Written By :

December 7, 2022

You might hear people asking you to take zinc supplement because it has a lot of positive effects on your physical health. But have you ever wondered whether zinc could help you recover from anxiety or depression?

There is an undeniable link between zinc and mental health.

Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about zinc and its linkage to mental health and mood disorders.

What is Zinc?

Zinc is a key mineral that is essential for several body functions. It is an essential nutrient because your body cannot store or produce it. That’s why you must obtain a constant supply through your diet.

Zinc is necessary for several body functions, including:

So zinc is an essential cofactor for more than a hundred types of enzymes in your body.

Zinc and Mental Health

The human body, especially the brain, needs zinc to function at its best. Zinc is considered a mental health mineral. Zinc is one of the highest minerals in the brain and it helps maintain mood, cognitive function, and memory. Zinc is found to have incredibly profound effects on mental health, brain function, and nervous system functions.

Few of them are: 


In the brain, zinc plays a crucial role when it attaches to proteins that support the brain’s structure and function.
The limbic system, which includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and glutaminergic neurons containing zinc, has the highest quantities of zinc in the brain.
Zinc homeostasis in the brain may be impacted by low dietary zinc intake, which could change behavior and mental functioning.
Zinc deficiency appears in behavioral changes like decreased activity and responsiveness.
It helps to activate the prefrontal cortex, which is the rational part of the brain, it allows you to make decisions, and it plays an important role in moderating the fight-flight response, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Nervous System

Zinc is a biofactor and a trace metal that performs crucial roles in the central nervous system throughout the lifetime, from early newborn brain development through maintaining adult brain function.
Zinc is essential for enzyme function, neurotransmitter activity regulation, and cell signaling.
Zinc is essential for message transmission along biochemical pathways. It helps maintain the health of your nervous system.
It is considered a very important neuromodulator in the body which means that it helps nerves in the body to actually function and signal properly. This is why when zinc deficiency is present in individuals, one of the most common and initial side effects is cognitive impairment.

Mental Disorders and Mood Disorders

There’s an undeniable link between zinc and mental disorders and mood disorders.

Numerous clinical issues might result from zinc deficiency. It can have an impact on both our neurological and neurodegenerative systems, which means it may contribute to a number of conditions such as anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.


There are numerous factors and causes that contribute to depression, such as hypertension, illness, chronic diseases, physical problems, and some medications, but one of the key nutritional factors that contribute to depression is zinc deficiency.
Studies have revealed growing evidence linking depression with low zinc levels.
Recent research indicates that some people with depression may perform better if they receive temporary zinc supplementation in addition to antidepressants or other forms of therapy.
People who are depressed frequently have zinc deficiencies. In patients with depressive disorders, zinc supplementation in a sufficient amount for an adequate amount of time acts as an antidepressant. 
the use of zinc for a long period of time can control depressive symptoms.
Lack of zinc can cause weight gain and reduced serotonin levels. 
Zinc has an important role in reducing the severity of depression.


Could your anxiety be caused by a zinc deficiency?
Have you noticed recently that your anxiety is getting worse? Have you been experiencing trouble falling asleep or keeping yourself motivated?
If so, the answer might be easier and simpler than you thought ...
Neurotransmitters ensure that the message gets from one nerve to the next until it reaches its final destination by crossing the gap between them. According to scientific studies, zinc essentially controls the release of these neurotransmitters. Therefore, a zinc deficiency may make it harder for chemical messages to move freely throughout your body, which leads to anxiety.
A study showed that providing zinc to people diagnosed with anxiety persons was linked with a lower anxiety rating of 31%. 
According to a 2011 study, low amounts of zinc may cause reduced levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which blocks particular messages to decrease anxiety, concern, and stress. Supplementing with zinc may help increase GABA levels and lessen anxiety symptoms.

Zinc Benefits for ADHD

Dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters concerning the pathophysiology of hyperactivity, specifically ADHD. Melatonin is an important hormone in regulating dopamine. But did you know that zinc is essential for the metabolism of melatonin?

Studies have shown that there is a big difference between people who have ADHD and people who don’t have ADHD, which is zinc deficiency. Does that mean everybody with ADHD has a zinc deficiency? No, it doesn’t. There tends to be a prevalence for people who have ADHD to have a zinc deficiency.

Some studies have revealed that some people with ADHD and zinc deficiency, find improvements in both hyperactivity and impulsivity with supplementation.

The importance of zinc in Brain Development in Babies

During the first two years of life, the developing brain is most sensitive to poor nutrition. That’s because nutrients play a crucial role in regulating brain development.

It plays an essential role in the structure and function of the child’s developing brain.

Severe zinc deficiency in embryos can cause overt brain malformation.

Zinc deficiency during infancy is associated with decreased head growth and cognitive impairment as well.

Parents should ensure a diet rich in a balanced amount of zinc.

Zinc is required for the child’s cognitive and motor development. It helps in the development of neurons and synaptic connections.

Lack of zinc leads to:

Zinc supplementation has been linked to enhanced motor development in infants with very low birth weight. Low levels of zinc during the neonatal period were linked with decreased and poor attention and impaired motor functioning in newborns.

To sum up, suboptimal zinc nutrition during pregnancy can have long-term effects on the baby’s brain and mental health.

How to Increase Your Zinc Intake?

Zinc Rich Foods:


Zinc deficiency can also be treated right away with supplements. Many multivitamin supplements contain zinc. 

The best strategy to address a zinc deficiency is to change your diet to include foods high in zinc. There are zinc supplements available, but they should be cautiously used.

Dietary and nutritional therapy, along with lifestyle changes, can safely correct and balance zinc deficiency.

Written By :

December 7, 2022