What Vitamins Are Good For Anxiety and Panic Attacks?

Anxiety and panic attacks can be debilitating conditions that disrupt daily life. While therapy and medication are often used to treat anxiety, some research suggests certain vitamins and supplements may also help reduce symptoms. This article explores the top vitamins that may aid in calming anxiety and reducing the frequency and severity of panic attacks.

Vitamin B Complex

The B vitamins, including B6, B12, and folate (B9), play important roles in the production of brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. These neurotransmitters regulate mood and have calming effects. Low levels of B vitamins have been linked to increased anxiety, depression, and stress. Supplementing with a high-quality B complex may help replenish B vitamin levels and balance brain chemicals. Studies show B complex vitamins may reduce work-related stress and anxiety symptoms. The recommended daily intake is around 100mg for most B complex supplements.

Vitamin D

Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D plays a major role in mood regulation. Low vitamin D levels are associated with depression and anxiety. Sufficient vitamin D may enhance the effects of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. It may also protect against panic attacks by reducing inflammation in the brain. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. But during fall and winter months, supplements around 2000 to 5000 IU per day may be recommended to maintain healthy levels.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Found primarily in fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA possess natural anti-anxiety properties. These healthy fats are critical for optimal brain health and function. Omega-3s help inhibit excessive inflammation that can disrupt neurotransmitters and contribute to anxiety. Studies demonstrate omega-3 supplements may significantly reduce anxiety symptoms and help stabilize mood. The effective supplemental dosage is typically around 500mg to 1000mg per day.

Magnesium

Magnesium plays a central role in the stress response system. Supplementing with magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system and mind. It helps regulate the production of stress hormones like cortisol. Magnesium deficiency is very common and linked with heightened anxiety and panic attacks. Taking around 400mg of magnesium glycinate or citrate daily may help lower anxiety levels and prevent panic attacks.

Theanine

Theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green and black tea. It produces tranquilizing and relaxing effects without causing drowsiness. Studies indicate theanine consumption leads to increased alpha brain waves which induce calmness. Theanine may also boost levels of serotonin and dopamine. Supplementing with 200mg of theanine per day can help reduce anxiety sensitivity and nervous tension.

While dietary supplements can help, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking new vitamins or herbs, especially with any medical condition. Though generally well-tolerated, some supplements may interact with medications. A holistic approach incorporating vitamins, therapy, medication changes, and lifestyle adjustments often yields the best results in managing anxiety disorders.