In today’s world, stress and anxiety are all too common. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States (18.1% of the population). High stress lifestyles, poor dietary habits, reduced sleep, health issues and genetics are all contributing factors. Unfortunately, the current coronavirus outbreak has triggered even more anxiety, even among those of us who do not typically experience it. But there are many things you can do—even in the face of this unique crisis—to manage your anxiety and fears. For starters, staying active and considering natural remedies such as deep breathing, yoga and meditation may help. There are also certain nutritional supplements that may be helpful in managing symptoms of anxiety including:
Magnesium: Magnesium is required for proper functioning of the central nervous system. Unfortunately, up to 50% of the U.S. population is estimated to be consuming a magnesium deficient diet. Several studies suggest that low levels play a role in anxiety.
Fish Oil: The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are critical for normal brain function and have been found to play a critical role in both depression and anxiety.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays an important role in mood regulation. Unfortunately, up to 70% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with anxiety and depression.
B vitamins: B vitamins support proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Unfortunately, the body does not store B vitamins well and their need is increased by stress and illness.
Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been used as a natural remedy to help the body manage stress and anxiety for centuries.
L-theanine: L-theanine is an amino acid found naturally in green tea that helps to support GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), an important neurotransmitter. Studies show L-theanine may help promote a calm, relaxed mood without sleepiness.
5-HTP: 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is essential in the manufacture of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a central role in the regulation of mood and anxiety. Studies have shown that 5-HTP may have anti-anxiety effects.
(1) 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) for Anxiety | Psychology Today. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/integrative-mental-health-care/201810/5-hydroxytryptophan-5-htp-anxiety
(2) 7 Supplements for Anxiety: Dr. Roseann & Associates. (2019, April 1). Retrieved from https://drroseann.com/7-supplements-for-anxiety/
(3) Berry, J. (2019, July 22). Supplements for anxiety: Best types and evidence. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325823#sum
(4) Low magnesium levels make vitamin D ineffective. (2018, February 26). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180226122548.htm
(5) White, A. (2019, March 29). Supplements for Anxiety: 25 Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, and More. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/supplements-for-anxiety