Anxiety can have a huge impact on a your quality of life. 3.3 million Americans are affected by anxiety every year. (source) It’s no wonder the market is full of treatments – natural and otherwise. Often the side effects of prescription anti-anxiety medications are almost as bad as the condition itself.
Although I never recommend trying to manage an illness on your own – doctors are there to help – there are many cases in which diet and supplementation can provide some relief, without the need for drugs.
Once you have the approval of your physician, it’s worth exploring the topic of vitamins for anxiety. In particular, I’m going to look at the best vitamin stack for anxiety here.
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What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a term that refers to a medical condition as well as simple, everyday anxious feelings. When you’re extremely stressed about life or in an uncomfortable situation, you can become overwhelmed. While this is certainly an unpleasant feeling, to experience it occasionally throughout life is normal.
There are several anxiety disorders recognized today, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorders. These mental illnesses are characterized by incessant worrying, which affects sufferers’ ability to function in their daily lives. (source)
This constant, unstoppable worry leads to panic attacks, which bring shortness of breath, numbness or tingling in the hands or face, racing heart, and faintness or dizziness. A person may need pharmaceutical help to reverse the symptoms of panic attack. (source)
Those who have not experienced an anxiety disorder may not take it as seriously as a more obvious physical illness. Of course this opinion is not accurate at all. The stress and constant worry that anxiety disorders cause can make it impossible to carry out ordinary tasks and have a severe impact on overall health.
Who Suffers from Anxiety?
Everyone suffers from anxious feelings from time to time. However, women are almost twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. (source) That being said, all sorts of people are diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Children, women, men, and the elderly are all susceptible.
How is Anxiety Treated in Western Medicine?
Prescription medications are frequently used to treat anxiety. Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) are often used in the short term to treat panic attacks. SSRI antidepressant medications are sometimes used for long-term treatment of anxiety disorders.
Therapy is also effective, particularly when combined with medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are often recommended for people suffering from anxiety. Hypnosis is another alternative therapy that many people find helpful.
When Might Someone Turn to Alternative Therapies?
Alternative therapies are a great option for someone who is experiencing frequent anxious feelings. Taking action early on may keep an anxiety disorder from blooming.
Those who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and find the side effects of the medications to be worse for them than the disorder itself are likely to seek out alternative therapies, like supplements. People who have had adverse reactions to anxiety medications may also look to alternative therapies.
Which Vitamins Can Help?
Magnesium, calcium, various B vitamins, and vitamin D are often used by people for relief from anxiety. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are also used. Many people use combination supplements or “stacks” to get the appropriate doses of these vitamins, minerals, and fats.
Ideally, you should get these nutrients from food. Eating a balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, and healthy protein sources with little processed foods is always recommended. However, statistics show that most Americans are not getting enough of many important vitamins and minerals, or the healthy omega fats, so supplementation is a good alternative. (source)
Magnesium is frequently referred to as the most calming mineral. Due to poor soil conditions and poor diets in general, Americans are often magnesium deficient. Though the science behind this is not clear as of yet, at least one study has noted it may be effective. (source)
Research is not conclusive about whether calcium supplements can help anxiety, but other studies have shown that drugs that help us metabolize calcium may have an impact, so there’s still some potential correlation. (source)
It’s thought that calcium and magnesium may work together in fighting anxiety. A supplement that contains both is ideal.
Nervousness is a symptom of B vitamin deficiency. (source) Make sure that you’re taking in plenty of these vitamins frequently since they are water soluble vitamins that leave the system quickly. A supplement that has several vitamins in the B group might help decrease nervousness.
It is widely believed that vitamin D deficiency may affect mental health and contribute to conditions like depression and anxiety. Vitamin D also helps your body to absorb calcium, which we’ve already discussed as a good vitamin to supplement if you’re suffering from anxiety. (source)
Omega-3s and Omega-6s
Omega fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s are important for the health and function of the brain. Though science hasn’t thoroughly tied supplementation with these fatty acids with an improvement in anxiety, current research shows that the effects are hopeful.
The downside to omega fatty acids is you likely won’t find them in vitamin and mineral blends. You might consider adding an omega supplement along with your vitamin stack.
Other Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Several herbal treatments are frequently used by anxiety sufferers to alleviate their symptoms. Herbs like chamomile, ginko, and kava have been used with favorable results. Essential oils like lavender and frankincense may also provide results. (source)
A Word of Caution
Vitamins and other supplements are not viable alternatives for proper medical care. Don’t stop taking any medications your doctor has prescribed or stop participating in other prescribed therapies without speaking with your doctor first.
It’s also important that your doctor is aware of all of the alternative therapies and supplements that you’re using. Health care professionals need this information in order to provide you good quality care and ensure that herbs or supplements don’t interact with any other medications.
How to Choose the Best Vitamin Stack for Anxiety
You’ll find that the best supplements are not necessarily the most expensive. The main things that you want to look for are a GMP (good manufacturing practice for pharmaceuticals) certified manufacturing facility, third party testing confirming purity, and dosages of vitamins and minerals that fall into line with the recommended daily values.
Find a supplement that’s in your budget. Don’t be swayed by manufacturers’ claims – instead check the ingredients yourself and always do your research. This anxiety supplement takes a more whole-body approach to helping with anxiety. The manufacturer states that it is a multivitamin formulated with the elimination of stress in mind. It utilizes herbal ingredients as well. This supplement uses herbal ingredients to great effect, but also plenty of the vitamins and minerals we’ve talked about that may help with anxious feelings. The manufacturer states that it helps reduce anxiety, stress, and supports a balanced mood. This supplement is a bit different. It’s a powdered drink mix that you add to water. However, it contains only a couple of the anxiety-fighting ingredients listed above. This supplement uses a less vitamin based approach than many of the other supplements listed. It also utilizes minerals, amino acids, and herbal ingredients to provide calm feelings and improved brain health.
FDA registered facility
Uses most of the anti-anxiety macronutrients
Dairy and soy free
Contains herbal ingredients
Potential drug interactions
May taste or smell odd
May cause stomach upset
Uses amino acids, as well
Promotes good sleep
High vitamin dosages in recommended serving
Herbs may interfere with medications
May cause excessive sleepiness
Vegan, non-GMO, gluten free
All natural product
Only contains calcium and magnesium
May have a metallic flavor
May cause gas
Could cause sleep interruptions
Amino acids to calm neurotransmitters
May aid sleep
Takes effect quickly
Contains valerian for calming
Not much vitamin support
Very little magnesium
May leave a bad taste in the mouth
This anxiety supplement takes a more whole-body approach to helping with anxiety. The manufacturer states that it is a multivitamin formulated with the elimination of stress in mind. It utilizes herbal ingredients as well.
This supplement uses herbal ingredients to great effect, but also plenty of the vitamins and minerals we’ve talked about that may help with anxious feelings. The manufacturer states that it helps reduce anxiety, stress, and supports a balanced mood.
This supplement is a bit different. It’s a powdered drink mix that you add to water. However, it contains only a couple of the anxiety-fighting ingredients listed above.
This supplement uses a less vitamin based approach than many of the other supplements listed. It also utilizes minerals, amino acids, and herbal ingredients to provide calm feelings and improved brain health.
In my opinion, the winner for the best vitamin stack for anxiety is the Vimerson Anti-Stress supplement. It has most of what we were looking for in an anti-anxiety supplement and avoids the ingredients that may cause issues. If you have any questions about anxiety, natural remedies, or supplements, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Health Ambition.