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  • Can a Common Artificial Sweetener Fuel Anxiety? - Medscape, 12/20/22 - "mice that drank water containing aspartame exhibited pronounced anxiety-like behaviors in a variety of maze tests ... This behavior occurred at aspartame doses equivalent to less than 15% of the maximum daily human intake recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... "It was such a robust anxiety-like trait that I don't think any of us were anticipating we would see. It was completely unexpected. Usually you see subtle changes ... When consumed, aspartame becomes aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol ― all of which can have potent effects on the central nervous system ... Exposing the mice to aspartame also produced changes in the expression of genes regulating excitation-inhibition balance in the amygdala, a brain region that regulates anxiety and fear"
  • Saffron extract (Safr'Inside™) improves anxiety related behaviour in a mouse model of low-grade inflammation through the modulation of the microbiota and gut derived metabolites - Food Funct 2022 Nov 7 - "Treatment of anxiety and depression predominantly centres around pharmacological interventions, which have faced criticism for their associated side effects, lack of efficacy and low tolerability. Saffron, which is reportedly well tolerated in humans, has been recognised for its antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties ... In a rodent model of low-grade chronic inflammation, we explored the impact of a saffron extract (Safr'Inside™) supplemented at a physiological dose, which equated to 22 ± 1.2 mg per day human equivalent dose for a person of 60 kg ... Time occupying the centre of the Open Field maze (OF) was increased by 62% in saffron supplemented animals. This improvement in anxiety-related behaviour coincided with gut microbial shifts, notably Akkermansia, Muribaculaceae, Christensenellacae and Alloprevotella which significantly increased in response to saffron supplementation. Akkermansia and Muribaculaceae abundance negatively correlated with the neurotoxic metabolite dimethylamine which was reduced in saffron supplemented animals. Brain proteomic analysis highlighted several significantly altered proteins including ketimine reductase mu-crystallin which also correlated with dimethylamine concentration. Both dimethylamine and ketimine reductase mu-crystallin were associated with OF performance. This may be indicative of a novel interaction across the gut-brain axis which contributes to anxiety-related disorders" - See saffron supplements at Amazon.com.
  • (-)-Epicatechin exerts positive effects on anxiety in high fat diet-induced obese mice through multi-genomic modifications in the hippocampus - Food Funct 2022 Sep 28 - "the capacity of EC to mitigate anxiety-related behaviors in HFD-induced obese mice can be in part explained by its capacity to exert complex genomic modifications in the hippocampus, counteracting changes driven by consumption of the HFD and/or associated obesity" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Does Ashwagandha supplementation have a beneficial effect on the management of anxiety and stress? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - Phytother Res 2022 Aug 25 - "Ashwagandha supplementation significantly reduced anxiety (SMD: -1.55, 95% CI: -2.37, -0.74; p = .005; I2 = 93.8%) and stress level (SMD: -1.75; 95% CI: -2.29, -1.22; p = .005; I2 = 83.1%) compared to the placebo. Additionally, the non-linear dose-response analysis indicated a favorable effect of Ashwagandha supplementation on anxiety until 12,000 mg/d and stress at dose of 300-600 mg/d" - See ashwagandha at Amazon.com.
  • Efficacy of B-vitamins and vitamin D therapy in improving depressive and anxiety disorders: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials - Nutr Neurosci 2022 Feb 14;1-21 - "B vitamins and vitamin D associated with other compounds also showed significant results, so the improvement in symptoms cannot be attributed strictly to those. Our results suggest that intervention with B vitamins and/or vitamin D may be an effective and well-tolerated adjuvant strategy for improving the symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to the patient's clinical status and nutritional biomarkers" - See B complex supplements at Amazon.com and vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • The effects of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) on depression and anxiety in clinical trials: A systematic review and meta-analysis - Phytother Res 2021 Aug 27 - "Based on meta-analysis results, lemon balm significantly improved mean anxiety and depression scores compared with the placebo (SMD: -0.98; 95% CI: -1.63 to -0.33; p = 0.003), (SMD: -0.47; 95% CI: -0.73 to -0.21; p = 0.0005) respectively, without serious side effects. Current evidence suggests that lemon balm may be effective in improving anxiety and depressive symptoms, particularly in the acute setting. Due to the high level of heterogeneity between studies, results should be interpreted with caution. The small number of clinical trials and differences between their methods were the limitations of the present study. Further high-quality studies are needed to firmly establish the clinical efficacy of the lemon balm" - See lemon balm at Amazon.com and iHerb.
  • Effects of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 on Depressive Symptoms and Sleep Quality in Self-Reported Insomniacs: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial - Nutrients 2021, 13(8) - "Recent animal studies have supported that Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 (PS128) can reduce the severity of anxiety and depression. However, previous studies did not focus on the sleep quality and mood of humans ... Forty participants between 20 and 40 years of age with self-reported insomnia were randomly assigned to two groups, a PS128 group and a placebo group, in a double-blind trial. Participants took two capsules of either PS128 or a placebo after dinner for 30 day ... Compared to the control group, the PS128 group showed significant decreases in Beck Depression Inventory-II scores, fatigue levels, brainwave activity, and awakenings during the deep sleep stage. Their improved depressive symptoms were related to changes in brain waves and sleep maintenance. These findings suggest that daily administration of PS128 may lead to a decrease in depressive symptoms, fatigue level, cortical excitation, and an improvement in sleep quality during the deep sleep stage. Daily consumption of PS128 as a dietary supplement may improve the depressive symptoms and sleep quality of insomniacs, although further investigation is warranted" - [Nutra USA] - See lactobacillus plantarum ps128 at Amazon.com.
  • Effects of Probiotic NVP-1704 on Mental Health and Sleep in Healthy Adults: An 8-Week Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial - Nutrients 2021, 13(8) - "The human gut microbiome is closely linked to mental health and sleep. We aimed to verify the efficacy and safety of probiotic NVP-1704, a mixture of Lactobacillus reuteri NK33 and Bifidobacterium adolescentis NK98, in improving stress, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances, along with the measurement of some blood biomarkers. A total of 156 healthy adults with subclinical symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia were retrospectively registered and randomly assigned to receive either NVP-1704 (n = 78) or a placebo (n = 78) for eight week ... After intervention, gut microbiota composition was quantified by pyrosequencing the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. The NVP-1704 group had a more significant reduction in depressive symptoms at four and eight weeks of treatment, and anxiety symptoms at four weeks compared to the placebo group. Those receiving NVP-1704 also experienced an improvement in sleep quality. NVP-1704 treatment led to a decrease in serum interleukin-6 levels. Furthermore, NVP-1704 increased Bifidobacteriaceae and Lactobacillacea, whereas it decreased Enterobacteriaceae in the gut microbiota composition. Our findings suggest that probiotic NVP-1704 could be beneficial for mental health and sleep" - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com and iHerb.
  • Therapeutic effects of saffron extract on different memory types, anxiety, and hippocampal BDNF and TNF-α gene expressions in sub-chronically stressed rats - Nutr Neurosci 2021 Jun 24 - "Compared to the low saffron dose, the high dose had a latent but long-lasting impact. Cognitive and spatial memories remained unaffected by either stress or saffron treatment. In addition, only the high saffron dose reversed anxiety in the sub-chronically stressed group. These findings suggest that various doses of saffron act differently on different brain functions under sub-chronic stress condition" - See saffron supplements at Amazon.com.
  • A natural food supplement may relieve anxiety, study suggests - Science Daily, 5/24/21 - "He identified five candidates and tested their effects on behavior in mice. That was how the researchers zeroed in on beta-sitosterol, a plant substance sold as a dietary supplement intended mainly to reduce cholesterol levels ... In a series of behavioral experiments, mice given beta-sitosterol showed much less anxiety than the controls. They were, for example, less fearful than the controls when placed in an illuminated enclosure, daring to walk into its brightly lit center, whereas regular mice were careful to stay on the darker periphery, avoiding the stress of the bright light. Moreover, the mice receiving beta-sitosterol did not exhibit any of the side effects that might be expected from antianxiety medications -- their locomotion was not impaired, and they did not refrain from exploring novel stimuli" - See beta-sitosterol at Amazon.com.
  • Anxiolytic effects of a galacto-oligosaccharides prebiotic in healthy females (18–25 years) with corresponding changes in gut bacterial composition - Sci Rep 2021 Apr 15 - "Current research implicates pre- and probiotic supplementation as a potential tool for improving symptomology in physical and mental ailments, which makes it an attractive concept for clinicians and consumers alike ... We examined multiple indices of mood and well-being in 64 healthy females in a 4-week double blind, placebo controlled galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) prebiotic supplement intervention and obtained stool samples at baseline and follow-up for gut microbiota sequencing and analyses. We report effects of the GOS intervention on self-reported high trait anxiety, attentional bias, and bacterial abundance, suggesting that dietary supplementation with a GOS prebiotic may improve indices of pre-clinical anxiety. Gut microbiota research has captured the imagination of the scientific and lay community alike, yet we are now at a stage where this early enthusiasm will need to be met with rigorous research in humans. Our work makes an important contribution to this effort by combining a psychobiotic intervention in a human sample with comprehensive behavioural and gut microbiota measures" - [Nutra USA] - See galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) at Amazon.com.
  • Research shows consuming prebiotic supplements once a day has a positive impact on anxiety levels - Science Daily, 4/27/21 - "Researchers studied a group of 64 healthy female participants with no current or previous clinical diagnoses of anxiety. Participants received either a daily dose of the prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) or a placebo for 28 days ... This is an exciting study that brings together different dimensions in mental health research; finding prebiotic effects in a sub-clinical group shows promise for translational clinical research on multiple markers of mental health" - See galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) at Amazon.com.
  • Effects of Saffron Extract Supplementation on Mood, Well-Being, and Response to a Psychosocial Stressor in Healthy Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Parallel Group, Clinical Trial - Front Nutr 2021 Feb 1 - "Anxiety, stress, and low mood are closely related and may contribute to depressive symptoms. Among non-pharmacological solutions to improve subclinical mood symptoms and resilience to stress, natural products such as saffron—identified as promising following preliminary beneficial effects in major depressive disorder—represent a relevant strategy. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of 8 weeks' supplementation with 30 mg standardized saffron extract on emotional well-being in healthy adults with subclinical feelings of low mood and anxiety and/or stress and evaluate the acute effect of saffron in response to a lab-based psychosocial stressor. The study adopted a double-blind, randomized, parallel groups design in which 56 healthy male and female individuals (18–54 years) received either a saffron extract or a placebo for 8 weeks ... Participants who received the saffron extract reported reduced depression scores and improved social relationships at the end of the study. Urinary crocetin levels increased significantly with saffron supplementation and were correlated with change in depression scores. The typical stress-induced decrease in heart rate variability (HRV) during exposure to the stressor was attenuated following acute saffron intake. Saffron extract appears to improve subclinical depressive symptoms in healthy individuals and may contribute to increased resilience against the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders." - [Nutra USA] - See saffron supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Lpc-37® improves psychological and physiological markers of stress and anxiety in healthy adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled and parallel clinical trial (the Sisu study) - Neurobiol Stress. 2020 Nov 24 - "Chronic stress is a risk-factor for the development of mood and stress-related disorders. Clinical evidence indicates that probiotics can influence the stress response and mood. The Sisu study investigated whether Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Lpc-37® (Lpc-37®) could modulate stress, mood and well-being. Prior to a two-week run-in period, 120 healthy adults (18-45 y) were stratified for sex and chronic stress and randomized to either 1.75 × 1010 colony forming units (CFU) of Lpc-37 or placebo (1:1) per day for 5 weeks. The primary objective was the effect of Lpc-37 on heart rate (HR) in response to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Secondary objectives were assessed by biomarkers and self-report scales over the study. The primary hypothesis was not met in either the Intention-to-Treat (ITT) or Per Protocol (PP) population, but Lpc-37 reduced the increase in HR in participants with low chronic stress (LCS) and increased HR in participants with high chronic stress (HCS) during the TSST. Supporting significant efficacy in the PP population (n = 113), Lpc-37 reduced perceived stress following intervention. More significant effects were identified within the subgroups where Lpc-37 reduced exhaustion during the TSST and normalized cortisol levels at 8pm in participants with LCS, reduced perceived stress also in females, and increased perceived health and sleep-related recovery in participants with HCS. Adverse events (AEs) were similar between groups, there were no severe AEs, and vital signs remained unchanged" - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Beneficial effects of nano-curcumin supplement on depression and anxiety in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial - Phytother Res. 2019 Dec 1 - "Depression in patients with diabetes is associated with poor glycemic control and linked to an increased risk for diabetes complications such as neuropathy. Curcumin has shown potential antidepressant-like activities in some studies. The present study is the first randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of nano-curcumin supplementation on depression, anxiety, and stress in patients with diabetic polyneuropathy ... Eighty patients with diabetes ... received 80 mg of nano-curcumin or placebo capsules daily for 8 weeks ... After intervention, there was a significant reduction in the mean score of depression in the nano-curcumin group (from 16.7 [3.1] to 15.3 [2.6]) compared with placebo group (17.5 [3.2] to 17.3 [3.1]; p = .02). In addition, a significant fall was found in the mean score of anxiety in the nano-curcumin group (from 22.4 [4.03] to 20.6 [3.4]) compared with the placebo group (21.9 [3.5] to 21.2 [3.5]; p = .009). Changes in stress score were not statistically significant between the two groups. These findings suggested that nano-curcumin supplementation for 8 weeks was effective in reducing depression and anxiety scores in patients with diabetic polyneuropathy" - See nano-curcumin at Amazon.com.
  • Compound found in red wine opens door for new treatments for depression, anxiety - Science Daily, 7/29/19 - "the plant compound resveratrol, which is found in red wine, displays anti-stress effects by blocking the expression of an enzyme related to the control of stress in the brain ... Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders ... Corticosterone regulates the body's response to stress. Too much stress, however, can lead to excessive amounts of the hormone circulating in the brain and, ultimately, the development of depression or other mental disorders ... In a study on mice, researchers revealed that PDE4, induced by excessive amounts of corticosterone, causes depression- and anxiety-like behavior ... Resveratrol displayed neuroprotective effects against corticosterone by inhibiting the expression of PDE4" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.
  • Diabetes drug alleviates anxiety in mice - Science Daily, 6/3/19 - "The antidiabetic medication metformin reduces anxiety-like behaviors in male mice by increasing serotonin availability in the brain ... the insulin-sensitizing drug metformin reduces levels of amino acids that impair the entry of tryptophan in the brain and thereby limit its conversion into serotonin. The drug's antidepressant-like effects were accompanied by improved neurotransmission in the hippocampus"
  • Anxiety might be alleviated by regulating gut bacteria - Science  Daily, 5/20/19 - "People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic and non-probiotic food and supplements ... Of the 14 studies that had used probiotics as the intervention, more than a third (36%) found them to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, while six of the remaining seven studies that had used non-probiotics as interventions found those to be effective -- a 86% rate of effectiveness ... Some studies had used both the IRIF (interventions to regulate intestinal microbiota) approach and treatment as usual ... The authors say one reason that non-probiotic interventions were significantly more effective than probiotic interventions was possible due to the fact that changing diet (a diverse energy source) could have more of an impact on gut bacteria growth than introducing specific types of bacteria in a probiotic supplement ... There are two kinds of interventions (probiotic and non-probiotic interventions) to regulate intestinal microbiota, and it should be highlighted that the non-probiotic interventions were more effective than the probiotic interventions" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com and prebiotic supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum DR7 alleviates stress and anxiety in adults: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study - Benef Microbes. 2019 Apr 19 - "One hundred and eleven (n=111; DR7 n=56, placebo n=55) stressed adults were recruited based on moderate stress levels using the PSS-10 questionnaire. The consumption of DR7 (1×109 cfu/day) for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of stress (P=0.024), anxiety (P=0.001), and total psychological scores (P=0.022) as early as 8 weeks among stressed adults compared to the placebo group as assessed by the DASS-42 questionnaire. Plasma cortisol level was reduced among DR7 subjects as compared to the placebo, accompanied by reduced plasma pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interferon-γ and transforming growth factor-α and increased plasma anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 10 (P<0.05). DR7 better improved cognitive and memory functions in normal adults (>30 years old), such as basic attention, emotional cognition, and associate learning (P<0.05), as compared to the placebo and young adults (<30 years old). The administration of DR7 enhanced the serotonin pathway, as observed by lowered expressions of plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase accompanied by increased expressions of tryptophan hydroxylase-2 and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor-6, while stabilising the dopamine pathway as observed via stabilised expressions of TH and DBH over 12 weeks as compared to the placebo" - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.
  • Boosting glutamate reduces anxiety in monkeys - Science Daily, 2/4/19 - "Hannah Clarke and colleagues were able to make anxious monkeys more comfortable with an unfamiliar human, who wore different masks to conceal his or her identity, by increasing glutamate release in the anterior hippocampus. In response to an unexpected loud sound, increased hippocampal glutamate was associated with increased blood pressure, heart rate, and scanning of the environment -- all of which are part of a typical threat response and reduced in anxious individuals. These effects depended on functioning of area 25, implicating this brain region and its connection to the hippocampus as a promising target for reducing anxiety."
  • Omega-3 Supplements May Ease Anxiety - NYT, 10/11/18 - "The analysis, in JAMA Network Open, concluded that people with clinically diagnosed anxiety disorders who took large doses of the supplement — up to 2,000 milligrams a day �� benefited most." - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Feeding the developing brain: Juvenile rats fed diet rich in prebiotics and bioactive milk fractions exhibit reduced anxiety-related behavior and modified gene expression in emotion circuits - Neurosci Lett. 2018 Jun 11;677:103-109 - "These data demonstrate that early life diets containing prebiotics and bioactive milk fractions can adaptively alter genes in neural circuits underlying emotion regulation and impact anxiety-related behavior" - [Nutra USA]
  • Effects of G.H.3. On mental symptoms and health-related quality of life among older adults: results of a three-month follow-Up study in Shanghai, China - Nutr J. 2016 Jan 26;15(1):9 - "After the 12-week intervention, the scores of role-physical (RP), bodily pain (BP), general health (GH), vitality (VT), mental health (MH) and health transition (HT), mental composite score (MCS) of the G.H.3. group were higher than the placebo group ... the prevalence rate of clinical anxiety concerns in the G.H.3. group was 2.1 %, which was significantly lower than the placebo group, 22.0 % ... Preliminarily use of G.H.3. shows positive effects in supporting mental health and improving general health and well-being while promoting the recovery of cognitive function among older adults. Most of SF-36 domains including PF, RP, BP, GH, VT, RE, MH, and HT, as well as the overall quality of life in MCS might benefit from taking G.H.3. tablets. Average levels of low moods and anxiety concerns were both reduced and the prevalence rate of clinical anxiety concerns were reduced" - See GH3 at International Anti-aging Systems.
  • Sulforaphane produces antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects in adult mice - Behav Brain Res. 2015 Dec 22 - "Increasing evidence suggests that depression is accompanied by dysregulation of neuroimmune system. Sulforaphane (SFN) is a natural compound with antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities ... these findings demonstrated that SFN has antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like activities in stressed mice model of depression, which likely occurs by inhibiting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory response to stress. These data support further exploration for developing SFN as a novel agent to treat depression and anxiety disorders" - See sulforaphane at Amazon.com.
  • The Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms - Phytother Res. 2015 Oct 27 - "Rhodiola rosea L (2 × 200 mg dose Vitano®, 1 tablet taken before breakfast and 1tablet before lunch) or a control condition (no treatment) ... Relative to the controls, the experimental group demonstrated a significant reduction in self-reported, anxiety, stress, anger, confusion and depression at 14 days and a significant improvements in total mood" - See Rhodiola rosea at Amazon.com.
  • Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders - Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 May;1852(5):951-61 - "these data suggest that curcumin enhances DHA synthesis, resulting in elevated brain DHA content. These findings have important implications for human health and the prevention of cognitive disease, particularly for populations eating a plant-based diet or who do not consume fish, a primary source of DHA, since DHA is essential for brain function and its deficiency is implicated in many types of neurological disorders" - [Nutra USA] - See curcumin products at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Reduced Anxiety in Forensic Inpatients after a Long-Term Intervention with Atlantic Salmon - Nutrients. 2014 Nov 26;6(12):5405-5418 - "heart rate (HR) ... HRV measured as the root mean square of successive differences (rMSSD) ... Ninety-five male forensic inpatients were randomly assigned into a Fish (Atlantic salmon three times per week from September to February) or a Control group (alternative meal, e.g., chicken, pork, or beef three times per week during the same period) ... The Fish group showed significant improvements in both rMSSD and HR. The Fish group also showed significant decreases in state-anxiety. Finally, there was a positive relationship between rMSSD and vitamin D status. The findings suggest that Atlantic salmon consumption may have an impact on mental health related variables such as underlying mechanisms playing a key role in emotion-regulation and state-anxiety" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Investigation of the Efficacy of Adjunctive Therapy with Bioavailability-Boosted Curcuminoids in Major Depressive Disorder - Phytother Res. 2014 Aug 4 - "One hundred and eleven subjects were assigned to standard antidepressive therapy plus curcuminoids-piperine combination (1000-10 mg/day; n = 61) or standard antidepressive therapy alone (n = 50) for a period of 6 weeks ... Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) ... There were significantly greater reductions in total HADS score and subscales of anxiety and depression in the curcuminoids versus control group (p��< 0.001). Likewise, reductions in BDI-II total score and scores of somatic and cognitive subscales were found to be greater in the curcuminoids compared with control group" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com and piperine extract at Amazon.com.
  • World first clinical trial supports use of Kava to treat anxiety - Science Daily, 5/13/13 - "Existing medications have a modest clinical effect and new effective options were needed for patients with anxiety ... Unlike some other options it has less risk of dependency and less potential for side effects ... Following the completion of the controlled phase, 26 per cent of the Kava group were classified as in remission from their symptoms compared to six per cent of the placebo group ... Kava was also well tolerated. Results showed no significant differences across the two groups for liver function which had previously been a concern for Kava's medicinal use. In addition there were no considerable adverse reactions that could be attributed to Kava and no difference in withdrawal or addiction between the groups ... An additional novel finding of the study ... Kava increased women's sex drive compared to those in the placebo group" - See kava at Amazon.com.
  • Kava for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder RCT: Analysis of Adverse Reactions, Liver Function, Addiction, and Sexual Effects - Phytother Res. 2013 Jan 24 - "The study design was a 6-week, double-blind, randomized controlled trial (n = 75) involving chronic administration of kava (one tablet of kava twice per day; 120 mg of kavalactones per day, titrated in non-response to two tablets of kava twice per day; 240 mg of kavalactones) or placebo for participants with generalized anxiety disorder. Results showed no significant differences across groups for liver function tests, nor were there any significant adverse reactions that could be attributed to kava. No differences in withdrawal or addiction were found between groups. Interesting, kava significantly increased female's sexual drive compared to placebo (p = 0.040) on a sub-domain of the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX), with no negative effects seen in males. Further, it was found that there was a highly significant correlation between ASEX reduction (improved sexual function and performance) and anxiety reduction in the whole sample" - See kava at Amazon.com.
  • Dietary intake of fish and PUFA, and clinical depressive and anxiety disorders in women - Br J Nutr. 2012 Oct 10:1-8 - "The present study analysed data from a sample of 935 randomly selected, population-based women aged 20-93 years. A validated and comprehensive dietary questionnaire ascertained the consumption of n-3 and n-6 PUFA. Another assessed fish and energy intake and provided data for a dietary quality score. The General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) measured psychological symptoms and a clinical interview (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Research Version, Non-patient edition) assessed depressive and anxiety disorders ... The only PUFA related to categorical depressive and anxiety disorders was DHA. There was a non-linear relationship between DHA intake and depression; those in the second tertile of DHA intake were nearly 70 % less likely to report a current depressive disorder compared to those in the first tertile. The relationship of DHA to anxiety disorders was linear; for those in the highest tertile of DHA intake, the odds for anxiety disorders were reduced by nearly 50 % after adjustments, including adjustment for diet quality scores, compared to the lowest tertile. Those who ate fish less than once per week had higher GHQ-12 scores, and this relationship was particularly obvious in smokers" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Rhodiola rosea: Nature’s antidepressant - Fox News, 9/10/12 - "Over 300 human studies on Rhodiola rosea show that the plant has anti-stress, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant properties, and that taking the extract of the root produces no significant negative effects ... Overall, Rhodiola rosea demonstrates greater effectiveness and safety than pharmaceutical drugs for anxiety, depression and fatigue. So why don’t more doctors recommend Rhodiola to their patients? They don’t know about it. For many medical doctors, the herbal world is still a dark green jungle of uncertainty" - See Rhodiola rosea at Amazon.com.
  • Pine bark extract shows brain health benefits: Study - Nutra USA, 12/7/11 - "Pycnogenol statistically performed better than controls in a wide series of cognitive performance tests consciously selected evaluating sustained attention, episodic memory, spatial working memory, mental flexibility and planning ... The Italian researchers recruited 108 Italian university students aged between 18 and 27, and randomly assigned them to receive either a daily 100 mg dose of Pycnogenol or placebo for eight weeks ... Results showed that student in the Pycnogenol group showed improvements in attention, memory and mood, while levels of anxiety decreased by 17%" - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com and Jarrow Formulas, OPCs + 95, 100 mg, 100 Capsules.
  • Omega-3 supplements show benefits against anxiety: Human data - Nutra USA, 9/14/11 - "the Ohio State researchers recruited 68 medical students to participate in their parallel group, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. The med students were given either placebo capsules or omega-3 capsules containing 2085 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 348 mg DHA (docosahexanoic acid) ... Results showed a 14% reduction in levels of the production of pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 (IL-6), as well as a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms in the omega-3 group, compared to the placebo group ... Proinflammatory cytokines promote secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a primary gateway to hormonal stress responses; CRH also stimulates the amygdala, a key brain region for fear and anxiety. Accordingly, alterations in inflammation could also influence anxiety" - [Abstract] - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.  Note:  CRH increases cortisol.  See:
  • Mind-altering microbes: Probiotic bacteria may lessen anxiety and depression - Science Daily, 8/29/11 - "Probiotic bacteria have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders ... mice fed with Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviours than those fed with just broth. Moreover, ingestion of the bacteria resulted in significantly lower levels of the stress-induced hormone, corticosterone ... regular feeding with the Lactobacillus strain caused changes in the expression of receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA in the mouse brain, which is the first time that it has been demonstrated that potential probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry in normal situations" - See probiotics at Amazon.com
  • Omega-3 Supplements May Lower Anxiety - Medscape, 7/22/11 - "In a small randomized controlled trial of medical students, those who received omega-3 supplements for 3 months showed a 20% reduction in anxiety scores and a 14% reduction in stimulated interleukin 6 (IL-6) production ... Chronic inflammation has been linked to a broad spectrum of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis ... A total of 68 first- and second-year medical students (56% male; mean age, 23.65 years) were enrolled and randomized to receive 3 times daily either omega-3 supplement capsules (consisting of 2085 mg of EPA and 348 mg of DHA, n = 34) or fish-flavored placebo capsules (n = 34) for 12 weeks ... We chose the 7:1 EPA/DHA balance because of evidence that EPA has relatively stronger anti-inflammatory and antidepressant effects than DHA" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 reduces anxiety and inflammation in healthy students, study suggests - Science Daily, 7/13/11 - "A new study gauging the impact of consuming more fish oil showed a marked reduction both in inflammation and, surprisingly, in anxiety among a cohort of healthy young people ... The supplement was probably about four or five times the amount of fish oil you'd get from a daily serving of salmon ... But the psychological surveys clearly showed an important change in anxiety among the students: Those receiving the omega-3 showed a 20 percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group ... We saw a 14 percent reduction in the amounts of IL-6 among the students receiving the omega-3." Since the cytokines foster inflammation, "anything we can do to reduce cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases,"" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at iHerb.
  • L-theanine may boost attention for anxious folks: Study - Nutra USA, 5/11/11 - "L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, is thought to help reduce stress, promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep. L-theanine is found in tea leaves in low concentrations (less than 2 percent), which means that effective dosage levels (of 100 – 200mg/day) cannot be delivered from drinking tea ... Student with high anxiety were put in one group, while students with minimal anxiety were put in another group. Both groups received water or water plus 200 mg of L-theanine per 100 ml of water. The test was performed repeatedly and assessments performed between 15 and 60 minutes after ingestion ... Results showed that highly anxious students receiving the L-theanine displayed a slowing of their heart rate, improved attentional performance, and better reaction times, compared to members of the same group receiving placebo ... It is noteworthy to mention that unlike other conventional anti-anxiety treatments, L-theanine did not result in increased drowsiness, slowed reflexes, or impaired concentration ... Results of a present study showed that ingestion of 200 mg of L-theanine changes the electrical activity in the brain by increasing alpha electric band measured by EEG" - See Jarrow Formulas, Theanine 200 at iHerb.
  • 'Knowing it in your gut' is real - Science Daily, 3/23/11 - "the "cross-talk" between bacteria in our gut and our brain plays an important role in the development of psychiatric illness, intestinal diseases and probably other health problems as well including obesity ... Using germ-free mice, Foster's research shows gut bacteria influences how the brain is wired for learning and memory ... genes linked to learning and memory are altered in germ-free mice and, in particular, they are altered in one of the key brain regions for learning and memory -- the hippocampus ... The take-home message is that gut bacteria influences anxiety-like behavior through alterations in the way the brain is wired" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Research identifies the herbal supplements that are effective in treating anxiety - Science Daily, 10/6/10 - "A systematic review of research into the use of nutritional supplements for the treatment of anxiety disorders has found strong evidence for the use of extracts of passionflower or kava and combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine ... We found mixed results -- while passionflower or kava and L-lysine and L-arginine appeared to be effective, St John's Wort and magnesium supplements were not"
  • Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review - Nutr J. 2010 Oct 7;9(1):42 - "based on this systematic review, strong evidence exists for the use of herbal supplements containing extracts of passionflower or kava and combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine as treatments for anxiety symptoms and disorders. Magnesium-containing supplements and other herbal combinations may hold promise, but more research is needed before these products can be recommended to patients. St. John's wort monotherapy has insufficient evidence for use as an effective anxiolytic treatment"
  • Kava for Anxiety: Is Short-Term Use Safe? - WebMD, 5/14/09 - "the WHO report suggested that liver toxicity may be limited to kava formulations that used the whole kava plant, instead of just the root, or used acetone and ethanol to extract the active ingredient from the plant instead of water ... As measured by standardized anxiety and depression questionnaires, the participants reported much less anxiety when they were taking the kava than when they took placebo pills ... Depression levels also dropped among many patients who reported depression and no serious side effects were associated with kava use" - See kava at Amazon.com.
  • Natural remedies ease anxiety - Natural Food Merchandiser, 10/05
  • Anxiety Caused by Lysine Deficiency - Healthwell Exchange Daily News, 7/1/04
  • Reducing Anxiety Related to ADHD? - Dr. Weil, 4/13/04
  • Supplement Yohimbine May Relieve Anxiety - WebMD, 4/7/04
  • An Anti-Anxiety Agent in Tea? - Dr. Weil, 3/11/04 - See L-theanine products at iHerb.
  • Sleep Problems, Anxiety May Be Connected - WebMD, 9/12/03 - "both sleep and mood problems may result from a lack of the same brain chemical ... The brain chemical -- gamma-aminobutryric acid, or GABA -- is involved in regulating brain activity ... Specifically, GABA deficiencies interfere with the most important stage of sleep -- the "deep" delta sleep" - See iHerb GABA products.
  • Exercise and Anxiety: High-Intensity Workouts Best - WebMD, 7/16/03
  • Statins Appear To Have Favourable Impact On Psychological Conditions - Doctor's Guide, 4/2/03 - "the longer people are on the statins the more their symptoms of depression, anxiety and hostility decrease ... When people stop taking statins or can not tolerate the medicine, their depression, anxiety and hostility returns to pre-statin levels" - Note: Red yeast rice is a non-prescription statin but you should still check with your physician.
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Augmentation in the Management of Negative, Depressive, and Anxiety Symptoms in Schizophrenia - Archives of General Psychiatry, 2/03 - "Results indicated significant improvement in negative symptoms (P<.001), as well as in depressive (P<.05) and anxiety (P<.001) symptoms in individuals receiving DHEA. This effect was especially noted in women"
  • Passionflower: An Herbal Alternative For Anxiety? - Intelihealth, 10/18/01 - "researchers randomly assigned 32 people with GAD to receive either passionflower or oxazepam (an anti-anxiety drug) for 4 weeks. Both groups demonstrated significant improvement in anxiety symptoms after 4 weeks of treatment and those who took the herbal remedy had less impairment on job performance"
  • St. John's Wort Vs. Drugs - Nutrition Science News, 6/01
  • The Truth About Kava - Nutrition Science News, 4/01
  • Kava Quells Anxiety - Nutrition Science News, 7/00

General Information:

Neurotransmitters in Various Disorders:
  Major Depressive Disorder Generalized Anxiety Disorder Panic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Phobia Smoking ADHD Obesity
Serotonin X X X X X X      
Norepinephrine X X X     X X X X
Dopamine X           X X X
Source: American Psychiatric Association 155th Annual Meeting, May 18 - 23, 2002

Other News: