6 Vitamins And Minerals To Fight Depression

Nutritional deficiency is one of the overlooked causes of depression. A number of studies have found an association between depression and deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals that are involved in synthesis of the neurotransmitters that control mood. Therefore, if you are feeling low without any reason, perhaps you are suffering from deficiency of certain nutrients. Before taking antidepressants, try eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals or take supplements that can help in overcoming depression.

The Following Vitamins And Minerals Are Best Known For Fighting Depression

1. Folic Acid

Folic acid deficiency, which is common in people who do not consume sufficient amount of leafy greens and other vegetables rich in this B vitamin, is associated with depression. Folic acid is involved in production of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Therefore, its deficiency impairs normal synthesis of these brain chemicals and causes depression.[1]


2. Vitamin B6

Your body needs vitamin B6 to convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin. Therefore, deficiency of vitamin B6 causes depression. For maintaining the normal synthesis of serotonin, your diet should contain sufficient amount of foods rich in vitamin B5 such as sunflower seeds, mushrooms, avocado or corn.[2]


3. Vitamin B3

Low vitamin B3 level is linked to depression. Deficiency of vitamin B3 reduces conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Studies suggest that vitamin B3 supplementation helps in overcoming even severe depression.[3]


4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is common in people suffering from depression. Studies have shown that the severity of depression can be reduced by taking vitamin D supplements. As vitamin D receptors are present in the areas of the brain that regulate emotions, vitamin D seems to play a role in improving mood and reducing depression.[4]


5. Magnesium

Supplementation with magnesium helps in alleviating the symptoms of depression. Your body needs vitamin B6 as well as magnesium to produce serotonin from tryptophan. Low serotonin level causes depression, which can be averted by taking magnesium supplements or consuming foods rich in magnesium.[5]


6. Zinc

The association between zinc deficiency and depression is supported by studies. Studies suggest that zinc supplementation helps in reducing the symptoms of depression. Zinc seems to work by regulating the glutamate level in the brain. Too much glutamate in the brain, damages the neurons, which causes depression.[6]