Do you suffer from constant uneasiness? Do you experience worry, nervousness, and uneasiness throughout the day? Hectic work routines and demanding chores can get the best of us. As a result, we fall into a vicious trap of self-doubt and worry owing to unmitigated stress. If you experience such symptoms, chances are that you suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is quite prevalent nowadays. So much so that nearly everybody goes through such a state at one or multiple points in their lives. Research suggests that over 33% of people may experience an anxiety disorder (1). While stress may be a common cause of anxiety, having vitamin deficiencies may also affect our mood and cause debilitating anxiety (2). Besides medication, taking certain vitamins and supplements can boost our mood and make us feel happier. If you were looking for a vitamin for anxiety, you have landed at the right place. Below, we have compiled a list of anxiety vitamins that could supercharge your mental health and make you feel better.
What Is The Best Vitamin For Stress And Anxiety?
Before learning about various vitamins, it is crucial to understand why we experience anxiety in the first place.
When we are under stress, our bodies produce cortisol, a hormone produced as part of our body’s fight or flight mechanism. Cortisol works like an internal adrenaline that helps our body experience safety. As the cortisol level increases, we experience mood swings, leading to uneasiness or anxiety.
Taking vitamins can improve our mood and positively impact our mental health. However, considering vitamins as the sole source of treatment is not enough. Vitamins must be taken alongside anxiety medications, a balanced diet, and psychological therapies to be completely effective.
When planning to take any vitamin for anxiety and stress, consult your physician, especially when you already take other medications.
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What Vitamin Is Good For Anxiety?
Vitamins come in two forms, water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve quickly in the body, whereas fat-soluble vitamins circulate in the bloodstream.
The following list of fat-soluble vitamins may help you decide if you are wondering what the best vitamin good for anxiety is.
Vitamin E is normally known as a beauty drug for improving skin tone and supporting healthy hair and nails. Surprisingly, the deficiency of vitamin E may lead to anxiety.
According to research, vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that combats symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (3). Antioxidants also reduce free radicals in the body responsible for causing oxidative stress, ultimately leading to anxiety.
While being excellent for vision, vitamin A is also linked with anxiety, as people suffering from anxiety have lower vitamin A levels. Taking vitamin A supplements helps relieve GAD symptoms, according to research (4).
In addition to promoting bone development, vitamin D plays a significant role in alleviating anxiety and depression. It helps regulate mood and brain function. Several studies have established a link between vitamin D levels and anxiety. Research shows that vitamin D supplements relieve anxiety and make us feel better (5).
When we spend time under the sun, our bodies automatically make vitamin D due to exposure to sunlight. This is known as vitamin D3. Vitamin D is also present in various foods such as salmon and mackerel.
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How Much Vitamin D For Anxiety?
The daily recommended dose of vitamin D is 400 IU in the US (9). However, doctors recommend individuals take at least 2000 IU of vitamin D3 for anxiety. They also recommend testing blood vitamin D levels every 4 to 6 months.
What Are The Water-Soluble Vitamins For Anxiety?
Now that you have learned about fat-soluble vitamins, check out the water-soluble vitamins for anxiety:
Magnesium is the most important mineral in the body, responsible for the effective functioning of major systems, such as nerve and muscle function. While magnesium is not a vitamin, it has been found to improve anxiety-related symptoms in many people.
A 2016 study revealed that magnesium massively benefited people suffering from anxiety related to premenstrual syndrome (6). A vast majority of people have benefited from taking magnesium and vitamin B6 for anxiety.
Magnesium is found in whole wheat, spinach, almonds, dark chocolate, etc. However, taking low magnesium supplements, such as 100 mg daily, is advisable to avoid diarrhea.
B-Complex is a collection of eight vitamins belonging to the B group that plays a vital role in producing red blood cells or maintaining cognitive function.
Vitamin B1, or thiamin, is an essential vitamin found to reduce anxiety in women. It relieves anxiety by regulating nervous system function.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has been found to improve the levels of serotonin and GABA that help control anxiety and depression.
Also, several studies have shown that many women reported feeling better and less anxious by taking a supplement of magnesium and vitamin B6 for anxiety related to post menstrual syndrome (6).
People having folic acid deficiency are known to suffer from depression and anxiety. Taking vitamin B9 or folic acid supplements eliminates anxiety and makes people feel better generally.
In addition to preventing folate deficiency, vitamin B12 helps alleviate anxiety while maintaining the normal functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin B12, when taken in conjunction with B9, metabolizes serotonin which regulates mood and makes us feel better (7). Vitamin B9 and B12 are present in animal-based foods.
Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant that significantly reduces Cortisol and improves mood. It may also improve cognitive ability during stressful times by preventing blood sugar levels from spiking and hindering the ability to think clearly.
Read More: 8 Healthy Ways To Deal With Anxiety And Stress
How Much Vitamin C For Anxiety?
Vitamin C deficiency may lead to fatigue and depression. Taking an adequate amount of vitamin C alleviates anxiety and major depressive disorder. Vitamin C must be taken daily for effective results. Ideally, it should be taken three times a day (1000 mg) for up to 14 days (8).
Which Vitamin Is Best For Anxiety?
While all fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins significantly relieve anxiety and improve symptoms, the B-complex appears to be the best for anxiety. It comprises several B vitamins, i.e., B1, B6, B9, and B12, that work together to combat anxiety and depression.
The Bottom Line
Vitamins can be a helpful addition to managing anxiety, especially when taken alongside therapy and other prescribed treatments. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing anxiety, incorporating certain vitamins into your daily routine can ease symptoms and improve overall well-being.
With the right approach and guidance, the intake of vitamins for anxiety can effectively promote a more balanced and healthy state of mind.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century (2015, semanticscholar.org)
- The Effects of Four-Week Multivitamin Supplementation on Mood in Healthy Older Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2016, ncbi.nlm.gov)
- Role of antioxidants in generalized anxiety disorder and depression (2016, ncbi.nlm.gov)
- Relationship between vitamin D deficiency and psychophysiological variables: a systematic review of the literature (2021, ncbi.nlm.gov)
- The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety (2016, eprints.whiterose.ac.uk)
- Preventive and Therapeutic Potential of Vitamin C in Mental Disorders (2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and ‘At-Risk’ Individuals (2019, ncbi.nlm.gov)
- Effects of Oral Vitamin C Supplementation on Anxiety in Students (2015, sciencealert)
- How Much Vitamin D Should You Take For Optimal Health? (2022, healthline.com)