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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there are about 40 million American adults who experience anxiety disorders every year.
There are several factors that cause anxiety, including genetics, the environment, a person’s medical history, and/or the use of prohibited substances.
Although anxiety disorders are common and a cause of concern for sufferers and the people closest to them, they are also treatable conditions.
One of the identified ways of combating the symptoms of anxiety disorders is nutritional supplementation, or the use of vitamins and minerals that help relax our muscles, improve our moods, and calm our thoughts.
It is reassuring to know that there are remedies and medical interventions that help restore a sense of peace to those who are constantly suffering from anxiety.
Today, we are reviewing five of the best vitamins for anxiety. We’ve selected the best supplements based on scientific and medical studies.
Don't have time to read the entire review?
If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything. Here is a table to show you a quick rating of the best vitamins for anxiety.
|Best Choice For…
|Nature Made Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc
|Best overall. The combination of calcium of magnesium has been used for centuries in the treatment of anxiety. Zinc is also an essential nutrient that fights anxiety.
|Kirkland Signature Vitamin E 400 I.U., 500 Softgels
|Best value for money anti-oxidant vitamin supplements to curb anxiety and depression.
|Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B-Complex
|Best vitamin B-complex brand, with high absorption rate
|Swanson Ashwagandha Stress Support, 450 mg Capsules
|Best anxiety-fighting herbal supplement
|Viva Naturals Premium Non-GMO Vitamin C With Bioflavonoids and Rose Hips, 1000 mg
|Best vitamin C brand for preventing oxidative stress in the body, which triggers anxiety
Vitamin Supplementation in Anxiety Treatment in Scientific Studies
There are numerous studies published in medical and scientific journals regarding the efficacy of vitamin supplementation for the reduction and treatment of anxiety.
One study published in Integrative Medicine Insights reveals that micronutrients can help in the treatment of a number of mental disorders. You can read the details of the study here.
The results of another study has been published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. In this study, it was proven that administering vitamins known for their antioxidant properties improves the symptoms of anxiety and depression. You can check out the results of the research here.
What Things Should I Consider When Looking for Vitamins for Anxiety?
Keep in mind that the recommended supplements featured in this review are not intended to replace any medication or psychological/medical treatment for anxiety. However, these micronutrients may be used in conjunction with these types of treatment.
We suggest consulting a medical practitioner for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations for your health concerns.
If you are planning to use vitamins for relieving anxiety symptoms, here are some tips to choose the best product for your needs.
Choose the vitamin supplement or a combination of supplements that has been clinically proven to be effective in combating symptoms of anxiety. While it is a slow process, objective medical studies can provide clinical support that a supplement is effective.
Often, scientists conduct randomized clinical trials, where volunteers are assigned to either take the supplement or a placebo while researchers track any changes in their health.
The most informational clinical studies are double-blind, meaning neither the participants nor the researchers know who is getting the supplement and who is getting the placebo until the trial is over.
Consider the possible side effects of long-term use of your vitamin supplement. Calcium, for example, can lead to kidney stones in some cases of long-term use.
The FDA website notes that when anything is consumed in high enough amounts and for a long enough time, all chemicals or supplements can become toxic or harmful in some way. This includes nutrients, plant derivatives, and other biologically active compounds.
Look for the supplement that has the right therapeutic dosage for your needs. When you're trying to figure out what that dosage is, you need to consider your weight, the reason you are taking the supplement, and your unique reactivity to it. For weight, manufacturers adjust the dosage for an “average” person, whom they assume to be 154 lbs.
This means you may need a different dose, depending on how far away you are from the average person's weight. Secondly, if you are using a supplement as a short-term treatment for a specific health condition, it will require a higher dosage than if you are simply trying to maintain proper health.
Lastly, some people are much more responsive to supplements than others. Some people can take the dosage on the label, while others need to adjust it due to their physiology.
Supplements are only effective because of the active ingredients. So why do so many supplements have added fillers, binders, lubricants, coating agents, sweeteners, colors, flavors, etc.?
These additives make it easier for manufacturers to take the supplements because the process becomes faster, cheaper, and more profitable than when additives are not used.
Make sure that the product has zero or as few additives as possible. Not only can additives be harmful to your health, but they can also decrease the absorption of the nutrients in the supplement.
Additionally, people who have any type of impaired digestion may have even more difficulty absorbing nutrients that are coated in additives.
Best Active Ingredients
Choose supplements with the optimal form of their active ingredients. For example, the best form of vitamin B12 is methylcobalamin because it is better absorbed in the body compared with cyanocobalamin. If you are experiencing vitamin deficiency panic attacks, then you want to address that in the most effective way possible.
Look for a supplement that is manufactured under strict GMP compliance, because these are the quality standards that drug companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals have to comply with.
Also, reputable supplement companies use more absorbable and effective forms of vitamins and minerals than other companies that try to get by with cheap substitutes.
Choose a reasonably priced product. Expensive supplements are not necessarily the best for your needs, and they often include ingredients that you probably don't need. However, steer clear of products with rock-bottom prices, as the quality is often sacrificed in these.
It is very important to first look at the most basic yet effective supplements on the market. Look at the products that have always been popular. These time-tested, effective supplements are typically cheaper than more luxurious or “designer” ones.
Consider your health condition and if you’re taking other medications before taking anti-anxiety supplements. Some supplements cannot be taken with certain medicines, or when you have other health conditions.
For example, if you’re taking any kind of antidepressant prescription, you wouldn't want to mix that with an L-tryptophan supplement, as this has the potential ability to increase serotonin levels, which can cause unwelcome or even harmful side effects. Just make sure to check with your doctor before beginning to take any supplements.
Look for the quality assurance seal, ensuring that the brand complies with ethical manufacturing practices. Get some reliable information about the manufacturer, especially if the supplement is made outside of the U.S., as toxic ingredients have been found in supplements made elsewhere, especially in China, India, and Mexico.
Also, keep up with alerts and advisories, as supplements are often under regulatory review, and be sure your supplement of choice has the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification on the label. The GMP endorsement indicates that your supplement has been tested for contaminants and quality assurance.
Check the expiry date before you purchase a supplement. These dates serve as a guideline for how long your supplement will be effective.
Each supplement will vary in its efficacy after its expiration date, depending on the manufacturer and the quality of its ingredients, but in order to avoid any type of concern, you want to be able to finish your supplement prior to the expiration date.
Beware of brands that do not have product satisfaction guarantees or do not allow returns.
In fact, if you have any questions or doubts about a specific product, contact the manufacturer and talk to someone who can address your questions, such as the specific data or studies that the company has to back up its products' claims. Any company that can stand behind their product will offer some kind of return policy.
Now that we know what we are looking for in a product, let's look at the best supplements for generalized anxiety disorder on the market today.
The 5 Best Vitamins for Anxiety
1. Best Overall: Nature Made Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc
This is the best overall option when looking for vitamins for stress relief. The combination of calcium and magnesium has been used for centuries in the treatment of anxiety.
Zinc is also an essential nutrient that fights anxiety, and it has antioxidant properties. This supplement contains key nutrients that support strong bones and improve nerve function, muscle function, and metabolism.
This product has no synthetic dyes or artificial flavors, and no preservatives. It is USP-verified, meaning it is tested for quality and purity by a third-party company. This shows the manufacturer's commitment to quality.
Each tablet offers 333 mg of calcium, 133 mg of magnesium, and 5 mg of zinc. They also include 200 IUs of vitamin D3, which is an essential nutrient to help your body absorb calcium.
- Best overall option with a variety of helpful ingredients.
- The company has strict compliance policies and current good manufacturing practices.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Tablets are hard to swallow for some people.
- It does not contain calcium citrate, which is the type of calcium that is recommended for absorption.
- Some doctors recommend taking three of these pills, which makes the bottle last a short amount of time.
2. Best Value for Money: Kirkland Signature Vitamin E 400 I.U., 500 Softgels
This product offers the best value for the money. It is an anti-oxidant vitamin supplement that helps reduce anxiety and depression. Vitamin E can help improve heart health by offering protection to LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which could otherwise lead to cellular damage.
Vitamin E helps improve your overall health in many ways by maintaining and supporting a healthy immune system, cognitive function, eye health, and skin health.
These soft gels are easy to swallow and provide great value for the money. One bottle will last a long time, as you only need to take one soft gel each day. Some people even puncture the soft gel and add the supplement to their pets' food.
- Best value for the money.
- Has antioxidants to curb anxiety.
- Bottles come fully packed.
- Some find that the soft gels become stuck together in the bottle.
- The vitamin E that is used in this product is synthetic.
- Some users experience abdominal pain after taking this supplement.
3. Best Absorption Rate: Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B-Complex
This is the best vitamin B-complex brand, due to its high absorption rate. Having a deficiency in one or more B vitamins is common, especially in people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or people who are especially stressed.
The eight B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning the body is not able to easily store them, so they have to be replenished often. The functions of the B vitamins are so interrelated that it is best to take them together so they can work in unison to perform at their optimal levels.
This product offers a full recommended daily value of all eight of the essential B vitamins, and it is specially formulated to have high potencies.
This supplement is non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and has no binders or fillers in it. It provides mental and physical energy and supports healthy blood, a healthy cardiovascular system, immunity, and healthy stress response, making this B complex vitamin an essential nutrient for the body.
- Great value for the money.
- It provides a full B vitamin complex.
- Aids in healthy digestion with live probiotics and enzymes.
- Some experience dizziness and headaches.
- It contains synthetic folic acid.
- Quality of product has decreased with time
4. Best Herbal Choice: Swanson Ashwagandha Stress Support, 450 mg Capsules
This is the best anxiety-fighting herbal supplement. Ashwagandha root is a strong herb that is known for its wide range of health benefits. This supplement promotes cognitive health, energy, a positive mood, stress reduction, physical vitality, and more. Ashwagandha has been extensively studied and proven to be able to boost your health.
This supplement is considered to be an adaptogenic herb, meaning it increases your ability to adapt to stress on a daily basis.
Ashwagandha is believed to help support your body’s ability to reduce the production of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. Ashwagandha has also been used to boost a healthy mood, which likely contributes to this herb’s stress-reducing abilities.
The company behind this product is committed to quality and service. This supplement is made from the purest, freshest ingredients available, and meets the highest of quality standards.
The facilities in which this supplement is produced are Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified, and the supplement goes through rigorous potency and purity testing by a third party before it ends up in your home.
- Superior supplement for fighting anxiety.
- It can help boost immune function.
- Promotes memory health.
- Some people experience insomnia.
- May cause dizziness.
- May increase appetite.
5. Best Vitamin C Brand: Viva Naturals Premium Non-GMO Vitamin C, 1000 mg
This is the best vitamin C brand for preventing oxidative stress in the body, which triggers anxiety. Viva Naturals is one of the very few brands that offer consumers a high-quality serving of Scottish Quali-C, which is made by one of the world’s leading manufacturers of this essential nutrient.
This supplement is formulated with an ample amount of antioxidant support derived from citrus bioflavonoids and rose hips, which helps consumers be confident that this product is effective.
Each batch of this product is third-party tested to ensure quality and provides a strong dose of 1,000 mg of immunity-supporting vitamin C.
The vitamin C blend that is used includes citrus bioflavonoids and rose hips, which offers users even more antioxidant support with each serving. These capsules are also non-GMO and vegetarian, which makes them an easy addition to anyone's diet.
- Best vitamin C to prevent oxidative stress.
- It contains a high-quality European vitamin C.
- Supports collagen production, helping improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails.
- It contains rice powder, which many are opposed to.
- Large pills are hard to swallow.
- May turn urine bright yellow.
Final Thoughts on the Best Vitamins for Anxiety
All vitamins featured in this review are scientifically proven to help with anxiety. However, the stand-out product today is Nature Made Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc, for the long-term anxiety-fighting benefits of its components.
Finally, if you want a simple way to reduce your stress and anxiety, then try writing these 35 mindfulness journaling prompts to live more in the present moment.