“Just as with other medical conditions, medications for treating depression may have untoward side effects,” says Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, main author of Minerals: The Forgotten Nutrient. She and co-authors Pauline Jose, MD, Monya De, MD, and Franz Gliederer, MD, note that researchers were motivated by the adverse effects of depression drugs to study depression and the potential ameliorative effects of food and minerals. The authors found the following:
Several studies indicate the severity of depression symptoms decreased rapidly, within seven days, when study participants took 125-300 mg of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime. Symptom reduction included less irritability, insomnia, hopelessness, and anxiety. Another study showed that about 60 percent of individuals suffering from depression had low magnesium levels in the brain. Early studies showed that magnesium works in a similar manner as imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant, and later studies revealed that magnesium is effective for treatment-resistant depression.
A study of patients with atypical depressions showed that 70 percent of those who took 600 mcg of chromium picolinate had improvement in their symptoms. There was less refined carbohydrate craving, emotional instability, and overeating in the group that took chromium picolinate.
Many women, especially those in their childbearing years (25-45), experience depression due to decreased levels of iron during menstruation. Iron is important for oxygenation of the brain. Checking iron levels may be advisable.
At least five studies have associated depression with selenium deficiency. Most of the world’s soils are depleted of selenium due to over-farming. Selenium has antioxidant properties, and many studies showed that those suffering from depression improved in mood when given selenium. The same studies showed low selenium blood levels in those suffering from depression and anxiety. Brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium.
Although zinc is a trace element, it is involved in over 300 processes in the body. Zinc levels are generally low in those with major depression. Zinc supplementation along with antidepressant therapy has been shown to have benefits. The same studies also showed that people with depressive symptoms who were not being helped by antidepressant drugs received benefit from zinc supplementation.
Please visit one of our affiliates, Eidon Ionic Minerals, for more on zinc and other essential mineral formulations.