Anxiety disorder is when you feel overly anxious over most petty things. It is not a passing feeling but is a mental illness.
Anxiety is becoming common these days. About 40 million people suffer from anxiety-related problems, which include depression and other mental illness in the United States itself. Around 81% of the population is affected by anxiety every year. The key to treating Anxiety is to acknowledge this disorder and then seek medical help. A few natural vitamins for anxiety have also deemed successful in treating effectively. Read on to know more.
[Also Read: How to Get Rid of Anxiety Using Natural Remedies]
Vitamins for Anxiety
1. B-Complex Vitamins
It is advisable to take B-Complex Vitamins for anxiety. Vitamin B helps in the secretion of chemicals in the brain, which affects a person’s mood along with other functions. Vitamin B6 helps in the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin plays a vital role in treating depression. Supplements of Vitamin B12 and B9 also enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants. Also, Vitamin B9 is closely linked to proper cerebral functioning.
There are many Vitamin B supplements available in the market. You can consume B-complex Vitamins for anxiety safely as they are water-soluble and not stored in the body. You should also consume food with high levels of Vitamin B. Food such as Chicken breast, beef liver, chickpeas, eggs, salmon, and tuna are rich in Vitamin B.
The dosage depends on the age and gender and the health condition of the person taking it. Though Vitamin B is considered safe, consuming too much could be harmful. Generally, the daily dosage for B6, B9, and B12 are 1.3mg, 400mcg, and 2.4mcg, respectively.
[Also Read: Home Remedies For Anxiety]
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin produced naturally by your skin when it comes in contact with sunlight and is often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin.’ Vitamin D is more commonly associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder and is often considered in colder countries where they have less sunlight. But, it is not restricted to these places. Vitamin D not only enhances mood but is also vital for immunity, muscles, and bones.
Vitamin D supplements for anxiety are readily available in the market. Sunlight is believed to be the most abundant source of Vitamin D. Foods rich in Vitamin D, like milk, yogurt, cod liver oil, fortified orange juice, swordfish, and tuna fish are also beneficial. You could consume these as natural vitamins for anxiety & stress.
The recommended dosage of Vitamin D is 600 IU for people below 70 years and 800 IU for the age group above 70. This means a spoonful of cod liver oil consists of 340% of the daily dosage.
[Also Read: Probiotics to Relieve Yourself Attacks]
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C, which is also called ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant linked to improvement in a person’s mood. It can be helpful as a Vitamin for anxiety and stress as it has a therapeutic effect on anxiety, depression, stress, and fatigue. A study conducted on high school students administered oral Vitamin C supplements suggests that it reduced anxiety and stress.
You could choose a good Vitamin C supplement for anxiety in consultation with your doctor. However, you should stick to the recommended dosage and not overdo it. Also, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables as natural vitamins for anxiety. Food rich in Vitamin C are oranges, broccoli, kale, red pepper, strawberries, brussels sprouts, and grapefruit.
The daily requirement of Vitamin C for your body is 65 to 95 mg. This means that in some cases, even one single orange is enough for your daily intake. Also, if you are opting for a good vitamin C supplement, the daily intake of Vitamin C should not, in any case, exceed 2000 mg. Overdose may cause nausea and diarrhea.
4. Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 plays a vital role in brain functioning. It helps in producing brain chemicals that influence mood and even other brain functions. Sometimes deficiency in Vitamin B-12, B6 and B 9 have been associated with depression. Deficiency of vitamins may be caused due to improper diet or low absorption of vitamins in the body.
You could include food like poultry, fish, eggs, lean meat, fat-free, or low-fat milk as your source of daily vitamins for anxiety. You could take Vitamin B-12 supplements but only after consulting your doctor as it may interfere with some medications if taken in high doses.
There are Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal sprays available, which can be used as a treatment through vitamins for anxiety and panic attacks. In order to help the absorption of vitamin B-12, it should be taken with other vitamins. However, more research and study is required to investigate the use and effectiveness of these supplements.
The dosage of Vitamin B-12 for anxiety depends on the age, sex, and health condition of the person. The doctor may administer a 1000mcg injection 8-10 times in the first 2-3 months and gradually decrease it. Generally, the recommended daily dosage is 2.4 mcg for both males and females. However, it can be taken in higher, but again too much of it can cause side effects.
[Also Read: Herbal Remedies for Anxiety]
5. Vitamin E
Several studies suggest that in mice and humans, Vitamin E is related to anxiety and neurological dysfunctions. This research also shows a probability of Vitamin E in making the brain serotonin level normal. Again Vitamin E is an antioxidant which helps to tackle mental disorders caused by oxidative stress, which includes anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Two facts clearly stand out in the research conducted –
- Inadequate intake of Vitamin E in early life could cause anxiety later in adulthood.
- Dietary Vitamin E supplements are found to benefit people suffering from anxiety.
You could take vitamin E for anxiety in the form of oral supplements. You could also follow a diet rich in vitamin E comprising of green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, fortified fruit juices, and breakfast cereals.
The general recommended daily dosage is 15 mg. You should not take high dosages of vitamin E supplements.
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is directly related to the nervous system. It helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system, which also helps your muscles to relax. It is a beneficial vitamin for anxiety and panic attacks as it has fatty acids. Fatty acids are essential for your body and help lessen anxiety. Apart from anxiety Vitamin A contributes to a strong immune system, strong bones, and protects your skin and eyes from UV rays.
You could choose to take this vitamin for anxiety in the form of supplements or through food. According to a 2012 study in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, the health condition of 80 people suffering from general anxiety disorder and depression improved after six weeks of anti-oxidant supplement intake.
These supplements of anti-oxidant vitamins which were found to be beneficial for anxiety and depression comprised of vitamin A, C and E. You could include blueberries, acai, eggs, dark leafy vegetables, cod liver oil, fortified low-fat milk, orange and yellow vegetables, and fruits.
Yes, Vitamin A is beneficial for anxiety and panic attacks. However, an excess dosage of Vitamin A can lead to liver damage, dizziness, headache, and could make you temperamental. The recommended dosage is around 700 to 900 mcg in a day.
Vitamins are indeed good for anxiety. But, it is very essential to consult a doctor regarding the suitability and dosage of the vitamins for anxiety. A doctor would provide counseling and also medication when required. You should aim for a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, drink enough water, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, keep a check on your blood pressure and sugar levels.
Avoid alcohol, fried food, and excessive caffeine, as they can act as possible triggers for anxiety. Moreover, do not hide your mental health condition from family and friends. They could be your most significant support in dealing with anxiety. A sum of all these measures along with natural vitamins could help reduce anxiety.
[Also Read: Foods That Help With Anxiety]
1. What are some other home remedies for anxiety?
There are numerous home remedies like:
- Taking Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Omega 3 fats
- Practicing Yoga
- Enrolling in Art and music therapy
- Having Dark chocolate
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle
2. What are some lifestyle changes for anxiety?
You could make some simple lifestyle changes for anxiety with:
- Moderate exercises
- Adequate sleep
- Stress management
- Healthy diet
- No drugs, alcohol, and caffeine
3. What are some supplements used to treat anxiety?
There are a few natural supplements which can be safely used to treat anxiety. These consist of:
- Iron Supplements
- Zinc Supplements
- Herbal Supplements
It is essential to know exactly what vitamins are good for anxiety and in what quantity are they to be taken.