Many people will suffer from anxiety at some stage of their lives. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety usually occurs as a relatively natural response to a situation that appears threatening or one to which we are not accustomed. Certain vitamins may help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with anxiety.
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The B vitamins are important for the nervous system. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) can boost mood and memory. Vitamin B3 (niacin) can produce serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps promote a stable and balanced mind. B5 (pantothenic acid) creates a natural chemical that can lead to the production of neurotransmitters. B6 (pyridoxine) is known for reducing anxiety, and B9 (folic acid) helps balance neurotransmitters.
A deficiency in vitamin B12 may lead to feelings of anxiety and stress. A good B-complex should include all the essential B vitamins.
For proper functioning of adrenal glands and brain chemistry, vitamin C can be helpful. In larger doses, vitamin C has a tranquilizing effect that may decrease some anxiety. If vitamin C users take a compound containing bioflavonoids, there can be reduction in stress as well. Vitamin C is a beneficial antioxidant that keeps our central nervous system functioning smoothly.
Calcium & Magnesium
The minerals calcium and magnesium may help prevent nervous tension by relaxing a tense and strained nervous system. Calcium is a natural tranquilizer, while magnesium assists in relieving anxiety, tension and nervousness. This combination is best taken at bedtime.
Other supplements that can aid in relieving anxiety include zinc, which helps calm the nerves; amino acids, which may boost the function of neurotransmitters; and vitamin A, which contains antioxidants that can reduce stress. Omega-3 fish oil can reduce anxiety by keeping brain membranes flexible and regulating the flow of hormones and other chemical messengers that affect our moods.
If you suffer from anxiety, talk to your doctor about your symptoms, as they could be a sign of other disorders and diseases. If you are taking certain medications for your anxiety disorder, talk to your physician to make sure you can mix vitamins with your medications.