“A new cross-sectional study observes a significant relationship between lower serum zinc levels and depression scores in a Thai population of those aged 60 and over.” [Source: nutraingredients.com]
There is growing evidence that nutritional approaches are effective in the prevention and control of depression. Illustrating this, a meta-analysis published in 2016 looked at 13 studies involving 1,233 participants and found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce symptoms of even major depressive disorder. A study published in 2018 added still further support to the use of omega-3 fatty acids for controlling depression, finding that higher levels of these nutrients are linked to less depression in heart failure patients.
Other research has found evidence linking a deficiency of B vitamins with depression. A scientific review published in 2017 noted that low levels of B vitamins are common in depression and that supplementation with these nutrients has been shown to improve outcomes.
Similarly, a clinical trial published in 2017 showed that magnesium supplements are effective in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. Finding that daily supplementation with magnesium leads to a significant decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms, and that it works quickly and is well tolerated, the study concluded that magnesium may be a safe over-the-counter alternative to antidepressant drugs.
A study published in 2014 provided clinical evidence that curcumin, the most abundant natural phenol present in turmeric, may be used as a safe and effective treatment for treating patients with major depressive disorder. Other research has found that correcting vitamin D deficiency in depressed patients can improve their condition. In a study published in 2013, Iranian researchers found that, in a randomized clinical trial, a single 300,000 IU vitamin D injection was safe and effective in improving depression in patients who were vitamin D deficient. Additional examples of nutrients that have been shown to be effective in fighting depression include vitamin C and acetyl-l-carnitine.
To read how vitamin-rich Mediterranean diets have been shown to help prevent depression, see this article on our website.