Did you know that there are vitamins that can serve as adjuvants to treat anxiety? These micronutrients have essential functions in mental health, and together with relaxation exercises and other strategies, they will be useful to reduce the symptoms of this condition.
Anxiety is a common disorder in society today. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it affects 40 million adults in the United States, and less than half receive treatment. Furthermore, it tends to occur more frequently in women.
However, its treatment must be individualized, since each case has its origin in various factors. However, in general, some vitamins seem to have positive effects on their management. In the next space, we tell you why they are useful.
How does anxiety present itself?
In general, anxiety develops in response to stressful situations in everyday life, such as work or academic stress. However, many times it can be the result of a previous physical or mental illness. Likewise, its manifestations are experienced at a cognitive, physiological and psychic level.
This disorder activates various bodily mechanisms that prepare the patient to “flee” when facing a dangerous situation. It also alters aspects of daily life and generates certain symptoms that affect the quality of life. This may include the following:
- Lack of attention, concentration and memory
- Choking sensation.
- Tremor or dizziness
- Pain in head
- Feeling of tightness in the heart
- Digestive discomfort, such as diarrhoea
- Irritability, fear and frustration
Vitamins for anxiety
Eating habits in western societies have changed a lot in recent decades. Consequently, the contribution of micronutrients is limited. Due to this, a direct relationship was observed between the appearance of anxiety disorders and mood disorders due to inadequate nutrition.
In several studies, such as one published in the Nutrition Journal, it was suggested that providing some vitamins can contribute to the relief of symptoms of diseases such as those mentioned. Which is the most recommended?
This group of compounds fulfils many bodily functions; one of them has to do with protecting normal neurological function. Similarly, those that are most related to this task are pyridoxine or B6, folic acid or B9 and cobalamin or B12.
At the brain level, they collaborate in the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin. It is a hormone that produces a feeling of psychological well-being, happiness and tranquillity. Therefore, it has been determined that the proper assimilation of these vitamins in the blood helps to manage anxiety.
Even, the evidence also associates this nutrient with positive changes in the state of mind, control of the alterations of the dream and improvement of the cognitive capacities. To know if you need to take a supplement, it is recommended to do a blood test.
Vitamin A or beta-carotene is present in many foods, such as green vegetables, orange or yellow fruits, eggs, milk, and others. Some research suggests that people with anxiety may have low levels of this compound and that those taking a supplement feel better.
To provide it in sufficient quantity, it is ideal to consume its dietary sources daily. According to the National Institute of health, the ideal values for a normal adult are 900 micrograms per millilitre in men and 700 in women.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that people with generalized anxiety and depression have low levels of this vitamin. In turn, it was found that after 6 weeks of supplementation of this compound, together with beta-carotene and vitamin C, the symptoms of these disorders were significantly reduced.
The use of antioxidants, such as vitamin C or ascorbic acid, has been linked to the prevention of mood disorders, as well as anxiety. Those people who usually have low blood levels of this substance increase the feeling of well-being after consuming a vitamin supplement.
Even for people who are not deficient, it could help improve energy levels. In a study carried out in the year 2019, in university students, it was determined that the consumption of this compound improves the quality of sleep and decreases the prevalence of this disease.
What to remember about vitamins for anxiety?
The vitamins alone can not cure anxiety. However, ensuring optimal consumption of them can serve as an adjunct in addressing your symptoms. Thus, it is essential to improve the diet and choose foods that provide sufficient amounts.
It is also possible to opt for supplementation, but it is advisable to consult with your GP or a nutritionist. Both professionals will be able to advise on the daily amount necessary, according to individual characteristics.