Anxiety Relief with Diet and Supplementation

December 16th, 2013 by Dr. Keith Nemec

Anxiety relief through health food and supplements

Anxiety disorders are currently the most common neuropsychiatric disorders in the United States and Europe.  They also represent one of the most major health problems in the western world.  There are many supplements that can help with treating anxiety.  Kava, passionflower, valerian, and magnesium are all excellent ways of helping to cope with anxiety.

There is substantial evidence out there that kava has a positive effect on anxiety disorders.  Kava has consistently shown that it is better than a placebo in producing reductions in anxiety symptoms.  The authors of one study concluded that kava taken for one to 24 weeks was safe and effective.  Kava can lead to improvements in the symptoms of generalized anxiety when taken for a short time.  Another clinic trial shows that it is superior to placebos and roughly equivalent to oxazepam or bromazepam.  Kava can be purchased in root form, tincture, capsule, tea, or paste.

Another supplement that can be helpful in treating anxiety is passionflower.  One single, randomized, double – blind trial compared passionflower tincture to oxazepam for 30 days.

The investigators noted a reduction in the anxiety score of both groups.1   In another four week, double blind study of individuals with generalized anxiety, they once again compared passionflower to oxazepam.  Oxazepam worked quicker, but by the end of the study, both treatments were proved equally effective.  It was also shown that the passionflower had far less side-effects.  Another placebo-controlled trial showed that passionflower significantly reduced pre-surgery anxiety.   Passionflower is available as a capsule or a tincture.

Another herbal supplement for anxiety is valerian.  Valerian is best known as a treatment for insomnia.

Since most of the drugs that are useful for insomnia also help to reduce anxiety, valerian has been proposed as an anxiety treatment as well.  A double – blind, placebo – controlled study was done with people with generalized anxiety disorder.  They were given either valerian, valium, or a placebo for four weeks.  After careful analysis, the results hinted that valerian was helpful in treating anxiety.   Valerian helps to relax the mind and the body, and that is what helps give people relief from anxiety.  Valerian can be bought as a tea, tincture, capsule, or dried herb.

A mineral that is effective in treating anxiety that can be taken as a supplement or found in foods is magnesium.  Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet.  Unfortunately many modern day food production practices essentially wipe it out of the food.  There is increasing evidence of the role of poor nutrition in the development of some psychiatric diseases like anxiety.

A relationship between magnesium and anxiety is suggested in mice that have low plasma magnesium levels and increased anxiety behavior.  It does not matter if these levels were depleted naturally or experimentally induced.  It has also been shown that supplementation with magnesium reduces the anxiety – related behavior in the mice.  It has also been shown that magnesium controls the activity of the hypothalamic – pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis, which is considered to be the main stress response system.  It has been suggested that dysregulations in the CRH – HPA axis system may contribute to pathological anxiety.   There are millions of people who are deficient in magnesium in some way.  Stress even appears to decrease magnesium in the body.  Magnesium can be taken as a supplement or found in foods.  Some excellent food sources are almonds, spinach, cashews, avocados, broccoli, and carrots.

Anxiety affects around 7 million adults in the United States.  There are many effective natural ways to treat anxiety.  Kava and passionflower have been proven to be just as effective as one of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety.  Valerian is an herb that can help with the symptoms of anxiety.  Magnesium is also a way to help with the effects of anxiety.

Dr. Keith & Laurie Nemec’s comments on Anxiety:

What is anxiety? It is a physiological and mental reaction in the body. So how would you best address anxiety? Well if you are like most Americans you would say take medication for it. If you are not the medication type then you would say take vitamins and herbs because they are more natural, and they are so this is a better choice than relying on medication that can have from 7-500 side effects.

This is why we listed some of the alternative choices. Next would be to eat the right foods and this goes without saying but many do not know what foods are helpful and that is why the best foods to consume are listed. But there is even a better way and that is to become healthy in body, mind and spirit. What we have seen in treating patients for 30 years is this: the symptom, condition or disease is not the problem it is the effect and not the cause. So if you take magnesium this is very good but you still are not addressing the cause.

This is what we do at Total Health Institute. We find the causes and when those are resolved the effects go away and the end product is you are healthy and your anxiety can completely resolve. We have seen this with so many of our patients over the years. So if you want to take the beginning steps in addressing your anxiety then you can begin with magnesium and nerve calm. But far better is to have your complete health evaluated at Total Health Institute. We have outpatient services for those who can drive and for those who live too far away we have inpatient programs and our “Stay at Home” program which is a tremendous way to improve your health from home and have Dr. Nemec personally coach you.

Remember it is always about getting healthy and NOT about trying to get rid of a disease.

 

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