Generic Name: Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Acetate, Zinc Gluconate
Brand Names: Zincate, Galzin
Available Dosage forms: Oral Tablets, Capsules, Lozenges, Liquid, IV solution
What is Zinc?
Zinc is a trace mineral that plays a part in:
– RNA and DNA synthesis
– Wound healing
– Enhancement of immunity
– Sexual maturation
In addition to the functions mentioned above, Zinc also has a role in reducing the symptoms of depression. The pathophysiology of depression is multi-faceted. One theory suggests that abnormal regulation of the neurotransmitter n-methyl-d aspartate (NMDA) in the cortex leads to the development of depression. 1
Zinc aids in the reduction of depressive symptoms by inhibiting the NMDA receptor. The inhibition of the NMDA receptor results in delayed uptake of NMDA neurotransmitters. Raised levels of NMDA consequently antagonize the propagation of depression.1
Serum zinc concentrations of 1.8 μM or less were found to be consistent with worsening of depression. Several studies have demonstrated a direct relationship between sufficient Zinc levels in the serum and stable mood.1
How to use Zinc?
The key minerals for proper functioning can be obtained with a balanced diet. Food richest in Zinc are beef and poultry liver or kidney.2 Deficiencies of Zinc and other minerals are now common due to a fast-paced life with no attention given to proper diet. Zinc supplements are now widely used to overcome the deficiencies caused by poor diet.
These supplements are available as tablets, capsules, lozenges, which are taken orally. The best time to take these supplements is 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Tell your physician if you experience stomach upset. Avoid the intake of these supplements without prescription. Intravenous zinc administration is required for people with chronic zinc deficiency.
What are the side effects of Zinc?
Life-threatening side effects are rare with Zinc. Some common side effects of zinc supplementation include:
– GI upset – diarrhea
– Anosmia – loss of sense of smell
Zinc toxicity is possible if supplements are consumed without caution. Signs of toxicity are:
– Increase in pulse rate without fall in blood pressure
– Normocytic Anaemia
– Hypermotility – diarrhea
Who should not use Zinc?
Zinc supplements should be administered with caution in:
– Pregnant and breastfeeding women
– Hypersensitivity to Zinc
– Patients with co-morbidities
– Wilson disease
- Petrilli MA, Kranz TM, Kleinhaus K, et al. The Emerging Role for Zinc in Depression and Psychosis. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:414. Published 2017 Jun 30. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00414
- Basharat S, Gilani SA, Qamar MM, et al. Beneficial effects of Zinc on reducing severity of depression. J Psychol Clin Psychiatry. 2019;10(4):135‒139. DOI: 10.15406/jpcpy.2019.10.00642