In this article, the authors explore the breadth and depth of published research linking dietary vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) to mood. Since the 1920s, there have been many studies on individual vitamins (especially B vitamins and Vitamins C, D, and E), minerals (calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium), and vitamin-like compounds (choline). Recent investigations with multi-ingredient formulas are especially promising. However, without a reasonable conceptual framework for understanding mechanisms by which micronutrients might influence mood, the published literature is too readily dismissed. Consequently, 4 explanatory models are presented, suggesting that mood symptoms may be expressions of inborn errors of metabolism, manifestations of deficient methylation reactions, alterations of gene expression by nutrient deficiency, and/or long-latency deficiency diseases. These models provide possible explanations for why micronutrient supplementation could ameliorate some mental symptoms.
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