Metal and Mineral Toxicity
- An Often Overlooked Cause of Depression


Metal and Mineral Toxicity - An Often Overlooked Cause of Depression

Unknown to many, mineral and heavy metal toxicity is one of the causes of depression.

While some minerals (e.g. copper) are necessary for bodily functions, they are actually toxic in large amounts. When it comes to heavy metals (e.g. lead, mercury, cadmium), they are toxic to the body even in minute quantities [1, 2].

As the heavy metals and minerals accumulate in the body (e.g. fat cells, the central nervous system, bones, glands and hair [3]) as a result of food contamination (e.g. mercury in fish, cadmium-based pesticides on vegetables) or environmental exposure (e.g. lead fumes from paints, mercury in dental fillings), they bring about negative health effects.

The impact of metal and mineral toxicity

The toxicity places stress on the entire body and can manifest in a wide variety of confusing symptoms or in the individual’s weakest link. The symptoms that arise depend on factors such as type of metal toxicity, age (children are more susceptible to damage by metal toxicity), extent of exposure and presence of antagonist or protective elements in the body. [1]

Indeed, it has been found that a buildup of heavy metals and minerals such as cadmium, lead, copper and mercury are causes of depression and these toxicities can bring about severe brain changes and even “personality changes” of depression, confusion, attention deficit, violence, paranoia and hallucinations. [2]

That is why addressing your body’s metal/mineral toxicity can help you fight depression.

Toxicities linked to causes of depression

As you fight depression, the most common heavy metal/mineral toxicities that are linked to causes of depression are mercury, lead, copper and vanadium.


The first heavy metal to look out for when identifying the causes of depression is mercury. Mercury toxicity has been found to promote depression and emotional instability [1, 2], as well as produce a unique syndrome of extreme shyness, timidity and blushing self-consciousness [1].

In addition, mercury can also bring about symptoms like memory loss, nervousness, fatigue, weakness, poor coordination and tremors, insomnia, decreased immune functions, irrational behavior, allergic reactions (which are also in turn linked to depression), numbness and tingling feelings [2, 3].


Another heavy metal to look out when identifying the causes of depression is lead. Lead toxicity is linked to anxiety, decreased immune function and increased susceptibility to infection (which is a potential cause of depression) [3], as well as decreased cognitive functioning, concentration and attention span [2].

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