Using Vitamins For Anxiety
Studies indicate that a range of supplements, encompassing vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and herbal remedies, might alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety manifests in various forms, causing worry, unease, fear, or panic. Around 6.8 million adults in the United States are impacted by generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Apart from GAD, there are other anxiety disorders, such as panic disorders and phobias.
Therapy, medication, or a blend of both are among the conventional treatments for anxiety disorders. Some natural supplements could offer relief for everyday anxiety. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that not all supplements are safe or proven effective.
10 Best Vitamins For Anxiety
1. Vitamin D
Nerve and brain health, as well as mood management, are all significantly influenced by vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplementation may be helpful in the treatment of depression, according to research that has linked low vitamin D levels to the disorder.
According to several studies, anxiety disorders and vitamin D deficiency may be related. In a 2017 study, it was discovered that women with type 2 diabetes who took vitamin D supplements experienced less depression and anxiety.
Further research is required to fully understand the relationship because the research on the association between anxiety and vitamin D has yielded conflicting results.
When skin is exposed to sunshine, the body produces vitamin D. Spending more time in the sun, eating foods high in vitamin D (oily fish, including salmon and mackerel, are the primary sources), or taking vitamin D supplements are all ways that people can increase their intake of the vitamin.
2. Vitamin B
B vitamins are a family of eight different nutrients that cooperate to control a variety of bodily functions, including stress levels. According to a 2017 study, people who had lower vitamin B12 blood levels were more likely to experience depression or anxiety.
Additionally, a 2018 study discovered that those with lower levels of anxiety and tension consumed foods strong in B vitamins, in this case, yeast-based spreads like Marmite and Vegemite. This was particularly obvious with spreads that had vitamin B12 added.
One can obtain enough of each B vitamin by taking B complex supplements. B vitamins can typically be obtained in sufficient amounts by eating a range of healthy foods.
Most B vitamins (B Vitamins And Anxiety), such as B12 and B2, or riboflavin, are found in animal meals. Because of this, those who consume a vegetarian or vegan diet might need to find other ways to gain these nutrients. It’s doubtful that vitamin B pills and anti-anxiety drugs will combine. They might, however, conflict with other prescribed drugs.
Best Vitamins For Sleep And Anxiety: Magnesium is a crucial mineral required to operate practically every system in the human body efficiently.
Vitamins That Help With Anxiety And Depression: Numerous research implies that it contributes to anxiety. Results from 18 distinct research were examined in a systematic review published in 2017. The study’s findings suggest that those who are predisposed to anxiety may benefit from taking magnesium supplements. However, they point out that the existing level of evidence is subpar.
Additionally, a brief review of research from 2016 found that taking magnesium supplements helped persons with premenstrual syndrome-related anxiety. A person can consume the following rich magnesium meals or take supplements to get the nutrient:
- Whole wheat
- Almonds and cashews
- Dark chocolate
- Black beans
Magnesium overdose can result in diarrhea. Start with a smaller dosage, like 100 milligrams (mg). Do not exceed 350 mg per day without your doctor’s permission.
Magnesium can hinder the effectiveness of medications like antibiotics. Magnesium may also be affected by some medications, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics.
Both green and black tea contain the amino acid l-theanine, a natural vitamin for anxiety. It may be a mild sedative and anti-anxiety drug, according to some data.
Those who drank a beverage containing 200 mg of L-theanine had lower stress responses and cortisol levels after completing a demanding task than those who received a placebo, according to a double-blind study from 2016.
Start with the smallest effective L-theanine dosage. Typically, supplements come in 200-mg capsule form. 400 mg should not be exceeded without first consulting a physician. Midazolam and L-theanine might not get along. L-theanine should not be used with sedatives, either.
5. Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements
Anxious persons may benefit from a supplement with various vitamins and minerals. According to a 2019 study, young individuals’ anxiety dramatically reduced when they took a supplement containing B vitamins, C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Multivitamin pills may be helpful for those who suffer from mood disorders, including anxiety, according to a 2018 study. The ingredients in multivitamins vary depending on the brand. Asking a doctor or pharmacist which might be the best is advised. Usually, multivitamins don’t affect anxiety drugs.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish and flaxseed are two examples of foods that contain omega-3 lipids. They are crucial for maintaining brain health. People must obtain these fats from their diet as the body cannot produce them.
According to a 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis that examined the findings of 19 clinical studies, taking an omega-3 supplement like fish oil may be beneficial for those with anxiety.
According to a 2018 review study, a low intake of omega-3 fats can increase the risk of anxiety and depression, and taking supplements with extra omega-3 fatty acids may be able to prevent or treat these diseases.
Certain drugs, such as blood thinners, may be affected by omega-3 fatty acids. If someone has a medical problem or is using a prescription drug, they should consult a doctor before taking omega-3 supplements.
7. Valerian Root
The valerian plant has been used as medicine for thousands of years.
According to the NCCIH, valerian is used for anxiety and is safe for persons in otherwise good health to consume for brief periods.
However, further research is required before scientists can determine its efficacy. No studies have been done yet to support its long-term safety.
A 2017 double-blind trial on 48 postmenopausal women examined the effects of valerian and a placebo. The supplement users reported lower levels of anxiety and depression, according to the study.
When used with benzodiazepines and other sedatives and anxiety drugs, valerian can have adverse side effects.
People have employed chamomile, a flower that resembles a daisy, for its relaxing properties for thousands of years. According to the NCCIH, “Some preliminary research shows that a dietary supplement containing chamomile can be beneficial for [GAD].” Additionally, it claims that the scientific community does not know much about the herb’s effects because chamomile has not been thoroughly researched.
According to a 2016 study, GAD symptoms were lessened in those who took chamomile extract for 8 weeks. The effects were similar to those of anti-anxiety medication. Each day, the subjects consumed 1,500 mg of chamomile. In a 2016 randomized trial, participants who took 500 mg of chamomile extract three times a day experienced fewer GAD symptoms than those who received a placebo. People can consume chamomile tea, chamomile essential oils, or chamomile pills.
Chamomile and other medications may interact. Before consuming chamomile, a person should speak with a healthcare practitioner.
The lavender aroma is calming to some people. According to some data, inhaling the scent of this plant may reduce anxiety. People use lavender for anxiety, according to the NCCIH, although there is currently limited data on its efficacy. Consequently, more investigation is required.
According to a 2017 study, participants who utilized lavender aromatherapy before surgery felt less anxious than those who did not. Using an essential oil diffuser, people can inhale lavender essential oil. A carrier oil, such as olive or coconut oil, may dilute lavender essential oil before applying it to the skin.
Some medications, such as sedatives, anxiety medications, and antidepressants, may have their effects enhanced by lavender.
10. Lemon balm
The herb known as lemon balm has fragrant leaves that smell like lemons. It shares a relationship with mint and is used as a relaxing treatment. In a 2016 study, it was discovered that burn victims who drank lemon balm tea, or Melissa officinalis, reported less worry and better sleep.
A double-blind study published in 2019 examined patients who had undergone recent cardiac bypass surgery. Comparatively to those who took a placebo, individuals who took daily capsules containing 1.5 grams of dried lemon balm reported less anxiety. Sedatives and lemon balm may not get along.
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It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.
GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.
Source: National Institute on Mental Health
19 million adults experience specific phobias, making it the most common anxiety disorder in America.
Source: ADAA, 2020
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Does Vitamin B12 Help With Anxiety?
Can Vitamin B12 Cause Anxiety? Although anxiety can feel isolated, you are not alone if you’ve been experiencing swirling thoughts, persistent worry, or a sense of impending dread: In 2019, one in six Americans said they had recently experienced anxiety. That proportion increased throughout the first year of the pandemic to more than one in three. There are several methods for treating anxiety, including a full buffet of supplements, such as vitamin B12. But does B12 aid in reducing anxiety?
Numerous studies have revealed that anxiety sufferers have reduced vitamin B12 levels. Men with vitamin B12 deficiencies who recently lost a loved one showed increased levels of worry and depression, according to a 2000 study. Another study discovered that regular consumers of yeast-based spreads like Vegemite—which are frequently fortified with B12—were less worried than non-consumers.
In a 2017 study, even though the participants’ average age was under 60 and they belonged to a population where vitamin B12 insufficiency is typically only found in 4% of people, more than half of those with depression and anxiety had a deficit.
What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Anxiety?
Vitamin deficiencies have been associated with various health concerns, including anxiety. Several key vitamins and minerals are pivotal in regulating mood and emotional well-being. Deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to increased anxiety levels.
- Magnesium: This mineral plays a role in regulating neurotransmitters that influence mood and relaxation. Low magnesium levels have been associated with increased anxiety and stress.
- Vitamin D: Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D deficiency has been linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression. It regulates the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to mood regulation.
- B6 (Pyridoxine): B vitamins, including B6, are essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Low levels of B6 may contribute to mood disorders and anxiety due to its role in neurotransmitter synthesis.
- Iron: Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which may result in feelings of fatigue and irritability, contributing to heightened stress and anxiety.
- Omega-3 Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA found in fish oil, have been linked to reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression by promoting brain health and reducing inflammation.
- Zinc: Zinc is crucial for brain health and neurotransmitter regulation. Low levels of zinc might contribute to increased anxiety and mood disturbances.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, protect the brain from oxidative stress. Their deficiency might contribute to increased anxiety due to their role in brain health.
- Selenium: Selenium is an essential trace mineral with antioxidant properties. Its deficiency may affect mood regulation and contribute to anxiety.
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Are There Any Supplements You Should Avoid?
there are supplements one should approach with caution or avoid due to potential risks or lack of efficacy. Here are a few:
- Kava: Kava supplements have been linked to liver damage and should be avoided due to safety concerns.
- St. John’s Wort: Often used for mild depression, St. John’s Wort can interact with various medications, including antidepressants, birth control pills, and blood thinners. It may also cause skin sensitivity to sunlight.
- Ephedra: Banned in the United States due to safety concerns, ephedra was commonly used in weight loss and energy supplements. It has been associated with severe side effects, including heart problems and strokes.
- Yohimbe: Used for erectile dysfunction and athletic performance, Yohimbe can increase heart rate and blood pressure, leading to anxiety, dizziness, and nausea. It may also interact with certain medications.
- Synthetic Melatonin: While melatonin is generally considered safe for short-term use to regulate sleep, synthetic versions might disrupt natural hormone levels if used inappropriately or excessively.
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Are There Risks in Using These Vitamins For Anxiety?
Natural supplements are often perceived as safe due to their natural origins, but these supplements can be potent and potentially risky without proper guidance. Overusing or combining certain supplements might lead to adverse effects like difficulty in breathing, decreased mental acuity, or even liver damage.
For instance, combining St. John’s wort with SSRI antidepressants can result in a serious medical condition called serotonin syndrome. This syndrome manifests as mood changes, muscle stiffness, fever, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure. Moreover, the efficacy of St. John’s wort remains ambiguous due to conflicting study results. Its prolonged use might reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills and medications used for heart conditions, chronic pain, HIV, cancer, among others.
While vitamins and minerals are generally considered safer compared to herbal supplements, their safety varies depending on individual circumstances.
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Vitamins For Anxiety FAQs
Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Anxiety?
The biochemical balance in your brain and your body, as well as your physical and mental vitality, can all be impacted by a mineral or vitamin deficiency. This can cause anxiety or make it worse if you already have it.
Vitamin D3 Side Effects Anxiety
Numerous studies have demonstrated a direct link between anxiety and taking excessive amounts of vitamin D pills. Furthermore, people with psychiatric diseases have engaged in harmful behavior to mask their painful feelings.
Vitamin C Anxiety
Participants in some trials claimed that vitamin C reduced their anxiety. More study is required. Consume plenty of vitamin C-rich foods in the interim, such as oranges and red peppers.
Can B Vitamins Cause Anxiety?
Vitamin B6 For Anxiety: Similar to vitamin B6, high doses of vitamin B12 raise neurotransmitter levels, which have stimulating qualities. Although it occasionally leads to an “overshoot” and causes agitation, anxiety, worry, and trouble sleeping, this can be helpful for persons who are dealing with mood disorders like depression.
Does Low Vitamin D Cause Anxiety?
Reduced vitamin D levels have been linked to anxiety, sadness, and schizophrenia. Low vitamin D levels in newborns have been linked to a two-fold greater risk of schizophrenia in adulthood.
What’s the Number One Vitamin For Anxiety?
Both vitamins B9 and B12 are known to help with anxiety symptoms. The body utilizes folic acid for a variety of purposes, and a B9 shortage has been associated with increased levels of anxiety and sadness. When combined with B12, these B super-vitamins aid in the metabolism of serotonin, which is crucial for mood control.
Is Vitamin A For Anxiety?
Many people who experience anxiety also lack adequate amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps relax muscles and nourish the neurological system, promoting overall health. Stress can be reduced by maintaining a healthy neurological system, and when you’re calm, your body’s physical signs of anxiety might not bother you as much.
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