Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Depression is a common mental health problem among adolescents. Depressive symptoms are also important and may appear even during the preschool period. Physical activity, which may improve some mental health problems, is inversely associated with depression. Due to the presence of some clinical evidence about the relation between the use of antidepressants and suicide, there is a need for supportive agents during antidepressant therapy. Within this context, essential trace elements gain importance for further consideration. Protection of the developing brain from the negative effects of iron deficiency is important because of iron deficiency's association with poor mental development. Reactions between copper and serotonin may contribute to the development of depression because copper may cause alterations in dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Some links between zinc deficiency and depression-like behavior have been noted. The antidepressant-like activity of zinc involves interaction with the serotonergic system. Selenium supplementation significantly improves individuals' mood scores. Low selenium status is associated with depression and anemia, which may lead to poor mental development. The influence of physical activity on trace elements should also be considered. The possible associations between members of neurotransmitter systems and metals as well as physical activity are reviewed here in relation to depression in the youth population. Elevated or reduced levels of metals may be indicators of depression. Intervention toward normalization of the profile of essential trace elements may prevent the development of depression and support the effects of therapy in depressive individuals.


Child, adolescent, trace element, metal, depression, physical activity

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