Supplement possibilities that could reduce stress and anxiety have been studied. Complex anxiety disorders have an unidentified root cause.
Changes in lifestyle, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and prescription drugs and supplements are all forms of treatment for anxiety.
The first step for some may be to adopt healthy eating practices, get enough sleep, exercise, and quit smoking, all of which have been related to a lower risk of anxiety.
Nevertheless, making lifestyle adjustments can take time, and for people with moderate to severe anxiety, they might not be sufficient.
According to Emily Steinberg, MD, PC, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,
Vitamins, minerals, and supplements can certainly play a role in helping to manage anxiety
(if deemed safe under the advice of a doctor), but it is important to keep in mind that they alone will not “cure” anxiety.
When thinking about taking a supplement, it’s crucial to realize that some supplements especially herbal supplements don’t target the underlying causes of anxiety.
May interact with certain drugs, and, in some situations, shouldn’t be taken frequently.
Work with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for treating your anxiety, which may or may not involve supplements.
If you decide to take a supplement, be aware of the potential advantages and disadvantages of each type of supplement and opt for goods that have been quality-tested, are secure, and have the right dosage.
Anxiety Supplements that Have Been Approved by Verywell Mind
India’s organic sources of ashwagandha An excellent source of an adaptogen that can aid with anxiety management is ashwagandha.
It’s crucial to remember that ashwagandha could interfere with several drugs, making it unsuitable for everyone.
The best vitamin D is found in Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 Gummies, which are NSF Certified for Sport and contain 1000 international units of vitamin D3.
Taking a vitamin D supplement may be helpful for people who have low vitamin D levels because a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to anxiety.
Always consult a healthcare expert to determine the right dosage and whether a supplement is right for you before including it in your regimen.
Does a Supplement Help with Anxiety?
Although occasional moderate anxiety isn’t always an issue and may not require treatment, we advise getting help if it’s interfering with your life.
Racing, troubling, and recurrent thoughts; insomnia; and distractibility are some typical signs of anxiety that may point to the need for treatment.
According to Steinberg, physical indicators of panic include a racing heart, shortness of breath, digestive disturbance, tense muscles, and tingling feelings.
The Yale School of Medicine’s clinical lecturer Gauri Khurana, MD, MPH.
Adds that self-medicating with food, drink, marijuana, or other numbing activities like binge-watching TV are signs that treatment may be beneficial.
Anxiety can be successfully treated using pharmacotherapy, or prescription drugs like antidepressants, SSRIs, and benzodiazepines.
As well as counseling methods like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
In contrast to pharmaceuticals, which may be effective for some people but have undesirable side effects for others, CBT is a terrific long-term choice.
The use of complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) in the treatment of anxiety can also be beneficial.
These consist of methods including yoga, mindfulness practices, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, dietary adjustments, and supplements.
For the following individuals, supplements may be very beneficial:
- Those who have a recognized nutritional deficit. Studies have connected anxiety to low levels of magnesium and vitamin D, and taking supplements may help with both nutrient status and anxiety symptoms.
- People who don’t react to more established forms of treatment. According to Steinberg, “those who are not responding adequately to more conventional treatments of anxiety using psychotherapy and psychopharmacological approaches or who may not have had good results from medications may elect to try supplements as an alternative or adjunctive treatment for anxiety.”
- People who are unwilling to take medication. Some people find it challenging to routinely take anxiety drugs because of their unpleasant side effects. Supplements may be useful in lessening some symptoms, particularly the more minor ones. Patients who are reluctant to attempt prescription medications frequently use vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements, and these are frequently a helpful initial step toward delivering some amount of relief. After we have experienced a time of remission, I frequently assist my patients who do not want to continue using pharmaceutical medications in switching to herbal supplements.
- Individuals with sporadic, minor symptoms. In otherwise healthy adults, supplements like ashwagandha have been demonstrated to lessen anxiety brought on by stress. Supplements might not help those with more acute anxiety, though. Prescription medication, according to Khurana’s clinical experience, is the best treatment for panic attacks and crippling anxiety.
You must consult with a healthcare professional closely to decide whether a supplement is right for you.
Because the effectiveness of different supplements is currently being researched and is very personalized.
Not everyone reacts to supplements in the same way.
According to Sharon Puello, MA, RD, CDN, CDCES, although one individual may have a calming impact from a specific adaptogen or CBD, another group of people may experience an unfavorable stimulating effect instead.
It’s also crucial to remember that it’s not advised to consume many herbal supplements over an extended period.
The majority of research examining the efficacy of herbal supplements is of short length (about eight weeks), and nothing is known regarding their long-term safety.
Who May Not Benefit from Anxiety Supplements?
Because they are “natural,” supplements may appear innocent, but they can be powerful and have unpleasant or even hazardous adverse effects for certain people.
- Those who take specific drugs. Numerous supplements, particularly herbal supplements like ashwagandha, L-theanine, and valerian root, interact with popular drugs like thyroid, diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure meds, which can be troublesome because they might make them less effective or more potent. To find out if any supplements you’re thinking about taking are safe and effective to take with other prescriptions, go through them with a healthcare professional.
- Others who suffer from psychiatric disorders. Some supplements or substances in them may cause psychosis or mania when there are concurrent psychiatric illnesses, notably bipolar disorder. Additionally, combining some vitamins with specific psychiatric drugs (such as SSRIs like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa) can be harmful, according to Khurana.
- People who are expecting or nursing. The safety of taking supplements to manage anxiety during this time is unknown because the majority of supplements are not researched in pregnant or breastfeeding individuals.
- For Those who experience mild to extreme anxiety Supplements can help relieve anxiety symptoms to varying degrees, but they typically are insufficient for more severe cases of crippling anxiety. Supplements can be utilized for people with more severe anxiety as needed, but their sickness would not be sufficiently addressed by supplements alone, according to Khurana.
It’s also crucial to realize that supplements, like many other therapies, don’t treat the underlying causes of anxiety unless you are addressing a vitamin shortage.
According to Samantha Gambino, PsyD, “it’s important to differentiate between treating anxiety symptoms vs the cause.”
It’s crucial to identify and ultimately address the underlying cause of anxiety while developing methods to manage it because supplements may not be safe to take over the long run.
A Word About CBD
The use of cannabidiol (CBD) as stress and anxiety treatment has skyrocketed in recent years.
There is hope that it may be effective for generalized anxiety disorder as well as social anxiety disorder and acute anxiety in particularly stressful situations, according to certain research.
More research is necessary, and some people might not find it to be a good alternative.
Since CBD products are not allowed to be marketed or sold as supplements under FDA restrictions, we have not included any in this article.
- Amazon’s ORGANIC INDIA Ashwagandha is the best ashwagandha.
- Thorne L-Theanine from Amazon is the best L-Theanine.
- GNC Herbal Plus Valerian Root Extract at Amazon is the best valerian root.
- Swanson Magnesium Lactate is the best magnesium on Amazon.
- Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 Gummies Sport is the best vitamin D on Amazon.
The Top 5 Anxiety Medications
1. Organic India Ashwagandha is the best ashwagandha.
- ConsumerLab certified
- The USDA organic
- Common drugs interact
- For some, the dose may be excessive.
An adaptogenic herb called ashwagandha has been found to lessen some people’s signs of stress and anxiety.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics as well as its effects on the GABA receptor, which is crucial in the control of anxiety, ashwagandha is thought to affect anxiety.
Small trials on adults have demonstrated reductions in anxiety, stress, and depression as well as enhancements in sleep quality and general well-being after supplementing with ashwagandha root extract.
It’s not a panacea, though, and research is still needed to establish the ideal frequency and dose as well as the long-term safety of use.
Additionally, some researchers have indicated that it is ineffective in the management of anxiety.
Ashwagandha may not be safe if you use any of these drugs, as it may interact with immunosuppressants, sedatives, blood pressure-lowering drugs, thyroid meds, and diabetes treatments.
A small number of cases of liver injury have also been reported after taking ashwagandha for two to twelve weeks.
We advise Organic India’s Ashwagandha, which contains both the root and herb of the ashwagandha plant if a medical specialist has determined that it is safe for you to supplement with ashwagandha.
For simplicity of use, it is turned into a powder and then tastefully put into vegetarian capsules. It is non-GMO, halal, and ConsumerLab-approved.
Additionally, a recognized B-corporation, Organic India.
Two pills, or the recommended amount, offer 800 milligrams of ashwagandha.
Even though certain studies on this anxiety supplement have found advantages at lower doses, the beneficial effect may probably vary from person to person.
The ideal dose for you should be decided in close consultation with your healthcare professional.
2. Thorne L-Theanine is the best L-Theanine.
- ConsumerLab certified
- Backed by research dosage
- Perhaps ineffective for persistent anxiety
L-theanine is an amino acid that may be found in both green and black tea, but because it is present in such little quantities in brewed tea, some people choose to take supplements.
It may lessen acute stress and anxiety while enhancing the quality of sleep, according to certain studies.
A dose of 200–400 mg may assist to lessen anxiety during stressful conditions, according to a study of nine trials.
High dosages of L-theanine were tested on individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, but they did not reduce anxiety symptoms.
More research is required to determine whether it is beneficial and at what dose for individuals with more persistent anxiety symptoms.
ConsumerLab verified that Thorne’s L-theanine contains only what is stated on the label and is free of any hazardous impurities.
Thorne is a well-known supplement company with a reputation for quality and safety.
The pure form of L-theanine utilized in many research, Suntheanine®, is the ingredient in Thorne’s L-theanine and is made by the Japanese business Taiyo.
Although Thorne’s product is more expensive than some others on the market, it does include 200 milligrams of L-theanine.
Is made from natural tastes and colors, and is free of dairy, gluten, and soy.
L-theanine should be avoided by anyone using sedatives (such as the medication Midazolam), and it might not be safe for women who are pregnant or nursing.
3. GNC Herbal Plus Valerian Root Extract is the best valerian root.
- Top choice by ConsumerLab
- Large-size of capsule
- Common drugs interact
Anecdotally, valerian root has been used for ages in tinctures or teas to alleviate tension, anxiety, and nervousness.
Poor sleep is frequently a factor in increased anxiety, and two of the active components of valerian have been shown to have sedative effects and to increase GABA.
An inhibitory neurotransmitter that has soothing effects.
While some studies indicate that using valerian root supplements significantly reduces anxiety, other studies lack conclusive evidence.
Notably, one study did discover that an extremely high dose of 1,800 milligrams made anxiety worse.
Although the herb is typically well accepted, headaches, nausea, and heart palpitations are potential side effects.
ConsumerLab conducted tests on several of the goods they evaluated and discovered that some of them did not contain the valerenic acids as claimed on the label.
Did not contain a clinically useful dose, or contained lead contamination over what may be considered safe.
Because ConsumerLab has verified that this supplement includes what is claimed on the label, we advise GNC’s Herbal Plus Valerian Root Extract if your doctor has advised you to take valerian root.
500 milligrams of valerian root extract, or 4 milligrams of valerenic acid, are present in GNC Herbal Plus Valerian Root Extract.
It is advised that you take it before bed because it helps you fall asleep.
Although the product is free of all common allergies, it should be noted that some people may find it challenging to swallow the “big” capsules.
Due to its sedative properties, valerian should not be taken with sedatives or antihistamines, and statins, several seizure drugs, antifungals, and some antidepressants may interact with it.
Pregnancy safety has not yet been determined.
4. Swanson Magnesium Lactate is the best magnesium.
- ConsumerLab certified
- Has a type of magnesium that has been examined for anxiety
- Interacts with some prescription drugs
- For individuals who obtain enough through diet, it might not be as beneficial.
Magnesium contributes to the health of the neurological system.
The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA), which is known to have a role in the emergence of anxiety disorders, has been discovered to be impacted by magnesium deficiency.
Additionally, magnesium has an impact on gut health, which is a key location for the synthesis and control of neurotransmitters.
Because of this, supplementing with magnesium may lessen the feelings of anxiety.
Although there is a lack of research in this area, preliminary studies indicate that magnesium supplements may help those who don’t consume enough magnesium to feel less stressed and anxious (known as hypomagnesemia).
Despite having a sufficient level of magnesium in the body, it has not been proven to be useful.
The type of this mineral that is most frequently researched and believed to help with anxiety reduction is used in Swanson’s Magnesium Lactate.
Contrary to popular belief, magnesium lactate is lactose-free and is recognized to be mild on the stomach.
Magnesium lactate, which is only found in 84 milligrams per capsule and contributes to the 400 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams for women that are advised, might not be adequate for certain people to fill in nutrient gaps depending on their diet.
Consult your doctor before using magnesium supplements if you also use bisphosphonates (Fosamax), antibiotics (doxycycline or ciprofloxacin), diuretics (Lasix), or proton pump inhibitors (Nexium).
These drugs may interact negatively with magnesium.
5. Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 Gummies are the best source of vitamin D.
- NSF accredited
- A pleasure to use
- Suitable for vegetarians
- To remedy a deficiency, the dose might need to be increased.
The majority of people might profit from taking a vitamin D pill.
Though additional research is required, it’s possible that sadness and anxiety are related to low vitamin D levels.
There are many cases of vitamin D deficiency in the US.
According to estimates, 30 percent of Americans lack enough vitamin D, and many more have insufficient amounts of the vitamin in their blood, which is defined as less than 30 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).
While some foods, such as cod liver oil, sockeye salmon, mushrooms, milk and fortified plant-based milks, and cereals, contain vitamin D, it is not widely distributed.
Through the production of vitamin D in our bodies, sunshine can reach our skin.
However, many people are at risk of vitamin D deficits and may benefit from supplementation due to the low light intensity in northern latitudes.
Particularly during cooler months, and the advice to wear sunscreen and minimize direct sun exposure.
1000 international units of vitamin D are provided by Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 gummies, or 125 percent of your daily requirements.
Be cautious to speak with a healthcare professional if you have been diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency as you might need to take a greater dose.
The NSF certification of this supplement makes it a reliable alternative.
It also comes in pleasant gummy form, making it a more fun supplement choice.
No single substance can effectively cure all forms of anxiety.
Supplements may or may not help depends on the individual and the state of the study on the connections between supplements and anxiety disorders.
Particularly during severe anxiety episodes, the aforementioned substances may show potential in easing anxiety symptoms.
Understanding the long-term advantages and security of supplements for managing anxiety requires more research.
Supplements That Need Additional Study
More study is required on some substances that are suggested for alleviating anxiety.
- Chamomile: Chamomile tea is frequently regarded as a soothing beverage with potential anxiety-relieving properties. Initial research suggests that chamomile may be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder. To recommend a product and dose, further study is necessary because studies are few and results are contradictory. Chamomile may be useful for some people since some psychiatrists have reported using it in their practices.
- GABA: “Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter that is essential for serotonin synthesis and is situated in the brain. It lessens fear and dread. The effectiveness of this supplement, however, is debatable because it is unknown whether GABA can pass the blood-brain barrier, according to Khurana. A 2020 systematic review found no advantage to supplementing with GABA to treat anxiety.
What to Look for in Supplements for Anxiety
Third-party tested supplements are sent to a lab for testing to make sure they contain what they claim to contain and are free of certain common, high-risk contaminants. However, it’s crucial to remember:
- The effectiveness and safety of a product are not determined by third-party testing, nor is it guaranteed that the supplement won’t interact with other supplements or drugs.
- Third-party testing varies greatly from one another. Supplement businesses frequently pay labs for certificates even when little to no testing has been done.
- ConsumerLab, NSF, and USP are reputable third-party certifications. Many businesses opt not to have their products tested by one of these three organizations since it is difficult and/or expensive for manufacturers to achieve these certifications.
- These three businesses occasionally charge extra for their products in an effort to make up for the certification fees they must pay.
- Simply because a supplement has not undergone testing by one of these three organizations does not imply that it is a subpar item. We advise checking the manufacturer’s reputation online and contacting them to learn about their testing procedures and assess whether you feel comfortable taking the supplement.
Ingredients & Interactions That May Occur
To understand which ingredients are present in a supplement and how much of each ingredient is there in relation to the recommended daily value for that item.
It is crucial to carefully study the ingredient list and nutrition information panel.
To discuss the individual substances in the supplement and any possible conflicts with any supplements or drugs you are taking, please bring the supplement label to your doctor.
Numerous supplements sold to treat anxiety may interact with some medicines, as was discussed throughout the article, and may possibly have harmful side effects if taken together with these drugs.
Additionally, be cautious of supplement combinations labeled for anxiety as they may have a combination of substances.
It is uncertain what impact these component combinations will have on the body until study has been done particularly to examine their impacts.
It’s also crucial to check each component of a mix to make sure none of them interacts with any drugs you could be taking.
It is crucial to go over all current prescription drugs and dietary supplements with a healthcare professional.
Dosage for anxiety supplements
Before including a supplement in your regimen, always consult a healthcare professional to make sure it is suitable for your specific requirements and to learn the recommended dosage.
Each supplement’s suggested dosage is covered, but as the right dosage depends on the individual, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor to get the right amount for you.
Although there are no recognized upper limits for herbal supplements, taking doses above those that have been well researched is not advised.
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