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More chance of depression and dementia in old people with low zinc levels

If you want to keep the chance of dementia and other forms of mental aging as low as possible, make sure you consume enough zinc. That was the take-home message in our posting some days ago - and it's the message in this one too. This one is based on a Polish study of one hundred people over the age of 80, who showed more signs of dementia and depression, the lower the concentration of zinc in their blood.

Nutritionists at the Medical University of Bialystok measured the zinc concentration levels in the blood of 100 occupants of a care home. They also did tests to determine whether the participants showed signs of dementia or depression.

The researchers used the Abbreviated Mental Test Score [AMTS] with the participants. That's a quick test with questions like "in what year did the First World War start?" and "how old are you?" which gerontologists used to diagnose dementia. A score of 8 or lower is an indication of dementia.

The researchers found that the over 80s who scored 8 or lower had a lower concentration of zinc than the participants who scored higher than 8.

More chance of depression and dementia in old people with low zinc levels

More chance of depression and dementia in old people with low zinc levels

The researchers also found more correlations. Age was also correlated to zinc status. The older the participants were, the less zinc they had in their blood. F = females; M = males.

More chance of depression and dementia in old people with low zinc levels

After they had filtered out the effects of other correlations, they still found a correlation between the concentration of zinc in the blood on the one hand and depression and dementia on the other.

"In the present study we detected lowered serum zinc concentrations in subjects with cognitive impairment and signs of depression, and found that the values of Abbreviated Mental Test Score and Geriatric Depression Scale score together explain 14% of the variation in concentration of serum zinc," the researchers wrote.

"As the highest zinc concentration in mice was found in the hippocampus region [J Nutr. 2000 May;130(5S Suppl):1471S-83S.], this region seems to be most vulnerable to zinc deficiency. [Neurochem Int. 2005 Feb;46(3):221-5.] [J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2009 Sep;29(9):1579-88.]", the researchers wrote. "It is this region of the brain which plays a critical role in memory, learning and neurogenesis."

PLoS One. 2015 Jan 30;10(1):e0117257.

Zinc deficiency can make you crazy 08.05.2017

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