8 of the best supplements for anxiety 2022
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There is slight evidence that having low amounts of certain vitamins and minerals may increase anxiety. While supplements are not a replacement for medication and other professional help, some people may find that they decrease anxiety symptoms.
A quick look at 8 of the best supplements for anxiety
Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental health conditions,
Prescription medications and talk therapy provide relief of symptoms for around 50% of people. Recent research has found that certain supplements may help relieve anxiety symptoms, although people should not use these as an alternative to medications or other therapies a doctor recommends.
This article discusses some supplements that may help decrease anxiety symptoms, the research behind these vitamins and minerals, and when to contact a doctor for more advice.
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Below is a selection of supplements that may help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
However, a person should contact a doctor before taking any supplements to ensure that they will not interact with any existing medication, and people should not use them as a substitute for medical care.
Best probiotic: Innovix Labs Mood Probiotic
Innovix claims that this probiotic may help benefit mood, help people cope with stressful situations, and ease digestive difficulties.
The company cultivates and encapsulates the probiotics in Canada, and tests and packages them in the United States. Each batch undergoes in-house and third-party testing, and the company states that it uses a certified Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) facility.
Pros and cons
This product does not contain eggs, corn, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten, sugar, GMOs, or artificial flavors and sweeteners.
However, the probiotic may contain trace amounts of soy or milk that the company uses during the fermentation process.
Best for a higher dose of omega-3: OceanBlue Omega-3 2100 mg
OceanBlue states that the omega-3 in this supplement comes from sustainably-sourced, wild-caught anchovies. The company also says that it distills and refines the product to remove heavy metals and other toxins.
Each dose of 2 softgels provides 2,100 milligrams (mg) of omega-3, of which 1,350 mg is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 600 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and 150 mg of docosapentaenoic acid (DPA). OceanBlue also states that this supplement is free from fillers, additives, gluten, peanuts, and soy.
Pros and cons
OceanBlue may provide a more sustainable source of omega-3, as the company claims it only sources fish from Friend of the Sea-accredited fisheries.
However, some reviewers state that it is difficult to swallow these softgels as they are quite large.
Best for Vitamin D: Persona Vitamin D3
Persona is a subscription service that offers personalized vitamins and supplements. The company claims that it has formulated this vitamin for rapid absorption.
Each capsule contains 25 micrograms of vitamin D or around 1,000 UI. The company recommends taking the capsule with food and water.
Additionally, this product is free from most allergens, such as dairy, egg, shellfish, gluten, and soy.
Pros and cons
Each capsule is smaller than a one-cent coin, which may make it easier for people to swallow.
However, Persona is a subscription-only service, which may not suit those who prefer to buy their supplements as and when they require them.
Best for turmeric: Pure Encapsulations Curcumin 500 with BioPerine
Pure Encapsulations states that it only sources ingredients from trusted suppliers and manufactures and tests each batch for safety.
Additionally, this product is free from GMOs, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and some allergens including wheat, eggs, gluten, and tree nuts.
Each 1-capsule serving contains 500 mg of turmeric and 5.3 mg of BioPerine.
Pros and cons
Research suggests that BioPerine can increase the bioavailability of curcumin, increasing the body’s ability to absorb this nutrient.
However, this product is more expensive than some other turmeric supplements. Some people may wish to choose a more affordable option.
Best for affordable omega-3: NOW Supplements Omega-3 180 EPA / 120 DHA
This non-GMO, cGMP, and kosher supplement contains 2,000 mg of fish oil concentrate in each serving. Of this, 360 mg is omega-3 EPA and 240 mg is omega-3 DHA.
The company states that it packages all of its supplements in the United States.
Pros and cons
NOW Supplements states that it focuses on sustainability and charitable giving. Additionally, this product is more affordable than some other omega-3 supplements.
However, it does not contain as much omega-3 EPA and DHA as other products.
Best for magnesium: Nature Made Magnesium Citrate Gummies
Nature Made states that these gummies contain a highly absorbable form of magnesium. Each serving provides 200 mg of magnesium.
Learn more about the best magnesium supplements for anxiety here.
The company claims that it sources high quality ingredients. It also states that this product does not contain any artificial flavors or dyes, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners.
Nature Made recommends people take 2 gummies every day.
Pros and cons
This supplement is in the form of gummies, which may be easier for some people to take as they do not need to swallow capsules or tablets.
However, each serving also contains 6 grams (g) of added sugars. People should consider the sugar content of their usual diet before purchasing this product.
Best for a blend: Pure Encapsulations Emotional Wellness
Pure Encapsulations states that the blend of nutrients in this supplement may help promote general wellness and relieve stress.
It contains vitamin B6 and L-theanine alongside Rhodiola and passionflower extract. Each serving contains 6.7 mg of vitamin B6 and 100 mg of L-theanine.
The company states that it carefully tests all of its products to ensure safety.
Pros and cons
This supplement is free from many common allergens such as wheat, gluten, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts. Additionally, it does not contain any artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, GMO ingredients, fillers, or preservatives.
However, this product is one of the most expensive options for supplements for anxiety. People may wish to consider their budget before purchasing this supplement.
Best for L-Theanine: Doctor’s Best L-Theanine
Doctor’s Best states that this supplement may help promote relaxation, focus, and memory. The company says that the L-theanine in this supplement is the same as the compound in green tea.
Each serving contains 150 mg of L-theanine. Doctor’s Best recommends people take 1 capsule per day without food.
Pros and cons
This supplement is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Additionally, it does not contain any GMO ingredients, gluten, or soy.
However, the company states it does not recommend this product for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The following table compares the supplements for anxiety in this article.
If a person wishes to purchase a supplement for anxiety they may wish to consider:
- Current diet: People should try to avoid purchasing supplements that are high in nutrients they already consume through their regular diet.
- Current medications: A person should contact a doctor to ensure that the supplements will not negatively interact with any of their current medications.
- Type of capsule: Some people may prefer gummies or smaller capsules that are easier to swallow.
There is some evidence that certain supplements may help anxiety. However, the effectiveness of supplementation is often slight, and more research is necessary to investigate how vitamins and minerals may help anxiety.
It is important to note that people should not use supplements as a substitute for medical care.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin that helps regulate serotonin and dopamine in the brain, as well as reducing inflammation.
Many people do not receive enough vitamin D, and researchers associate low levels of this vitamin with several mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. People with anxiety disorders may have up to 30% lower vitamin D levels than those without this condition.
Learn more about the best vitamin D supplements here.
Once weekly or once biweekly vitamin D supplementation of 50,000 IU may help reduce anxiety symptoms after 3-4 months. However, this benefit may only apply to those who already have vitamin D deficiency, and there is not enough evidence to suggest this form of supplementation is effective in those who consume the recommended intake of this vitamin.
Learn more about at-home vitamin D tests here.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for human health and, according to a 2017 review, as many as
Research has found links between magnesium levels and anxiety. For example, those with test anxiety tend to have higher levels of magnesium in their urine leading to lower levels of this mineral in the body. Additionally, lower levels of magnesium increase the amount of cortisol, or the stress hormone, that the brain produces.
However, evidence of the effectiveness of magnesium supplementation on mild to moderate anxiety, premenstrual syndrome, postpartum anxiety, and mild hypotension is not conclusive. While magnesium may help reduce symptoms of these conditions, the quality of the studies in the review was poor and did not properly control for the placebo effect.
Learn more about magnesium supplements here.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids may help decrease inflammatory cytokine production and reduce anxiety symptoms. An older
However, a 2021 review states that the type and amount of omega-3 a person consumes may make this supplementation more or less effective. Omega-3 fatty acid doses of at least 2 grams per day with higher amounts of DHA are more effective.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may help increase the amount of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Researchers have investigated the effectiveness of this supplement in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and anxiety.
While studies show that curcumin may help decrease anxiety in humans, especially those with type 2 diabetes and obesity, there are some limitations. Each study uses different purities and formulations of curcumin, which makes it harder for other researchers to reproduce the results.
Additionally, curcumin has low bioavailability by itself or with water solutions. Research into the most effective co-administration of curcumin to increase bioavailability is underway.
L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea.
The researchers note that people who took saffron supplementation reported better outcomes with symptoms than those who took placebos. Additionally, there is some evidence that saffron supplementation alongside antidepressants has a greater effect.
However, the researchers also state that there is publication bias in the studies they included, as well as a lack of regional diversity. Therefore, more research is necessary.
Learn more about the best prenatal vitamins here.
Additionally, the NIH warns that people are more likely to experience side effects if they take many different supplements, high doses, or take supplements instead of prescription medication.
Many food and drink already contain vitamins, and some companies may add extra vitamins and minerals. People should always include the amount they receive from their diet when calculating how much of a supplement they require.
While a lot of people experience anxiety during the course of their life, such as during significant life changes, it is important to contact a doctor if these symptoms impact a person’s quality of life.
Symptoms of general anxiety disorder
- feeling persistent worry about areas in life such as school and work
- feeling restless
- feeling more tired than usual
- difficulty concentrating
- feeling irritable
- finding it difficult to have a restful sleep
A doctor may prescribe medication such as antidepressants in addition to therapy. If a person is taking any supplements or other medication they should inform their doctor to prevent any unintentional drug interactions.
Here we answer some common questions about these supplements.
What vitamins am I lacking if I am experiencing anxiety?
While having a vitamin or mineral deficiency may increase feelings of anxiety, the deficiencies are not a cause of anxiety.
If a person believes they are lacking certain vitamins they may wish to take a vitamin deficiency test.
How long will it take supplements to compress my anxiety?
Most studies of supplements for anxiety take place over a period of 4–12 weeks before participants notice a difference.
However, people should not use supplements as a substitute for the treatment a doctor may recommend.
Are supplements as effective as prescription medication for anxiety?
There is no scientific evidence that states supplements are as effective as prescription medication.
People should work with a doctor to find a treatment regimen that works for them.
There is some evidence that supplements such as vitamin D, curcumin, and magnesium may help reduce symptoms of anxiety. However, more research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of these supplements.
A person should not use supplements as an alternative to the treatment a doctor recommends. Additionally, children and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should contact a doctor before taking any supplements, as often companies do not test for the safety of the products in these populations.