Low Zinc, Copper, and Manganese Intake is Associated with Depression and Anxiety Symptoms in the Japanese Working Population: Findings from the Eating Habit and Well-Being Study

Nutrients. 2019 Apr 15;11(4):847. doi: 10.3390/nu11040847.


Epidemiological studies have suggested that there is an association between diet and mental health. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the intake of six minerals and mental disorders in a cross-sectional study. We used data from the Eating Habit and Well-being study in Japanese workers. Kessler's six-item psychological distress scale was used to detect mental disorders, with a cut-off score of 12/13, and a validated food frequency questionnaire was used to estimate dietary mineral intake. A total of 2089 participants with no history of depression were included. The prevalence of mental disorders was 6.9%. The lowest quartiles of zinc, copper, and manganese intakes were associated with mental disorders, whereas the lowest quartiles of calcium, magnesium, and iron intake were not associated with mental disorders. Combination analysis of high (≥median) or low (<median) intake of zinc, copper, and manganese showed that low zinc and low copper intake, even with low or high manganese intake (odds ratio (OR), 2.71, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.29-5.73, and OR, 3.06, 95% CI, 1.41-6.61, respectively) showed a higher OR than that of high zinc, high copper, and high manganese intake. Further studies are required to investigate the impact of dietary mineral intake on mental health.

Keywords: K6; micronutrient; mineral; psychological distress; trace elements.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology
  • Copper / deficiency*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Deficiency Diseases / complications
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Manganese / deficiency*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Zinc / deficiency*


  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Zinc