Optimal intake of various nutrients is crucial for both physical and mental health.
The list of nutrients you should consider includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.
You should particularly consider essential minerals, and one of them is zinc.
Since zinc participates in numerous processes in the human body, it becomes essential for our health and wellness.
But are the claims that it can provide anxiety relief true?
Here is an overview of the scientific evidence that discusses the role of zinc in managing anxiety, depression, and stress!
Zinc – A Brief Overview
Did you know that zinc plays a role in the activity of about 100 enzymes?
It plays a crucial role in the metabolism of cells, supports optimal immunity, promotes wound healing, and helps in synthesizing DNA and protein.
Apart from numerous food sources, zinc is present in supplements and even some medications. People need this mineral to stay healthy. Its benefits include supporting immunity to fight foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria.
What Is the Recommended Daily Intake of Zinc?
For adult males over 19 years old, the recommended daily intake of zinc is 11mg. For adult females over 19 years old, the recommended daily intake of zinc is 8mg.
Do you like eating oysters? If the answer is yes, you cannot find a better food source of zinc than that once. According to the estimations, a single ounce of oysters contains more than 200% of the required daily value of zinc that an adult person needs.
As for other food sources, you can consider beef chuck roast, broiled beef patty, crab, dark meat chicken, pumpkin seeds, cashews, baked beans, lobster, etc.
Here is an overview of the recommended daily intake of this essential mineral:
Recommended dietary allowances of zinc (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/)
Dietary supplements often offer a generous quantity of zinc. That often exceeds the recommended dietary allowances for multiple reasons. The first one is absorption, which is usually not at the maximum rate. Additionally, different forms of zinc present in supplements affect the absorption and the quantity of elemental zinc. You can find supplements with zinc aspartate, sulfate, gluconate, or acetate.
Zinc toxicity is possible, but it doesn’t happen often. You will need significantly higher doses than the recommended ones to experience toxicity. The experts estimate a tolerable upper dose at around 40 milligrams per day.
Why Science Says, We Should We Ensure Optimal Zinc Intake to Avoid Anxiety
Research Study 1 (Zinc & Anxiety)
You can find numerous studies that discuss the importance of zinc for optimal health and wellness. It was in 2005 when a study conducted in Japan was published in Behavioral Brain Research. The scientists analyzed rats who were consuming a diet that involved less zinc than needed for two weeks.
The results indicated that the young rats showed behavior that resembled anxiety.
Although this is an animal study, the results clearly demonstrated the importance of zinc in steering clear of anxiety problems. That indicates optimal zinc quantity is essential to prevent anxiety, as well as experience relief if you already started feeling anxious.
Research Study 2 (Zinc & Depression)
A similar study was published in 2008 in Physiology & Behavior. According to that study, it is the deficiency of zinc that leads to symptoms that are similar to depression in adult rats. The researchers compared the rats that received a zinc-ridden diet, those that were on a nutrition plan with adequate zinc intake, and those who were supplemented with zinc.
The results revealed that rats with zinc deficiency also showed signs of anhedonia and anorexia.
The interesting thing was that fluoxetine was ineffective in treating these symptoms. That is another proof optimal zinc intake is essential for avoiding depression-like symptoms and behavior.
It is also an indicator that zinc deficiency could reduce the effectiveness of antidepressants.
Research Study 3 (Zinc & Depression & Anxiety)
In a study conducted in 2012 on rodents and published the same year in Human & Experimental Toxicology, the researchers considered zinc’s role in psychosis, depression, and anxiety.
The focus of the trial were rodents. They received significant doses of this mineral for a week.
After conducting the test of forced swimming, the researchers concluded zinc decreased the time of immobility and led to the rodents swimming more.
The conclusion was that zinc could play a role in treating anxiety, depression, and psychiatric problems.
However, the researchers mentioned it works better when consumed in combination with medications and other nutrients.
Research Study 4 (Zinc & Anxiety)
An interesting study was published in Nutrition and Metabolic Insights in 2011.
The idea was to analyze the levels of copper and zinc in the plasma. The focus was on individuals already dealing with anxiety. The study included 38 individuals who agreed to measure their copper and zinc levels before and after treatment for comparison. The other group of participants was the control category.
According to the results, the individuals dealing with anxiety had considerably higher levels of copper and lower levels of zinc in their plasma.
The therapy increased the levels of zinc, and the patients reported an improvement in perceived symptoms after the treatment.
Zinc and Depression – What Does the Science Say?
Research Study 5 (Zinc & Depression)
The researchers published a trial in 2003 that focused on patients dealing with unipolar depression. According to the effects of that study, zinc supplementation could boost the effects of medications.
The researchers involved six patients who received zinc and eight that received a placebo treatment. They both got antidepressants.
BDI and HDRS scales both showed that the group receiving zinc therapy showed better results.
The research lasted for 12 weeks, and the researchers compared results on multiple occasions.
Research Study 6 (Zinc & Depression)
A huge meta-analysis was published in 2013 in the Society of Biological Psychiatry. It included more than 1,640 subjects exhibiting depression symptoms, and 864 participants in control groups.
The researchers rounded up 17 studies and concluded that depression could be connected to zinc deficiency in peripheral blood.
Zinc has been found to be a great mineral that may have great relief for anxiety and depression.