Can Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies Affect Mental Health?

April 23, 2018
September 26, 2018
Can Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies Affect Mental Health?


For some mental health challenges, mood disturbance, depression and anxiety are part of life and there seems to be no reason,

Often Mineral and Vitamin deficiencies effecting mental health are at the health of the condition.

Mood disturbance or mental health challenge can be depression, anxiety or just feeling flat. For some of us a mood disturbance may also
What many people don’t realize is that our body uses minerals and vitamins as a key or a catalyst to make everything from our happy hormones, to our hydrochloric acid, immune cells, protective linings in our lungs and even as part our red blood cells.

In a perfect world we would be able to absorb and utilize all our nutrients to make everything we need in our body however there are often obstacles in our way.

Digestion and Protein

Many have a low protein diet with out even realizing it. We need roughly 1g of protein per kg of our weight as an estimated equivalent.

Protein contains essential amino acids which are called the building blocks of the body. Amino acids are the foundation of creating our happy hormones some of which are indicated below. Read more about protein and food here.

Serotonin and Dopamine

Serotonin and Dopamine are two heavy hitting hormones that impact on our mood and they need proper nutrition to be synthesized. They need amino acids that come from protein in certain foods, and these starter amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine need minerals and vitamins to be converted to active hormones. Without the minerals and vitamins there is no conversion and that means no happy hormone synthesis.

Kryptopyrroluria, pyroluria or the mauve factor

Kryptopyrroluria is one huge word and it is interchangeable for those other words pyroluria/mauve factor.

What this referring to is a state where the person cannot utilize zinc, B6 and magnesium in the body. What happens in the body is an increased production of pyrroles which are a byproduct of the body, when there is an excess of these pyrroles they bind to zinc, B6 and Magnesium rendering them unavailable for the rest of the bodies functions which they are so needed for.

How can Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies Affect Mental Health?

Magnesium (mg), Iron, Zinc, B6  and mood

Mg is used as a cofactor in the body in many ways but one of the most important for mood is being a cofactor for serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline. So as you can see really important for mood without it we feel flat and stressed.

Iron is used for the precursor amino acids used to synthesize serotonin and dopamine.

Zinc is a potent antioxidant and a precursor to so much more than that it is an essential nutrient used for over 200 body processes.

B6 is used for most biochemical reactions without B6 we can’t make some of our essential rest and digest hormones


Moods and Digestion

Ok so the first obvious point would be if you are not absorbing your nutrients due to poor gut health, you are not getting the nutrients you need and it goes on in a vicious circle until you fix your gut health.

  • 90% of our serotonin is made in our gut
  • 2nd brain connection our gut and our brain are linked with the same tissues as the brain it creates similar effects on mood, when our gut is happy it shares the serotonin it makes with the brain and we get that happy mood this is from friendly bacteria.
  • Friendly bacteria or microbiome in the gut actually make these happy hormones and they make B vitamins as well if we have a happy gut environment we will produce enough serotonin to keep our moods balanced.
  • Stress impacts negatively on the gut. Stress causes the blood to travel away from the gut reducing our digestion which reduces our nutrient intake and impacts on our moods read more about stresses impact on your general health here 

Genetics are also hugely linked to mood, If you have noticed that there is a family tendency to depression, anxiety or even anger there could be a genetic link.

At Balance Naturopathy we are trained in DNA testing and can refer and interpret your genetic testing for you.


This is just a quick overview of how nutrients are important to our health and wellbeing.

If you feel like you could use some help to feel happier and healthier feel free to contact me on 0412241198