Best suplements for anxiety are a popular alternative to anxiety medications. But there are also thousands of them, as nearly every major natural medicine company seems to have developed their own product for the anxiety market. There are two problems here. First, studies have rarely found any benefits to most natural anxiety medicines (more on that in a moment). Second, with so many products on the market, it is hard to know which best supplements for anxiety are likely to work, and which ones aren’t.
Supplements aren’t meant to replace prescribed medication or other doctor-approved therapies. But they can be helpful additions to your care plan. Although the supplements below are generally tolerated well, it’s important to understand how they may affect you specifically. Age, upcoming surgery, pregnancy, or other underlying health conditions can all affect your individual dosage. Some supplements are dangerous when taken in higher than recommended doses.
You should always check with your doctor before adding supplements to your routine. They can discuss any potential side effects or drug interactions with you. It’s also important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate or monitor supplements like they do for drugs. You should only buy from manufacturers you trust, as well as follows any dosage information to a T. Read on to learn how vitamins, herbs, and other supplements may help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote overall well-being.
Most Common Best Supplements For Anxiety
The following represent the most common types of anti-anxiety supplements, including information on the likelihood that they have any effect and whether they are worth considering. Always talk with your doctor before taking any type of supplement.
Vitamin Supplements and Mineral Supplements
Vitamins and minerals are also a very popular choice for anxiety. We’re still dealing with a surprising lack of research. Despite all the research into vitamins and minerals, very few studies have been conducted on the benefits of supplements on anxiety levels. While many studies have confirmed that a lack of these vitamins may cause anxiety, it is unclear whether a specific vitamin can have anti-anxiety effects. Nevertheless, vitamin supplementation can be very healthy regardless, so it is worth trying with most types of vitamins and minerals.
The most common include:
If you’re already eating a balanced diet, this type of supplementation may not be necessary. But if you know your diet is lacking key nutrients, dietary supplements may be the key to symptom relief. Although dietary best supplements for anxiety aren’t a replacement for the food itself, they can help you get the nutrients you need while you get your diet back on track. Your doctor can also help you identify or confirm any deficiencies, as well as offer information on dosage and overall dietary health.
1. Vitamin A
People with anxiety sometimes lack vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that’s been shown to help manage anxiety symptoms.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 10,000 international units (IU), taken as a once-daily tablet.
B-complex supplements contain all the B vitamins that your body needs. Many are vital to a healthy nervous system. They may also help improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
How to use: Label dosages for B-complexes containing all B vitamins may vary. On average, dosages range from 300 milligrams (mg) to close to 500 mg. Either dose may be taken as one tablet per day.
3. Vitamin C
Antioxidants like vitamin C can help prevent oxidative damage in your nervous system. Oxidative damage can increase anxiety.
How to use: The average supplement dose ranges from 500 to 1000 mg. This may be split across two tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps the body absorb other vitamins. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to other vitamin deficiencies, which may compound anxiety and make it worse.
How to use: The average supplement dose may range from 1,000 to 2,000 IU. Either dose may be split across multiple tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another antioxidant. Your body uses this nutrient up quickly in times of stress and anxiety. Supplemental vitamin E may help restore this balance and reduce your symptoms.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 400 IU, taken as a once-daily tablet.
6. Fish oil
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are antioxidants. Omega-3 supplements like EPA and DHA have been shown to help reduce anxiety.
How to use: The average supplement dose may contain up to 2,000 mg of combined EPA, ALA, and DHA. Each dose may be split across multiple tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GAMMA) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter in the brain.
When there’s not enough GABA, anxiety can worsen. According to a 2015 review, supplements with GABA may help replace lost GABA, though more research is needed.
How to use: The average supplement dose can range from 500 to 750 mg. Either dose may be split across multiple tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.
L-theanine is an amino acid. It’s a soothing property found in green tea.
A 2018 study showed it had anti anxiety benefits in rats. A 2011 human study vouched for It’s calming benefits, too.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 200 mg. This is usually taken as a once-daily tablet.
Magnesium is a necessary mineral for human health. Your body doesn’t need too much of it. But if you aren’t getting enough, magnesium deficiency may lead to anxiety symptoms.
How to use: The average supplement dose may range from 100 to 500 mg. Either dose may be taken as a once-daily tablet.
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a neurotransmitter. It’s a precursor to serotonin. That’s the “happiness neurotransmitter” in the human brain.
A 2012 study found that 5-HTP supplements may help with anxiety. However, these are most effective only when used in certain therapies, and by recommendation from your doctor.
How to use: The average supplement dose may range from 50 to 200 mg. Either dose may be taken as a once-daily capsule.