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Zinc in Depression: A Meta-Analysis.


Regular Member
Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jun 24. pii: S0006-3223(13)00451-4. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.008. [Epub ahead of print]
[h=1]Zinc in Depression: A Meta-Analysis.[/h] Swardfager W, Herrmann N, Mazereeuw G, Goldberger K, Harimoto T, Lanctôt KL.
[h=3]Source[/h] Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group (WS, NH, GM, KG, TH, KLL), Sunnybrook Research Institute; Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (WS, KLL); Department of Psychiatry (WS, NH, KLL); Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (WS, GM, KLL), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

[h=3]Abstract[/h] [h=4]BACKGROUND:[/h] Zinc is an essential micronutrient with diverse biological roles in cell growth, apoptosis and metabolism, and in the regulation of endocrine, immune, and neuronal functions implicated in the pathophysiology of depression. This study sought to quantitatively summarize the clinical data comparing peripheral blood zinc concentrations between depressed and nondepressed subjects.
[h=4]METHODS:[/h] PubMed, Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycINFO were searched for original peer-reviewed studies (to June 2012) measuring zinc concentrations in serum or plasma from depressed subjects (identified by either screening or clinical criteria) and nondepressed control subjects. Mean (±SD) zinc concentrations were extracted, combined quantitatively in random-effects meta-analysis, and summarized as a weighted mean difference (WMD).
[h=4]RESULTS:[/h] Seventeen studies, measuring peripheral blood zinc concentrations in 1643 depressed and 804 control subjects, were included. Zinc concentrations were approximately -1.85 µmol/L lower in depressed subjects than control subjects (95% confidence interval: [CI]: -2.51 to -1.19 µmol/L, Z[SUB]17[/SUB] = 5.45, p < .00001). Heterogeneity was detected (χ[SUP]2[/SUP][SUB]17[/SUB] = 142.81, p < .00001, I[SUP]2[/SUP] = 88%) and explored; in studies that quantified depressive symptoms, greater depression severity was associated with greater relative zinc deficiency (B = -1.503, t[SUB]9[/SUB] = -2.82, p = .026). Effect sizes were numerically larger in studies of inpatients (WMD -2.543, 95% CI: -3.522 to -1.564, Z[SUB]9[/SUB] = 5.09, p < .0001) versus community samples (WMD -.943, 95% CI: -1.563 to -.323, Z[SUB]7[/SUB] = 2.98, p = .003) and in studies of higher methodological quality (WMD -2.354, 95% CI: -2.901 to -1.807, Z[SUB]7[/SUB] = 8.43, p < .0001).
[h=4]CONCLUSIONS:[/h] Depression is associated with a lower concentration of zinc in peripheral blood. The pathophysiological relationships between zinc status and depression, and the potential benefits of zinc supplementation in depressed patients, warrant further investigation.
Copyright © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Staff member
This is great, thanks for posting it. Any idea what the right amount of zinc to take per day? I read recently that you don't want to go overboard and take too much as it can be bad for you... most of the bottles I've seen at the pharmacy are 50mg and recommend only one/day.


Regular Member
Difficult to say. There are different types of Zinc and they all have different absorption. Some manufacturers state just the amount of Zinc in a certain form, some other state its equivalence in elemental Zinc. It's confusing. I take 20mg of Zinc Picolinate.