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Home > Supplements for Anxiety: The Importance of a Personalized Approach

Supplements for Anxiety: The Importance of a Personalized Approach

With the prevalence of anxiety rising Researchers are finding that nutrition plays an even more significant role in mental health than was previously believed.

One interesting aspect of these discussion is the role that natural supplements could play in relieving anxiety.

Check out the latest research and expert advice about supplements for anxiety, those who could benefitfrom them, and who might not and a handful of specific kinds of supplements that could help some people.

What is anxiety?

As per the American Psychological Association, anxiety is a continuous, uncontrollable anxiety that does not end. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 12 percent from the U.S. adult population has frequent feelings of anxiety anxiousness, nervousness, or stress.

If these feelings get strong enough and consistent enough to cause severe disruption to daily activities, you’re suffering from anxiety disorders. The most prevalent type of mental illness within the U.S., with 40 million adults (19.1 percent from the total population) suffering from it annually.

The traditional treatments and therapies for anxiety include psychotherapy, which is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as medications like antidepressants. They are well-studied and have been scientifically proven efficient in treatment of anxiety.

Although traditional treatments can be very effective, some people suffering from anxiety might find that the treatments don’t work as effectively as they’d prefer. It’s been estimated that up to 50% of those who are treated with common therapies to treat generalized anxiety disorders do not be able to respond to the first-line treatment like antidepressants. In addition, antidepressants may come with negative side effects, such as weight gain, fatigue and loss of libido which can cause people to decide to stop or avoid using these medications (although it is not advisable to quit taking your medication without consulting your physician prior to doing so).

About 40% of those suffering from moderate mental stress, that often include anxiety, report turning to alternative and complementary medicine methods, such as supplements, to find relief from their stress. Click here for natural stress relief.

What are the supplements that can help reduce anxiety? It’s possible, and it depends on the source and severity of the anxiety. It is however, always recommended to speak with your physician prior to adding any supplement to your diet or pursuing alternative therapies.
Supplements for anxiety: The importance of a Personalized Approach

“Anxiety may manifest in a different way for two individuals with similar diagnoses,” says Ripal Shah, M.D., clinical assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “One might experience primarily physically-based symptoms (palpitations) when they are stressed or anxious, while another might feel calm physically but feel restless internally (racing thinking).”

Try a supplement that affects the nerve system that regulates our “fight or fight” stress response can aid a person suffering from physical ailments ease their anxiety. However, the same supplement may not work for people suffering from emotional issues.

It’s crucial to adopt a personalised approach to navigating anxiety medications.

The other thing that’s very clear about the function supplements could be able to play in treating anxiety is that they’re not an all-in-one, “cure-all” solution–and they’re usually just one component of other lifestyle strategies aimed towards reducing anxiety

“If you are in search of an ingredient to improve the brain’s activity, but haven’t re-focused our routine of exercise, created an everyday mind-body routine or found a viable whole food dietary plan and so on. Supplements are likely to be less effective than we had hoped for,” says Brent Bauer, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program.

“I always remind my patients that supplements are not a substitute for. If there’s an insufficient vitamin, we might consider taking supplements, however there could be risks associated with taking unneeded or multiple supplements,” says Michelle Loy, M.D. An integrative medicine doctor who is part of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Center at Weill Cornell Medicine.

All that said that, supplements to the diet for anxiety could be beneficial to certain people, particularly those who:

Are you suffering from a nutritional deficiency?
Only occasionally, but with mild symptoms
Are you unable to take medication
Haven’t had any response to other conventional therapies

Who should avoid supplements to treat anxiety?

Experts emphasize the importance of constantly reviewing and discussing any new supplements aimed to ease stress with an experienced and experienced medical professional prior to introducing them.

“Anything that is powerful enough to cause an effect that is beneficial must be able to cause an adverse effect, too,” explains Dr. Bauer.

There could be negative side effects, and even dangers when taking anxiety supplements for the following individuals:

Certain medications could interact or interfere with certain supplements.
Patients with mental health issues or medical ailments, in which supplementation could cause anxiety and stress-related symptoms worse, or trigger new symptoms.
Patients with extreme anxiety require immediate help.
Women who are pregnant or nursing (unless they consult an experienced doctor first).

“In my private practice I advise my patients to engage in various mind-body exercises (in addition to exercise, nutrition, etc.) for at least three months prior to when we look into supplements,” says Dr. Bauer.
Supplements that can help ease Anxiety

There are a variety of supplements that claim to ease anxiety. Finding the best one could be somewhat of trial and error, however it must always be conducted with the help of a physician.

“If the patient I am treating is contemplating the use of a supplement, we go over the benefits and risks and then utilize databases to look for any interactions that are known to occur with their current medication,” says Dr. Bauer.

Some common supplements that can help reduce anxiety are listed below.


A Ayurvedic herb that can work particularly well for people suffering from insomnia and anxiety, ashwagandha has been proven to enhance sleep and resilience to stress. It’s also a herb Dr. Loy recommends.

Recent studies on the safety and effectiveness of ashwagandha to treat anxiety indicate that, while the effects are generally positive, the study size is tiny. Further research on the appropriate quantity and duration of time that ashwagandha should be used as a substitute for or as an adjunct to traditional treatments is required.


L-theanine is a plant-based chemical that is located in leaves of tea. “L-theanine has been studied in positive ways regarding its effects on sleep , but there are there are conflicting studies regarding anxiety,” says the Dr. Shah.

A review of 2022 studies published in Pharmacological Research found that compared to those who did not receive L-theanine, those who took L-theanine didn’t see significant improvement in treatments for anxiety. A study published in 2015 published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition does suggest the effectiveness of L-theanine in helping improve sleep quality. Those with sleep problems may benefit from this supplement.


Recent studies in the field suggest that magnesium supplementation, coupled with other vitamins such as zinc or vitamin B6 could be a viable solution to reduce anxiety in various groups, such as those who are stressed and sufferers of type 2 heart disease and diabetes. In addition, the majority of Americans aren’t getting enough of magnesium and do not get enough of it from their diet.

In terms of concrete guidelines for magnesium to treat anxiety in general However, further studies must be conducted. “Currently there is a lack of and inconsistent evidence regarding magnesium and its impact on anxiety,” says Monique Richard who is an integrative dietitian and national spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Vitamin D

“While there are a few studies that suggest the potential benefits of vitamin D for depression or anxiety however, the research remains not clear regarding whether supplementation with vitamin D can alleviate the symptoms” claims the Dr. Loy.

For instance, researchers must determine the ways in which vitamin D supplementation affects individuals of various ages and kinds of anxiety. Researchers are also looking into whether supplementing vitamin D with other nutrients, like vitamin B6 or omega-3 fatty acids, have any effect.

Vitamin B6

A 2022 controlled, randomized study of Human Psychopharmacology randomly assigned 478 young adults that were mostly female , to consume lactose pills, vitamin B6 tablets, or vitamin B12 tablets for a month. The participants who supplemented with high doses of vitamin B6 self-reported a lower level of anxiety.

A previous review of 2019 concluded that, generally, B vitamins did not affect the way we think about anxiety. When taken together both pieces of research highlight the need for further studies regarding B vitamin and anxiety particularly in the case of B6.


Cannabidiol (CBD) can be described as bioactive plant compound that is found within the Cannabis plant. One of the main reasons that people use CBD is to help alleviate anxiety that they have experienced.

However, the scientific evidence on CBD’s effect on anxiety is extremely limited.

Incredibly, a tiny 2021 study conducted in Psychopharmacology examined what could be the cause of the self-proclaimed image CBD has in terms of reducing anxiety, despite its limited and inconsistent scientific evidence.

The researchers randomly allocated 43 otherwise healthy adults to consume CBD-free hemp seed oil during two sessions. In the firstsession, they were told that it contained CBD (expectancy situation) while in the second, they were told that it was not.

The people who had the most convictions prior to this study, that CBD could reduce anxiety experienced less anxiety when they took an CBD supplement. In this study, researchers proved that the “placebo effects” was the reason for the decreased anxiety symptoms, and not the CBD.

A different study in 2019 showed that CBD supplementation actually reduced anxiety for 79% of those who participated in the study.

Like many of the other supplements mentioned in this report These two contradicting studies suggest the need for further clinical trials on CBD as well as anxiety.

Other supplements for anxiety

There are many other supplements that are marketed to ease anxiety, such as:

Lemon balm
Kava kava
Omega 3 fat acids

However, “simply seeing it advertised or on a retail shelf doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for your specific requirements,” says Richard.