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Vitamins for Stress

Stress is a reaction or response to any physical, emotional or social stimulus that changes the way we perform or think. Stress is an unavoidable part of life. We all experience stress one way or another.  Pressure from work, losing a love one, changing jobs, getting enough money to pay the bills, meeting new people, moving to a new environment, or suffering from physical illness.  They all cause stress and can have profound impact on our physical and emotional health.

Stress can cause fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite, insomnia, memory loss, high blood pressure, digestive problems, etc. Some are mild and can be treated easily, but prolonged period of stress can cause some serious physical and mental illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, anxiety and depression. 

Our body responds to stress with a series of physiological changes including increase of adrenaline secretion, elevation of blood pressure, increase in heartbeat, slower digestion, increase in cholesterol levels, etc.  The release of stress hormones such as cortisone and cortisol can inhibit the functioning of white blood cells and suppress the immune system.  Stress may lead to nutritional deficiencies due to the breakdown of protein, fat and carbohydrate via the action of adrenal hormones as well as poorer absorption of nutrients.  If a person cannot deal with stress properly, s/he may develop some serious emotional or mental disorders such as anxiety, panic attack, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobic disorders, depression etc. 

There are many ways to cope with stress, including eating a healthy diet with lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods such as deep fried foods, soft drinks, artificial sweeteners, junk foods, getting regular exercise such as jogging, walking, workouts at gym, having meditation, getting sufficient and high quality sleep and talking to friends etc.

Some nutrients are particularly useful when dealing with stress.  Some of them are listed below:

 

Vitamins for Stress:

Magnesium

Magnesium is known as an anti-stress nutrient.  Magnesium calms down nerves and helps the muscle to relax.  It also helps the blood to flow freely and prevent abnormal thickening of blood vessels.  Scientific studies show  that during stressful condition, there is an influx of calcium into the cells causing a low Mg:Ca ratio at cellular level.  A low Mg:Ca ratio causes adrenaline secretion and cells' response to adrenaline, which further worsens and lengthens the stress response.  Magnesium deficiency is often found in highly stressed individuals or people suffering from heart disease, anxiety and depression. Magnesium supplements help us to restore a normal and healthy Mg:Ca ratio and promote stress relief.

Vitamin B Complex

All vitamin Bs are water soluble vitamins so they are not stored in the body.  Vitamin B complex includes thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, folic acid and the cobalamins (vitamin B12). These vitamins help the nervous system to function properly, and are necessary for optimal brain function. Stress itself can cause a depletion of nutrients including vitamin B. Vegetarians may be deficient in vitamin B12 which is only available from animal sources and elderly people are also prone to have vitamin B deficiency. Supplementation of vitamin B complex is known to help the body to cope with stress.

Vitamin C

While many people know that vitamin C helps fight off common cold and strengthen the immune system, they may not know that vitamin C is also very important in stress management.  A German study showed that people supplemented with 1,000 mg vitamin C felt less stress whereas those without vitamin supplement had higher level of the stress hormone cortisol and higher blood pressure when they were subject to the same stress stimulus. Animal studies also showed that vitamin C prevented the elevation of cortisol and reduced signs of stress.  Vitamin C can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables but it is unstable to heat (cooking) and light.

GABA

GABA stands for Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, it is a compound essential for proper brain function. GABA reduces stress, calms nerves and stimulates the pituitary gland to increase Human Growth Hormone (HGH). A clinical study in Japan showed that GABA increased alpha waves of the brain and decreased beta waves. GABA can be found in pasta and grains or synthesized by the amino acid glutamine. Taurine, glycine, and vitamin B6 are needed for GABA absorption and synthesis.  The recommended dosage for GABA supplement is 1000 - 2000 mg per day.

Multivitamin and mineral complex

A balanced multivitamin and mineral complex contains nutrients essential for stress relief, such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C, magnesium, etc.  On the other hand, beta-carotene, vitamin E, zinc, selenium etc. help to protect the cells from free radical damage caused by stress reaction.

Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids are fats that are essential for the functioning of many organ systems but they cannot be synthesized by the body and have to be obtained by diet or supplements. EFAs such as DHA and EPA are important for proper brain function and neurotransmitter function. Studies showed that omega-3 EFA supplementation reduced aggression and have mood stabilizing properties.

 

 

Buy vitamins and supplements for stress:

Magnesium for Stress

Vitamin B Stress Formulas

GABA for Stress

(use code "WAN045" - get $5 off your first order)

 

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