adequate zinc levels to work correctly. Insufficient levels of zinc effectively handicap the hippocampus and throw a wrench in the system necessary for regulating our mood.
Zinc is a building block for hundreds of systems in our body. Depleting it wreaks havoc on immunity, inflammation control, and cell growth, among others. Some researchers are now showing concern over long term use of antidepressants and their overall success rate. Studies based around zinc for aiding in treatment, though, show a wide range of benefits that include but are indeed not limited to relief from depression symptoms.
As with all good things, it is possible to have too much zinc. Those wishing to explore zinc supplementation as an aid to combat depression symptoms should first consult with their physician. Current diet and zinc levels should be reviewed before increasing your zinc intake. Symptoms of too much zinc include vomiting, digestion problems, and drowsiness. Symptoms typically dissipate within a few hours, but consistent overuse can cause iron or copper deficiencies, which will create a host of new issues to deal with.
If you’re having trouble achieving deep, restful sleep and you haven’t considered your zinc levels, now may be the time. It’s a mineral naturally found in trace amounts in our bodies that perform roles like aiding in cell division and the breakdown of carbs. Zinc helps metabolize food and balances hormones. Studies now show that taking extra zinc before bed can lead to more restorative sleep.
Zinc alone does not help you fall asleep, but it does aid in more profound, less fitful sleep. It suppresses the nervous system and acts as an antidepressant. Lowering anxiety levels, in turn, helps the body relax. Going to bed with mental and physical calm promotes rest. On top of everything else zinc does for our bodies, it’s a building block of melatonin. Since melatonin is the brain’s “sleep chemical,” it makes sense that sufficient levels of zinc help you stay asleep.
Sources Of Zinc & Diet Tips
While it’s possible to have too much of this essential mineral, diets of today tend to be low in zinc. Animal protein sourced zinc are more readily available to the body than plant sourced options. Common meats that are highest in zinc are beef, veal liver, and dark meat chicken. Common non-meat sources are dark chocolate, beans, and pumpkin seeds. Those without animal-based protein in their diet should consider a zinc supplement. There are food options fortified with zinc that comfortably add it to any diet. Even breakfast foods and fast foods make the cut. Taking it before bed is an excellent way to give your system a boost and help you stay asleep.
Deficiencies & Supplements
How do you know if you need more of this important mineral? The outward, easy to recognize signs of zinc deficiency include hair loss, decreased appetite, frequent infections, and skin sores. People with low zinc levels also have problems with their sense of taste and smell. One other sure sign of a deficiency, of course, is trouble staying asleep at night. Again, it’s a building block for many of our body’s essential functions. Hitting the suggested dietary mark every day supports whole body health, which in turn promotes high-quality rest. There are groups of people who should pay more attention to this mineral than others. Pregnant women, vegetarians, people with diabetes, and premature babies typically have lower natural zinc levels.
Natural health supplements are a great way to get the desired amount of zinc your body needs. A supplement such as AgelessSERENITY contains a healthy amount and promotes a restful sleep cycle, so you can feel great the next day.
Too Much Is Not Good
As reference, you can have too much zinc and too much can lead to digestive problems, vomiting, or even copper or iron deficiencies. You may potentially experience headaches, coughing, and fever like symptoms. Depending on when you take it, unintended drowsiness may also occur. The symptoms of taking in too much zinc should dissipate within a few hours of ingestion. You may start with a smaller dose at bedtime to see how your body responds and work your dosage up to the recommended amount. It’s always best to review your diet with your physician and determine zinc intake before adding supplements, even as a sleep aid.