There are people who suffer the effects of anxiety daily, some of which you may know personally. Our society has become more aware and accepting that treatment of anxiety are a norm, but what about treatment through medications? There are many who do not understand, prefer holistic medicines, or those who are fearful of mediation due to possible side effects, dependence, or previous adverse effects by other medications.
So what can you do to treat symptoms of anxiety without prescription medications? How do you address symptoms of anxiety with the use of over-the-counter vitamins?
The first thing to remember is that treatment with vitamins alone is not a failsafe and should always be combined with other treatments such as regular therapy and the advice from your primary care physician. The school of though in this case is by treating the symptoms experienced by the body will effect the chemical receptiveness of the brain. Therefore, if you are experiencing less of the physical responses of anxiety, your brain is able to focus more energy on thinking clearly and processing emotions effectively.
A review was conducted of 24 different studies concerning herbal and vitamin supplements that could be beneficial to treating anxiety when combined with effective therapy, self-help techniques and other possible medications. There are two different types of solubility to consider when seeking supplement support, water soluble and fat soluble. We will briefly break down the most recommended for each below.
Vitamin A (B-carotene)– nourishes the nervous system and helps muscles relax, reducing the physical effects of anxiety and minimizing stress on body and mind.
Vitamin D-Deficiencies in these vitamins have been linked to increased levels of anxiety and depression. Very few foods contain this vitamin, so increasing the body’s source of vitamin D by supplements, spending time in the sun, or eating fatty fish like salmon are important.
Vitamin E– rich in antioxidants and helps to restore the body’s emotional balance while combating general anxiety symptoms
Vitamin K– promotes a general sense of well-being while addressing deficits in high blood glucose, memory issues, depression and anxiety.
Vitamin C– helps to reduce fatigue, cognitive impairment, and motor deficits. Also adds to reduction of major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety when combined with other treatments.
Vitamin B1(thiamine)– support healthy organ function by maintaining a healthy nervous system which combats stress (fight or flight response).
Vitamin B6(pyridoxine)-has a significant impact on stress by increasing serotonin and GABA(the neurotransmitters that control anxiety and depression).
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin)-deficiencies in B9 have been linked to greater levels of stress and anxiety and B12 aids the body in metabolizing serotonin (mood regulator).
Vitamin B3 (niacin)-this is not actually stored in the body and therefore, most people are going to be deficient. This helps with keeping the nervous system, digestive systems, and the skin system healthy and functioning.
Magnesium-this deficiency is linked to important blood pressure regulation, sleep and energy production. It has been shown to have a positive effect on the body’s ability to process stress when taken daily.
Next time you are passing the vitamin aisle at your grocery store or health food store, think about what your body has been lacking. Are you feeling more stressed that normal, experiencing feelings of panic or anxiety, or maybe its brain fog leading to anxiety about work or school tasks? Check with your primary care physician about evaluating your possible deficiencies to see where you might be able to help your body with the boost in support it needs.