Feeling edgy, irritable, fuzzy-headed, depressed, or an occasional panic attack? Here is a list of supplements that may help you out.
Many nutrients are involved in the synthesis and repair of DNA, processes essential for the manufacture of new cells, including brain cells. Many of these same nutrients also serve as the chemical building blocks of neurotransmitters or coenzymes involved in neurotransmitter production.
Chronic stress places a greater demand on these nutrients and can diminish their levels. One consequence is an inhibition of both DNA synthesis and the production of new brain cells. Stress can also reduce neurotransmitter production and set the stage for depression, anxiety, or panic attacks. When chronic stress is combined with nutrient deficiencies because of poor eating habits the risk of mood disorders can increase.
Eating Habits –
When you eat too many sugars and refined carbohydrates, or when you skip a meal, you feel your blood sugar drop. Low blood sugar impairs your concentration and judgment, leaves you tired and fuzzy-headed, and sometimes makes you feel irritable. These symptoms often disappear after you eat something and your blood sugar rises.
Part of the solution is emphasizing a diet rich in protein and non starchy, high-fiber vegetables. Both protein and fiber help stabilize blood-sugar and insulin levels, which will help even out mood swings.
Protein has at least two benefits: it has little effect on blood-sugar levels, and some of the amino acids in it are used to construct neurotransmitters. Fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates, thus moderating the swings in blood-sugar and insulin levels.
B-complex vitamins has been long been known as the anti stress nutrients. Some of the B vitamins are involved in DNA-synthesis and repair process, necessary for the production of new cells in the brain and throughout the body. Many of the B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, are needed for the body’s production of brain calming neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, taurine, and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA).
David Benton, Ph.D., professor at the University of Wales, found that 50 mg of vitamin B1 daily helped otherwise health young adults feel more composed and energetic.
If you tend to be depressed or edgy, take a high potency B-complex supplement that includes 25 to 50 mg of vitamin B1.
Several clinical studies have found that inositol, a nutrient related to B vitamins, can be a great benefit in panic attacks, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Vitamin C is crucial to health and most people don consume enough of it. It’s recommended to take a minimum of 500 mg of supplemental vitamin C daily.
Theanine (an amino acid) has a powerful anti caffeine, brain calming effect. In fact, theanine may account for the many health benefits of tea, from promoting relaxation to lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid (GABA)
This amino acid also functions as a neurotransmitter, and nutritionally oriented physicians often use GABA to treat anxiety. GABA helps the brain filter out distracting signals – background noise, so to speak – that impair thinking.. For use as a supplement, take 500 4,000 mg of GABA daily.\
Tryptophan and 5 Hydroxy-Tryptophan
Tryptophan supplements are available only by prescription in the United States. Nonprescription tryptophan supplements have been replaced by 5-HTP, a closely related compound that is a precursor to serotonin. Like tryptophan, 5-HTP has brain calming, anti anxiety, and antidepressant benefits – and an exceptional safety record. For use as a supplement, take 300 to 400 mg before bedtime.