Anxious and on edge? MD shares the best supplements to reduce stress naturally

You know the feeling: You start to worry, your body becomes tense, you become restless. Whether you have chronic anxiety or experience stress flare-ups on busy days or during the holidays, you don’t have to let stress take away your happiness. And this doesn’t mean you need to turn to prescription drugs (which can have unwanted side effects). Here, doctors reveal the best vitamins for anxiety to control stress naturally. Plus they emphasize more natural supplements that help keep you calm, no matter what life throws at you.

What is anxiety?

Over 30% of adults in the US will experience anxiety at some point in their lives. Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, fear or uneasiness. Symptoms may include sweating, dry mouth, fast heartbeat, or trouble breathing. These are specific physiological responses to stressful situations. But if you feel like you’re on the edge all the timeAn anxiety disorder may be the culprit.

Anxiety disorders are more prevalent in women than men, and anxiety symptoms may become more intense as we age. In a study of women between the ages of 40 and 60, researchers found that women over 50 were more likely to report moderate or severe anxiety symptoms than their 40-something counterparts.

While medications for anxiety disorders can help, for some people, they can also bring unpleasant side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and constipation. The good news: If your anxiety is less severe and you’re interested in trying natural treatments first, there are an abundance of vitamins and supplements that can help. In fact, experts have revealed the best vitamins for anxiety, as well as six more vitamins, minerals and supplements that reduce stress.

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How can vitamins help deal with anxiety?

If you think you have an anxiety disorder, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options. But for occasional stress and anxiety, some of the best natural remedies for anxiety can be found in the vitamin aisle at your supermarket.

With regard to anxiety, there are three types of supplements: those that can help correct deficiencies, those that support the body’s physiology, and supplements that help calm and rebalance the nervous system, says Jacques. says Jospiter, MD, board-certified psychiatrist and co-founder. Of SohoMD. Time and again, we have seen patients find the right vitamins to help them feel more balanced and less stressed.

Best Vitamin for Anxiety: Magnesium

It turns out that the best vitamin for anxiety is actually not a vitamin at all but a mineral. And the experts we spoke to were unanimous: It’s hard to beat magnesium for anxiety. Magnesium plays an important role in the body’s stress response. It may help manage anxiety by regulating the feel-good hormone serotonin and improving brain functioning.

Magnesium, a natural calming agent, acts as a key in unlocking the body’s ability to manage stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of peace and mental clarity, says LPC, an integrative mental health expert. BCN, explains Roseanne Capanna-Hodge. In addition to its calming effects, magnesium plays an important role in supporting neurotransmitter functions, which is essential for maintaining a balanced and healthy mental state.

For best results, Dr. Capanna-Hodge recommends a form of magnesium known as magnesium L-threonate. This highly bioavailable form of magnesium may enhance cognitive function, helping you feel less overwhelmed. One worth trying: Double Woods Supplements Magteen Magnesium L-Threonate (Buy from Amazon, $29.95).

Magnesium caplets, the best vitamin for anxiety, are shaped like the letters MG on a pink background


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More Supplements That Reduce Anxiety

While magnesium may be the best vitamin for anxiety, there are other supplements that when combined with a balanced diet can work wonders in making you feel relaxed. It’s well known that higher nutrient intakes are generally associated with better mental health, says Dr. Jospitre. Here, the best supplements to control anxiety naturally.

1. Vitamin D3

Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is important for overall brain health, including emotional well-being, says Maneka Gupta, MD, a certified functional medicine practitioner and founder of Nutranourish. She says the vitamin plays a role in the synthesis of serotonin. And its anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce the chronic inflammation that is linked to anxiety.

There is also a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and health problems like depression and anxiety. In a study of 290 people who were receiving inpatient or hospital care for mental health, researchers reported Frontiers in psychiatry Found that 272 of them are over 93%! Vitamin D levels were low. and in one study brain and behavior In people suffering from depression and anxiety, it was found that taking 1,600 IU vitamin D supplements per day significantly improved anxiety symptoms.

While your body naturally makes vitamin D when sunlight hits your skin, it’s not always possible to soak up enough sunlight (about 15 minutes in the afternoon without sunscreen), especially on cloudy days or during the winter. This is where vitamin D supplements can help. One worth trying: NatureWise Vitamin D3 (Buy from Amazon, $14.49). (Click for the best vitamin D supplements for women over 50.)

2. Vitamin C

Research shows that oxidative stress, an imbalance between harmful free radicals and helpful antioxidants, can trigger mental health disorders like anxiety. That’s why vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is one of the best vitamins for anxiety. Researchers found that people who took 500 mg of vitamin C daily had lower anxiety levels than those who took a placebo.

Vitamin C also supports adrenal function, which helps regulate production of the stress hormone cortisol, says Tara Scott, MD, FACOG, FAAFM, NCMP, medical director of Forum Health in Akron. It’s also involved in the production of serotonin, your feel-good neurotransmitter, says Dr. Scott. One worth trying: Nature Made Vitamin C (Buy from Amazon, $22.27).

3. Vitamin B6 and B12

These two B vitamins are important for creating mood-boosting brain chemicals. Vitamin B, especially B6 and B12, play a role in neurotransmitter synthesis, including serotonin and dopamine, major mood regulators, says Dr. Gupta.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause troubling neurological symptoms, including anxiety and mood changes. and research in Annals of Medicine and Surgery Suggests that Vitamin B6 can reduce stress, anxiety and depression to a great extent. Since B vitamins work best together, look for a B-complex vitamin that contains B12, B6, niacin, and folate. One worth trying: Life Extension Bioactive Complete B-Complex (Buy from Amazon, $9).

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4. L-Theanine

If you haven’t mastered a meditation practice to overcome anxiety, this amino acid is the next best thing. L-theanine, naturally found in green tea, helps promote the alpha wave state, a calm state in the brain that is often achieved through meditation, says Dr. Jospitre. Higher levels of calmness lead to better sleep, and better sleep is linked to less anxiety and even increased focus and attention.

Research shows that 400 mg of L-theanine per day is the ideal amount to achieve benefits. One worth trying: Horbach L-Theanine (Buy from Amazon, $21.96).

A cup of green tea and a bowl of loose green tea leaves next to the teapot

L-theanine is naturally found in green teamasa44/Getty

5. Probiotics

You probably know probiotics as the good bacteria that help keep your gut balanced and your digestive system running smoothly. And it turns out it can have a positive effect on your mental health, too. There’s a strong connection between digestion and the brain, called the gut-brain axis, says Dr. Jospitre.

Specifically, he points out that probiotics can help with the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect. and review of studies in BMC Psychiatry There are suggestions that probiotics may reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. One worth trying: Physician’s Choice 60 Billion Probiotic (Buy from Amazon, $21.97). (Tip: You can also get probiotics from fermented foods like yogurt. Click to learn how to make probiotic-rich yogurt at home.)

6. Ashwagandha

Also known as Indian ginseng, this evergreen shrub is used in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to help the body adapt to stress. Ashwagandha is at the forefront of natural stress relief, says Dr. Capanna-Hodge. This powerful adaptogen is celebrated for its ability to calm the nervous system and reduce the production of stress hormones in the body, thereby reducing anxiety and stress-related symptoms. According to a review of research, ashwagandha significantly reduced stress and anxiety levels compared to placebo. (Click for more supplements that reduce the stress hormone cortisol.)

Ashwagandha may also help deal with anxiety and sleep problems: Anxiety can disrupt sleep, but lack of sleep can make anxiety worse. Ashwagandha contains compounds called withanolides that may help fight insomnia and keep your internal body clock on track. To maximize anxiety-relieving benefits, aim for 500 mg per day. One worth trying: Best Natural Ashwagandha (Buy from Amazon, $9.99).

Ashwagandha root, next to the leaves of the plant, is one of the best vitamins for anxiety.


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This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your doctor before proceeding with any treatment plan.,

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