Are supplements the answer for stress and anxiety?
Stress, mood issues and anxiety can be debilitating and can hamper your quality of life. There are both diet and lifestyle modifications that can make a huge difference. Many people turn to supplements as their go to and often find significant relief from them. But which ones should you take?
The B vitamins
A group of 8 closely linked nutrients, the B vitamins may help to ease the symptoms of anxiety. B vitamins are needed directly for brain cells and their function, as well as their communication between each other.
There have been a number of studies demonstrating the benefits of taking a vitamin B-complex, including a study that suggests that it just takes 60 days of vitamin B complex supplementation for a significant improvement in anxiety symptoms.
B vitamins also contribute towards the synthesis of serotonin which not only creates feelings of happiness, but also improves motivation and the ability to deal with stressful situations.
Vitamin B Complex, especially vitamin B6, helps with hormone balancing which can be beneficial to women who experience anxiety around the time of menstruation, perimenopause and menopause.
Omega 3 oils (fats) are essential for brain health. They are directly incorporated into the outer membrane of the brain cells and influence mood and cognition. Research clearly indicates that supplementation with omega 3 fats has been shown to significantly improve mood and anxiety.
Omega 3 also has the added benefit of being an anti-inflammatory agent. There is some evidence to suggest that chronic low-grade inflammation contributes towards low moods and anxiety, meaning omega 3 fats work in multiple ways to improve mood.
Well regarded as a beauty supplement, Marine Collagen is used in the body for a few biological reactions – and not just for its anti-ageing, skin and joint health benefits. There have been studies that demonstrate a positive association between low-weight collagen (low-Dalton) supplementation and improved mood and emotional behaviour.
One particular study found that low Dalton marine collagen supplementation increased the rate of regeneration of brain cells and reduces the level of anxiety experienced.
There is a wealth of early research now becoming available that really identifies the strong link between good gut health and a happy, healthy mind. The ethos of ‘good mind health starts in the gut’ is gradually gaining more and more traction, and good clinical support.
Collagen is excellent for gut health as it promotes the repair of any damage to the gut lining. When gut health is good, the good bacteria thrive, and they promote the synthesis of many neurotransmitters which are transported into the brain where they help to balance moods and manage anxiety. These neurotransmitters include serotonin (the happy hormone) and GABA (the chill-out hormone).
Ashwagandha helps to regulate the stress response in the body and control the level of cortisol produced. It does this by modulation the activity of a system in the called the HPA axis. This is the connection between the hypothalamus pituitary glands in the brain and the adrenal glands which sit on top of the kidneys.
This modulation of the HPA axis is invaluable to those with anxiety who often have elevated cortisol levels, and difficulty dealing with stress. Balancing the stress response balances both moods and anxiety.
Ashwagandha also promotes sleep leading to less tiredness associated mood swings and better overall mental health.
As with all supplements, we recommend ensuring that they are high quality, highly bioavailable, and with as few excipients as possible, so that you reap the best benefits through great absorption!
If you are someone (or you know someone) who struggles to manage stress levels, or juggles the difficulties of anxiety or poor sleep regularly, then hopefully this list can be really supportive and helpful.
And make sure you have a look at the supplements we offer that fall into this category, the reviews are amazing, and we work really hard to make sure they work for you.
Pure, low Dalton Marine Collagen (high strength capsules)
Organic Ashwagandha Root KSM-66 (high strength capsules)
Full spectrum and highly bio-available Vitamin B Complex