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Thread: Zinc as a Treatment for Depression

  1. #1

    Zinc as a Treatment for Depression

    Hello,

    I am a physician, though my speciality is in Preventive Medicine, not Psychiatry. Actually I spent ten years at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an office dedicated to getting drugs for rare diseases to market and have worked for a number of years since as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, so one thing I am comfortable with is going through medical literature. A couple weeks ago I decided, why not investigate various alternative health approaches by going through the medical literature and posting video of what is found there, the medical literature is often much more supportive of alternative/micro-nutrient based health interventions than one might suspect from commercial advertisements.

    The first topic I decided to take a look at was alternatives/complimentary additions to pharmaceutical anti-depressants. I chose this for two reasons, 1) unlike the rare diseases I spent much of my career on, depression is a serious and unfortunately common disease and 2) there are well-documented concerns in the medical literature over serious and potentially dangerous side effects of some pharmaceutical anti-depressants especially the SSRIs that have come to light. Within that broad topic I chose to focus on Zinc's role in depression for my first videos. Each video is about a half hour long and I have the first two of what will be likely a four part series posted now on my "To Your Health" video channel. While the first one may start a little slow as I have to explain what I am doing and why from there I just go through the medical literature study by study and explain why Zinc would be expected to be helpful in depression from the published evidence we now have available. If you would like to view these videos

    Part I is available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Suwc5-obeBU

    and the To Your Health Channel may be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9R...x-P3S5HMuCXJ4g

    Parts 3 and 4 should be out within a week or so.

    For those who don't have an hour to spend getting the in-depth discussion of the literature the as the kids on the web call if TLDR (Too Long Didn't Read) version is that 1) there is a large and growing body of evidence from the past twenty years that derangements of zinc homeostasis are involved in depression and other mental disorders and a variety of current theories for why this is so, 2) multiple population based studies have found that low blood zinc levels are associated with depression 3) pharmaceutical antidepressants, even in the absence of zinc supplementation lead to higher blood zinc levels when the pharmaceutical treatment is effective. 3) In multiple double blind placebo controlled clinical trials zinc supplements given in conjunction with pharmaceutical anti-depressants both helped overcome treatment resistance and augmented the antidepressantís beneficial effect. 4) Not only are the findings statistically significant with zinc in depression but also the magnitude of zinc's effect is large, i.e it is not that it does something but is only 1/10th as strong as a conventional anti-depressant, it is showing a pronounced effect.

    I am not saying zinc is now the end all be all, we have the cure for depression, I view depression as a bit akin to cancer in that there are multiple pathways that can lead to the same end disease state. That said, it is well documented now in the literature that zinc is helpful in depression. I suspect in some cases low zinc may be very important to central to depression.

    This health channel is very new, brand new in fact, however hopefully in time it may be a vehicle to get information about a variety of important health issues out to the public. Hope you enjoy the videos and find the information useful. Let me know if you have any questions or there are any areas that need clarification.

    As an aside, I have interacted and communicated with many of you here on energy related topics and would just say Enjoy the Conference and congratulations on all the incredible progress with the ZFM, it is more than I hoped for when I started the ZFM thread.

    In closing,

    Here's to your Health!

    Paul D. Maher, MD

  2. #2
    Zinc is one of the most abundant trace minerals in the brain and supports several physiological functions. It activates the CNS and the peripheral nervous system. The bioavailability of zinc can influence CNS function through a variety of mechanisms, and diets scarce in zinc have been known to result in behavioral disturbances and diminished brain function. Researchers looked at 1,643 depressed patients and 804 control participants showed that peripheral zinc concentrations were lower for depressed patients. Studies found that pairing a zinc supplement with antidepressant therapy can be a more effective method of treating patients with major depression.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by luis_jacob12 View Post
    Studies found that pairing a zinc supplement with antidepressant therapy can be a more effective method of treating patients with major depression.
    It's all quite complicated. I'd suggest a spoonful of pumpkin seeds in salads and as a snack.

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