Zinc, a key to ward off depression

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Researchers at the National Research Council (CSIC) have discovered that zinc is ‘key’ in the nervous system neurotransmission . The lack of it is associated with depression and other disorders.

Thus, this trace element is considered “indispensable” for many biological functions, experts say. This has been published in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling ‘, which also explains that its availability “depends on nitric oxide production” .

In this sense, the researcher of the Instituto Cajal, CSIC, Javier Garzón, confirms that the neuronal receptors that are responsible for collecting the signals from the neurotransmitters, “activate the production of nitric oxide to release the zinc, which is trapped by a number of proteins. “

And, these neurotransmitters are molecules responsible for transferring information from one neuron to another. But it is now found that zinc is“essential” in these functions. “is a modulator of neuronal excitability” , Rosenberg said.

The molecules of this element, which are highly bioavailable in meat, seafood or fish , are abundant in the nervous system, but “are trapped by proteins to exert effects that uncontrolled,” he argues Garzón.Therefore, and to release it in appropriate amounts, made cellular receptors for neurotransmitters such as opioids, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and cannabinoids produce nitric oxide.

Thus, with this latest development obtained CSIC scientist considered “key” to determine alterations of these processes to understand nerve disorders such as depression or lethargy. Some of them, blames “addictions and obsessions such as alcoholism, anorexia and bulimia,” he concludes.

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