You hear someone say, “Take a chill pill!”, when things seem to hit the fan, or your head is spinning out of control. According to American Psychological Association, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year.
Stress can wreak havoc on the body, causing muscle tension, pain, stomach upset, and sleep trouble, just to name a few. Stress can also lead to many other health problems that can increase blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
I’m sure you are wondering if there’s a way you can short circuit your fight or flight response. Before you start taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, sleeping aids, or high blood pressure medications, there are many types of vitamins that can help combat stress and anxiety. While you may be considering the benefits of collagen, these vitamins are probably the closest thing to an actual ‘chill pill’ on the market.
Listed below are the best anti stress and stress relieving vitamins.
Also known as pantothenic acid. This vitamin plays a role in the production of adrenal hormones and is known as the “anti-stress” vitamin. When vitamin B5 is present in adequate amounts, it’s able to down-regulate the secretion of cortisol, which helps the body recover.1 Also, pantothenic acid plays a role with Coenzyme-A, which is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as, epinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine, that affect cognitive function, memory, and mood. You can see how Vitamin B5 has a reputation for reducing, anxiety, stress and, depression.
This is also known as pyridoxine which helps with the synthesis of stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. This means that when the body is stressed, there is less B6 to preform its other functions. Vitamin B6 is also great for the formation of the “feel good” neurotransmitters GABA, serotonin, and dopamine. When you don’t have enough GABA in the body, anxiety and stress can worsen. A research study by Swinburne University, Australia, in 2014 revealed that chronic stress depletes levels of vitamin B6 in the body.2 The study also showed a 20% reduction in work-related stress in those consuming higher levels of B vitamins.
This vitamin is known for its immunity properties because of the high antioxidant content but it also plays an important role with stress. When our bodies are under stress, vitamin C decreases naturally in our body. Think of this, the more cortisol that the body uses, the more vitamin C is used. It is important to note that bioflavonoids are essential for ascorbic acid to be fully metabolized, and utilized by the body, and double the effectiveness of vitamin C, and allows its metabolic process to be more complete.
Fish oils are the best vitamin out there when it comes to helping overcome inflammation in the body. They are the foundation to a healthy nervous system and brain health. Therefore, it would only make sense that they would help cope with stress. One study stated that Omega-3 fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) intake is associated with improved mood and cognition.3
Zinc is an excellent supplement that is linked to improved immunity, resistance to infections, improved energy, and reduced fatigue. Zinc is naturally found in protein-rich foods, especially beef, chicken, and seafood.
Vitamin A and Vitamin E
Vitamin A and Vitamin E play an important role in stress reduction by both fighting the body’s harmful hormonal and biochemical reactions to stress and by inhibiting toxins that make our body feel fatigued. Vitamin A is naturally found in milk, eggs, spinach, carrots, and apricots and vitamin E is naturally found in almonds, mangoes, broccoli, and corn oil. Vitamin A and E when combined with Selenium exhibit greater effectiveness.
Vitamin B-12 is considered one of the top supplements for improved mood and stress management. Vitamin B-12 affects the release of the feel-good hormones called endorphins, which actually make you feel better and promote a calm and euphoric mental state. Natural sources of vitamin B-12 include beef, eggs, cheese, and shellfish.
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This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.
1. Elissa Rodriguez. SpectraCell Laboratories. Why is Vitamin B5 called the anti-stress vitamin, http://info.spectracell.com/vitaminb5. Accessed March 10th, 2019.
- Tamara Simpson, Justine Lomas, Grace McPhee, Clare Billings, Stephen Myers, Chris Oliver, andLuke A Downey. Reducing occupational stress with a B-vitamin focused intervention: a randomized clinical trial: study protocol. Nutr J. 2014; 13: 122. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290459/. Accessed March 10th, 2019
- Giles GE, Mahoney CR, Urry HL, Brunyé TT, Taylor HA, Kanarek RB. Omega-3 fatty acids and stress-induced changes to mood and cognition in healthy individuals. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2015;132:10-19. Accessed March 10th, 2019
- Best Vitamins for Stress March 13, 2019By Julia DiDonato, BSN https://www.personanutrition.com/blog/best-vitamins-to-relieve-stress/