Research links nutritional deficiency to depression

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Expert links nutritional deficiency to depressionLate winter is the season when people tend to get depressed most, and one expert has discussed some of the possible origins of depressive episodes.

According to Shamir Benji, writing for empowher.com, an online women’s health resource, physicians have long known that vitamin B12 and folate are essential for maintaining the proper balance of neurochemicals in the brain.

A deficit of these elements is believed to be one of the causes of depression. However, inadequate levels of many other minerals have also been linked to the condition, including copper, zinc, selenium and iron.

Most importantly, Benji’s insight into some of the causes of such deficiencies may reduce the need to reach for expensive medical treatments in favor of a more natural approach.

Poor diet is one of the most common causes of low levels of vitamin B12, he says, and so rebalancing the diet should be the first approach before medical treatment is considered.

Studies have also shown that vitamin B12, in combination with other nutrients, appears to decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration in women and may be helpful in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.

Rich sources of vitamin B12 include breakfast cereals, meat, poultry, milk and seafood.

Vitamin supplements may be an option for older people or those who are concerned that their diet does not provide the necessary intake.
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