Daily supplements of zinc may reduce measures of anger and depression in young women, according to a new study from Japan.
A daily supplement of 7 milligrams of zinc as zinc gluconate was associated with significant decreases in measures of anger-hostility and depression-dejection, report scientists from Daigaku Junior College and Seitoku University in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
On the other hand, multivitamin supplements did not affect the mood state of women who participated in the study.
“Although our findings are preliminary and should be interpreted with caution, they may prompt further investigations to evaluate the relationship between zinc nutriture and mood states in women,” wrote the researchers.
Zinc deficiency affects 30 per cent of the world’s population, and mood swings are reportedly common symptoms of mild zinc deficiency. In order to test if zinc supplements could affect mood the Japanese researchers recruited 30 young women and randomly assigned them to receive either multivitamins, or multivitamins plus zinc for 10 weeks.
The multivitamins were given to all to avoid vitamin deficiencies, and the supplement provided 50 per cent of the Japanese recommended dietary allowances of vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin and folic acid.
At the end of the study, only women who received the additional zinc supplements showed significant increases in blood levels of zinc and reductions in scores of depression and anger.
Similar studies in lab animals showed that only females experienced increases in aggression levels when zinc deficient, and the new data appears to support this anger-reducing effect in women following zinc supplementation, said the researchers.
“Our results suggest that Zn supplementation may be effective in reducing anger and depression,” they concluded.
Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume 64, Pages 331-333, doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.158
“Effect of zinc supplementation on mood states in young women: a pilot study”
Authors: T. Sawada, K. Yokoi