Dietary zinc and iron intake and risk of depression: A meta-analysis

Psychiatry Res. 2017 May;251:41-47. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.02.006. Epub 2017 Feb 3.


The associations between dietary zinc and iron intake and risk of depression remain controversial. Thus, we carried out a meta-analysis to evaluate these associations. A systematic search was performed in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and Wanfang databases for relevant studies up to January 2017. Pooled relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random effects model. A total of 9 studies for dietary zinc intake and 3 studies for dietary iron intake were finally included in present meta-analysis. The pooled RRs with 95% CIs of depression for the highest versus lowest dietary zinc and iron intake were 0.67 (95% CI: 0.58-0.76) and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.34-0.95), respectively. In subgroup analysis by study design, the inverse association between dietary zinc intake and risk of depression remained significant in the cohort studies and cross-sectional studies. The pooled RRs (95% CIs) for depression did not substantially change in the influence analysis and subgroup analysis by adjustment for body mass index (BMI). The present meta-analysis indicates inverse associations between dietary zinc and iron intake and risk of depression.

Keywords: Depression; Iron; Meta-analysis; Zinc.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Iron, Dietary*
  • Risk
  • Zinc*


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Zinc