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Which Supplements To Try To Help With Anxiety?

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Supplements for anxiety have become increasingly popular, with research suggesting that they may help to decrease certain symptoms experienced by people with anxiety disorders.

Anxiety is a tangled condition that can be found in conjunction with other mental health problems, such as depression or PTSD. The majority of prescribed medications are required to provide effective treatment. They are usually combined with regular therapy in order to deal with symptoms and determine the root of the issue. Alongside the best magnesium supplement, there are some diet supplements that you could regularly to support your health, sleep quality and stress reduction.

It is worthwhile to mention, however, that you should avoid taking supplements without medical supervision, particularly in the case of medication, as they may be incompatible, and cause adverse reactions.

We talked to a few mental health experts to find their take on which supplements could help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, and if they are any that should be avoided.

Do supplements ease anxiety?

If you are suffering from minor or common anxiety, you may find supplements to be helpful in the management of your symptoms. Supplements to help maintain good quality of sleep, mental health or other common deficiencies that cause mental health impacts can be helpful, but it is recommended to talk to a medical professional before including them into your diet.

Roxana Ehsan is a registered dietitian nutritionist and national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics She explains that supplements don’t cure anxiety but may help in the treatment of certain symptoms. “Certain supplements can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, however they should be approved by your doctor first,” she says. “Also be aware that taking supplements for anxiety isn’t getting at the root of your anxiety. Therefore, it’s not likely to solve it or eliminate it long-term, maybe just temporarily.”

Roxana Ehsani, registered dietitian nutritionist and registered dietitian

Roxana Ehsani is a Board-Certified Specialist for Sports Dietetics also is a National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has a Bachelors of Sciences degree in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech and a Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her dietetics internship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

For people who are taking powerful medications like antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, supplementing may cause unwanted adverse side effects. You should be cautious of combining supplements with prescription medications without the guidance of a doctor.

Dr Deborah Lee, a medical doctor and author for Dr Fox Online Pharmacy (opens in new tab) Explains that supplements to treat anxiety could be dangerous because they’re not regulated in the same way as medications. “Many sufferers with anxiety disorders will be taking supplements that they buy online or through a pharmacy. It’s not easy to give the right advice about anxiety supplements because the natural supplements, which comprise mineral and vitamin supplements are not regulated in the same manner as other medicines and drugs,” she says.

Working for several years with the NHS in the U.K beginning as a doctor, and later as the Chief Clinician of an integrated Community Sexual Health Service, Dr Deborah Lee now works as an author of medical and health writing and editor, with a particular focus of women’s healthcare. She is a specialist on menopausal symptoms.

“There is often little well-conducted research that supports their use. Most studies, if any exist, are small studies of a short duration, and are typically conducted with animals. Most of the time, they aren’t randomized controlled trials with one group of people.”

A double-blind research study published in Current Developments in Nutrition (opens in new tab) indicated that a general multivitamin supplement and mineral may be beneficial in reducing adolescents’ experience with anxiety symptoms. However, the study has to be replicated on a bigger scale. Eliminating any possible mineral or vitamin deficiencies assures that the body is operating at its best, so anyone experiencing anxiety symptoms should consult their physician about the results of a blood test to determine if there is a deficiency as the root cause.


Deficiency in magnesium over time can negatively impact mental health and our ability to cope with stress. A study from the Nutrients (opens in a new tab) journal found that chronic stress and anxiety depletes the body’s magnesium reserves and that magnesium deficiency can cause a maladaptive stress response. Another study within Nutrients (opens in new tab) found that magnesium supplements can help with the treatment of mild anxiety.

If you think you may suffer from magnesium deficiencies, talk to your doctor before adding a supplement to the diet of yours, as your symptoms could be a sign of other issues.

Ehsani is also aware that magnesium supplementation has been shown to aid in reducing anxiety. “Magnesium supplementation is the first thing I initially think of, since the mineral is essential and can help the body to relax,” she says. “Some people aren’t eating enough food and it’s also possible to lose it in small amounts through sweat too. There have been a few tests with magnesium supplements on those suffering with depression or anxiety and found that it did enhance the effects of supplements for those who took it, as opposed to those in the control group.”


The supplement is frequently referred to as nature’s sleep aid, a meta review in the Journal of Evidence-based Integrative medicine (opens in a new tab) indicated that valerian can be a beneficial supplement for the treatment of anxiety and improving sleep. However because of the instable quality of this supplement as well as the wide range of dosages available from the shelves that it is not clear whether it is effective.

Furthermore, valerian could enhance the efficacy of other sleep medicines such as benzodiazepines. It also may interact with other supplements for instance St John’s Wort, according to the Mayo Clinic (opens in new tab).


A study published within the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (opens in new tab) included twelve articles which evaluated the effectiveness of kava as a treatment option for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). In one study, there was no discernible difference between people who were taking the kava supplement and using placebo, and the review concluded that the current evidence isn’t enough to support Kava as an alternative treatment for anxiety.

Fish oil

Fish oil supplements can help to combat a lack of fatty-acids in some patients, which could cause signs of poor mental health due to the function fat acids play in the brain’s chemistry, as shown in a report published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (opens in a new tab). Additionally, JAMA network open JAMA Network open (opens in new tab) medical journal performed a meta analysis that found the high amount of Omega-3 (found in fish oil supplements) can help to lessen symptoms of anxiety disorder.

St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort has been the most well-known natural remedy for mood disorders and anxiety, however it’s actually risky to take, particularly in the case of birth control or antidepressant medication since it could interact and interfere with these medications.

A review published within Systematic Review (opens in a new tab) found that St John’s Wort is effective for the treatment of minor to moderate depression (showing positive results over placebo), another review of the Journal of Psychopharmacology (opens in new tab) revealed that there are a lot of interactions between St. John’s Wort and therapeutic drugs. In this regard, always consult with your physician prior to including St John’s Wort into your routine.

Vitamin D

Those in colder climates are typically advised to supplement with vitamin D in the months of October to April , due to the low amount of sunlight that causes deficiencies in the majority of people. An analysis in the Journal of Affective Disorders (opens in new tab) shows that there is an association between vitamin D deficiency and mood disorders , and when people suffer from vitamin D deficiency, supplements enhances mood. Vitamin D is among the vitamins that boost the immune system, it can be beneficial to supplement with vitamin D to support your overall health, especially in winter .

Ehsani adds that Vitamin D deficiency is common across the USA. “Vitamin D deficiencies may also create anxiety, and addressing that nutritional deficiency may help to calm down your anxiety as well,” she says. “It’s stated that 42 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough Vitamin D.”

B vitamins

B-vitamin deficiencies can lead to a number of distressing symptoms because B12 specifically is required to maintain optimal brain function. You might feel fatigued frustrated, angry and confused when you’re deficient in B12 as well as other B-vitamins.

A meta-analysis of Nutrition (opens in a new tab) journal showed that supplementing with a vitamin B complex may be particularly beneficial to those suffering from poor mood and are in poor nutritional health. While you can take too much vitamin Bhowever, it’s difficult to overdose since it’s water soluble and your body is adept at flushing away excess. So, it’s an effective and safe supplement to use for anxiety and other mood disorders however, the blood test and seeking medical advice is advised if you suspect you might have a vitamin B deficiency.


Chamomile is among the main ingredients in sleepy-time tea, and a fairly harmless supplement for most people. According to medical advice, it could interact with some medicines, including blood thinners, when used in large quantities, however drinking a cup of tea every day will not cause any negative side negative effects.

An article published in Phytomedicine (opens in a new tab) journal revealed that after eight weeks of supplementation with chamomile resulted in results similar to those observed during conventional anxiolytic drug therapy. A larger-scale study must be undertaken to verify this, but drinking a cup of chamomile tea could be an effective as an addition to your nighttime routine when you are struggling with anxiety.


Aromatherapy can be a helpful solution to anxiety without any adverse side consequences. A few drops of lavender oils in the bath or a diffuser can make you feel calmer. While it’s not going to cure your anxiety, it can be an effective part of your routine, specifically to aid in relaxing before going to sleep.

A study in the Laryngoscope of Investigative Otolaryngology (opens in a new tab) found that aromatherapy using lavender could reduce anxiety before surgery for patients who came in to undergo day-time surgery. The journal does state that studies of a larger scale are needed to be conducted However, the overall positive findings are encouraging.

Lavender allergy is rare, but it is always worth trying any new substance you might want to use to help with aromatherapy prior to putting the bath water with them.

Supplements for anxiety – Are there any dangers?

It is crucial to consult with your physician prior to incorporating any supplements into your diet, especially in the case of any medications. Certain supplements can be incompatible with prescription medications as well as birth control.

Ehsani recommends working with your doctor before deciding on an anxiety-related supplement. “There always are risks with any supplement, therefore it’s recommended to consult your medical provider first before taking any supplement,” she says. “Certain supplements may be incompatible with the medications you’re taking or affect or cause harm to the current health condition you are suffering from, and certain supplements might not have been tested for quality or safety therefore, make sure that the that any supplement you take is approved by your physician.”