Deficiency In This Mineral Can Lead to Depression

By Samantha Gilbert, FNC, CHNP, CNC     Last updated on August 17th, 2021

Deficiency In This Mineral Can Lead to Depression

“Nearly all disease can be traced to a nutritional deficiency” stated Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Prize winner.

But conventional medicine will have you believe all body systems are separate and that popping a pill will eliminate depression and its many side-effects, most notably, weight gain.

We now know that depression is a term, not a condition and that there are actually five distinct types of depression, each with different underlying nutrient imbalances as the root cause.

And I should know, I spent over 25 years trying to figure this out for myself.

Even if you don’t struggle with depression, but can’t seem to lose weight, you should pay close attention to this important mineral.

It’s called zinc.

Yes, the mineral you’re probably familiar with as a treatment for the common cold also plays important roles in growth and development, the immune response, neurological function, and reproduction.

Zinc is essential to all forms of life and is a component of more than 300 enzymes. It enhances resistance to stress, maintains intellectual function, memory, and mood levels. Zinc also enhances gene expression of cysteine-rich proteins called metallothionines.

When metallothionine production is disabled due to oxidative stress and toxic heavy metals, the body is open to all kinds of assaults from pathogens and viruses; as well as an inability to properly absorb nutrients from food.

Metallothionines have powerful antioxidant properties and work in tandem with glutathione and selenium to bind to toxic heavy metals and transport them out of the body. Without this important function, heavy metals, most notably mercury and copper, pass through the intestinal and blood/brain barriers leading to depression, chronic fatigue, and weight gain.

With copper high, zinc becomes imbalanced. Copper and zinc work in tandem with each other to control the overgrowth of fungal, yeast, and parasitic infections. Without the proper ratio, these types of infections can become chronic and difficult to eliminate.

In the initial stages of working with a client, I look at three main areas: malnourishment, food toxins, and pathogens.

All three significantly affect the body’s ability to shed fat and be happy because they all can lead to deficiencies in zinc.

In all cases of disordered eating from anorexia to bulimia and in between, zinc status should always be assessed.

This takes me back to my vegan days. I had no desire for meat and swore I would never eat it again for the rest of my life. Little did I know at the time my distaste for meat was the result of severe nutrient deficiencies, something I was able to correct with proper zinc supplementation.

The truth is that we all have nutrient deficiencies and as we get older, we become even more susceptible. Some can be corrected with diet alone, while others require diet and supplementation to overcome.

If you know of someone who struggles with their weight and/or depression, please share this post. If you struggle, please share your experience in the comments below. It is through sharing your story that we create community, eliminate guilt and shame, and bring about healing.


9 thoughts on “Deficiency In This Mineral Can Lead to Depression”

  1. I have suffered with anxiety my whole life, and depression the last five years. I have tried 24 SSRI’s, most of them almost killed me. Hospitalized numerous times with no success. I’m now on my fourth benzo and it is no longer working. I was told recently that I am over methylated and have pyroluria, but my doctor is doing nothing to help me. I tried zinc and b6 for 6 months and was retested and my zinc and copper are within the normal limits, so I don’t understand why I still have such a problem. I’m always exhausted and weak, despite physical therapy, crying all the time, and have spells now all the time like I’m going to pass out. I’m 64 years old and I spend all my time on the couch because my husband works all the time and I’m alone 11hours a day. Can someone please help Me so I can live before I die?
    Housebound all the time and suffer with social anxiety and agoraphobia too. It’s a life of hell. Please help!

  2. I suggest you go to read of the research & the success which doctors are now having. Dr Bill Walsh is the research scientist who comes to Australia each year to train our GP’s in nutrient therapy. I am on this therapy and am a changed person. I suffered from major depression/ anxiety for 20 years until medication was not working too well any more. This therapy is getting to the root of the problem not treating the symptoms only.
    Doctors names who have trained in this area are given on this web site.

  3. Please can you give me a link to the scientific study behind this post, as I want to print it out and bring it to my General Practitioner? Many thanks for a very interesting article.

    1. If you click on the links in this article they will take you to sources at the end of those posts. See also Nutrient Power by William Walsh, Ph.D.

  4. I read this and I have anxiety/depression and diffulty losing weight and tireness.
    I snore and wake up after sleeping 8-9 hours tired.
    I am over 50 and have fought my weight and fatigue for over 30 years.
    Can I get a list of what foods have copper in to stay away from please?
    Can this really help me ?
    Emily B.

    1. Hi Emily,
      Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, if copper is the culprit, a low copper diet and the right nutrients can completely change your life.

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