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Depressed? Anxious? Maybe You Need More Zinc

  ZINC IMPROVES DEPRESSION Clinical studies and experimental work using animals have both revealed a link between zinc and neuropsychological disorders like depression and anxiety. Not only has zinc deficiency been shown to induce depression and anxiety, supplementation with zinc has been used as an effective treatment for major depression. Zinc also improves the effect of antidepressants in depressed patients. ZINC ALSO REDUCES ANXIETY AND PSYCHOSIS A double-blind study with 674 school children in Guatemala gave half of them 10 mg of zinc 5 days per week for 6 months and the other half were given a placebo. Significant decreases in depression and anxiety were seen in the group given zinc compared to the group given the placebo. Zinc not only reduces anxiety and depression in mice, but also psychosis. ZINC IMPROVES AND PROTECTS AGAINST TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY Traumatic brain injury is associated with a wide variety of behavioral deficits, including memory loss, depression, and anxiety. While treatments for these outcomes are currently limited, human clinical data suggest that zinc can be used during recovery to improve cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with brain injury. Additionally, zinc may increase resilience to traumatic brain injury, making it potentially useful in populations at risk for injury. ZINC PROTECTS THE BRAIN FROM ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS Zinc may have another role in protecting the brain from damage. Most people probably know that cancer and other diseases are linked to environmental toxins but depression can also be caused from toxic chemicals in the environment like pesticides. Malathion is a widely used pesticide in agriculture that is linked to depression. Malathion residue, like many other pesticides, can remain on fruits and vegetables that have not been grown organically. Researchers in Brazil exposed a group of rats to malathion for 3 days to induce depression. A second group was given zinc while exposed to the malathion. Neurochemical damage including disruption of neurotransmitters and depressive behavior was evident in both groups but the malathion had less damaging effects in the group given the zinc. The damage done in both groups was completely reversed when treated with zinc. It appears that zinc acts as a protector of the brain, mediating the effects of traumatic brain injury as well as the damaging effects of environmental toxins. Beyond protecting the brain, zinc can also reverse some kinds of damage. Zinc deficiency can cause depression and anxiety, which is quickly relieved when adequate zinc levels are restored. Sources of zinc: Oysters (oysters are higher in zinc by far than any other food) Beef Crab Lobster Pork Beans Chicken Yoghurt Cashews Chickpeas Oats...

The Uncommon Power of Common Vitamin C

The health benefits of vitamin C in combatting the common cold, improving the immune system, preventing scurvy, strokes, and even preventing and fighting some cancers have been touted for decades. But, vitamin C’s least known and most powerful function may be in preventing and treating depression and anxiety. VITAMIN C DEFICIENCY CAUSES DEPRESSION AND CRAVINGS FOR SUGAR A deficiency in vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, can cause neurological damage and the addition of vitamin C to the diet can improve or reverse symptoms of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. A recent study at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Neuroscience in Nashville, Tennessee and published in the Journal of Neurochemistry deprived mice of vitamin C. The deprivation caused depressive and submissive behaviors as well as an increased preference for sugar. More importantly, there were decreases in dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Low levels of dopamine and serotonin are linked to high levels of anxiety and depression in humans as well as mice. VITAMIN C WORKS AS WELL AS PROZAC FOR STRESS-RELATED DEPRESSION IN MICE Another interesting study with mice was recently conducted in Brazil and published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. The mice were subjected to “chronic unpredictable stress” (CUS) for 2 weeks. This CUS produced depressive behaviors and changes in brain chemistry. During the second week of the study, half of the mice were treated with fluoxetine (Prozac) and half were treated with vitamin C. The results were as powerful with the vitamin C as with the fluoxetine. In other words, the vitamin C reversed the detrimental effects and helped the mice cope with the ongoing stress as well as the Prozac did. The researchers concluded, “These findings indicate a rapid and robust effect of ascorbic acid in reversing behavioral and biochemical alterations induced by CUS in mice, suggesting that vitamin C may be an alternative approach for the management of depressive symptoms.” That’s some pretty strong evidence for the powerful effect of vitamin C on depression – and it gets even better: CHILDREN’S DEPRESSION IMPROVES MORE WHEN TREATED WITH VITAMIN C AND PROZAC THAN WITH PROZAC ALONE Researchers at the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation in Los Angeles, California studied the effects of fluoxetine (Prozac) alone and in combination with vitamin C in depressed children. Their results showed a significantly more positive effect in the group treated with both fluoxetine and vitamin C as compared to the group given fluoxetine and a placebo. The results suggest that vitamin C may increase the effectiveness of treatment with Prozac in depressed children. DEPRESSED ADULTS ALSO BENEFIT FROM...