Last year I was privileged to contribute to one of the first medical textbooks on integrative treatments for depression. The book, edited by Dr. James M. Greenblatt and Dr. Kelly Brogan, is supported by the review of nearly 3000 scientific studies that consider the roles of inflammation, genetics, hormonal imbalance, gastrointestinal conditions, environmental stress, and nutritional deficiencies in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. Needless to say it was a BIG project! Today, I'd like to share a quick excerpt from the chapter I worked on about mineral deficiencies and depression. It's a short and sweet snip-it, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
Excerpt from Integrative Therapies for Depression: Redefining Models for Assessment, Treatment and Prevention
Mineral Deficiencies and Depression: Evidence-Based Research
By James M. Greenblatt, MD and Kayla Grossmann, RN
Trace minerals are essential to many physiologic processes within the human body. Advanced testing techniques have opened up a new window of understanding into their specific influences on the pathophysiology of depression. Minerals play integral roles in our neurochemistry, contributing to the synthesis of neurotransmitters, activation of key enzymes, modulation of excitatory receptors, and regulation of the inflammatory response. The known neurological functions of key minerals are summarized in the table below.
Inadequate levels of these major elements have direct, observable effects on biomarkers of mood and behavior. Yet with the rapid and irreversible loss of minerals from our soils, and subsequently foods, deficiencies have become overwhelmingly common across the population. Increased exposures to mineral-leeching chemicals have further compounded this problem.
The identification of mineral deficiencies has become an increasingly important component of treatment for mood disorders. In the literature, targeted mineral supplementation has proven to be a progressive antidepressant therapy in deficient individuals. Additional research will help to strengthen our understanding of the clinical application of minerals in the treatment of depression.
Find the book
If you are a health care practitioner, professor, mental health advocate, science nerd or nutrition enthusiast, you should definitely check out the rest of the textbook! The authors that contributed are some of the most brilliant minds in the functional health movement. The chapters are diverse and innovative, and the evidence base on which they are built is truly impressive. Find it at: Integrative Therapies for Depression, CRC Press 2015