Presented by BetterHelp.
Anxiety is a very prevalent mental illness. In fact, over 33% of people will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder (SAD), particular phobias, and separation anxiety disorder are examples of anxiety disorders. Psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavior therapy or medication, are frequently used in treatment. Learn more about these treatment options here.
However, evidence suggests that for persons with anxiety problems, dietary adjustments, such as taking specific vitamins, minerals, and other supplements, may be beneficial.
Here are six of the most effective anxiety supplements.
Magnesium is a vital mineral that aids the body’s stress reaction. Magnesium supplements may also be beneficial for persons with anxiety, according to research, and are generally safe and well accepted.
For example, despite the poor quality of available studies on the subject, a 2017 assessment of 18 studies indicated that magnesium supplements are likely to benefit individuals with anxiety.
Another 2017 study of 112 patients with depression found that taking 248 milligrams (mg) of elemental magnesium supplements daily for 6 weeks alleviated depression and anxiety symptoms much more than a control group.
Saffron is a vibrantly colored spice with culinary and medical applications. It’s high in antioxidants and, when taken as a supplement, may be especially good for persons who suffer from anxiety.
Saffron pills were found to help lower anxiety in a 2018 analysis of 100 studies. When compared to the anti-anxiety medicine fluoxetine, some trials included in the study showed that saffron treatment had equivalent anti-anxiety effects.
In a 2016 research of 60 persons with depression and anxiety, supplementing with 100 mg of saffron per day for 12 weeks reduced anxiety symptoms much more than a placebo. Participants tolerated the supplement well as well.
Pregnant women should consult their doctors about saffron supplements, as limited data suggests that they may cause uterine contractions.
Many people are vitamin D deficient or have low levels of this fat-soluble mineral, which is necessary for brain function and mood modulation.
Vitamin D insufficiency or inadequacy is more common in those with mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, according to studies. Furthermore, evidence suggests that taking large amounts of vitamin D can help persons with anxiety disorders, including GAD, reduce the severity of their anxiety symptoms.
A 2020 study of 106 patients with depression found that taking 1,600 IU of vitamin D every day for six months reduced anxiety symptoms significantly when compared to a control group.
These nutrients work together in the body to help keep vitamin K levels in check and promote heart and bone health. While larger dose vitamin D supplements may be required to address deficiency, a supplement that gives 1,000–2,000 IU per day may be more acceptable for persons who just want to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D levels can be tested by a healthcare practitioner, and a dose of vitamin D according to your needs can be prescribed.
Chamomile is a herb that is well-known for its relaxing effects. Chamomile pills, while more typically ingested as a tea, may be beneficial to persons who suffer from anxiety.
Chamomile has been shown to have anti-anxiety and anti-depressant qualities in studies. In one trial, daily treatment with 1,500 mg of pharmaceutical grade chamomile extract for 26 weeks significantly reduced anxiety symptoms when compared to a placebo treatment in 93 persons with moderate to severe GAD.
However, pregnant women and those who are allergic to similar plants like ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies should avoid using chamomile supplements because of the risk of side effects.
Additionally, some medications, notably those used to treat anxiety, may interfere with chamomile supplements, so it’s crucial to talk to your doctor before using them.