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Research has suggested that various supplements — including vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and herbal remedies — may help relieve the symptoms of anxiety. We list the best 10, as well the evidence supporting them, here.

Anxiety can come in many forms. It can cause worry, unease, fear, or panic.

According to the , generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affects around 6.8 million adults. Other anxiety disorders include panic disorders and phobias.

The treatment options for anxiety disorders include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Some natural supplements could also help with everyday anxiety. However, not all supplements are safe or effective.

Vitamin D plays an important role in mood regulation, as well as nerve and brain health.

Research a link between vitamin D levels and depression, claiming that taking vitamin D supplements may help treat the condition.

Some research suggests that having a vitamin D deficiency could also be linked with anxiety disorders. For example:

  • A 2015 review study reports that people with symptoms of anxiety or depression had lower levels of calcidiol, a byproduct of vitamin D breakdown, in their bodies.
  • A found that taking vitamin D supplements improved both depression and anxiety in women with type 2 diabetes.

Research into the link between anxiety and vitamin D has produced mixed results, so further studies are needed to understand the link.

The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. People can get more vitamin D by spending more time in the sun, eating foods rich in vitamin D — the main source being fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel — or taking vitamin D supplements.

Few plant foods contain vitamin D, so it can be difficult for people following vegetarian and vegan diets to get enough vitamin D from their diet alone.

B vitamins are a group of eight different nutrients that work together to manage many processes in the body, including stress levels.

  • A found that people who had lower blood levels of vitamin B-12 were more likely to have depression or anxiety.
  • A found that people who ate foods high in B vitamins — in this case, yeast based spreads such as Marmite and Vegemite — had better anxiety and stress scores than people who did not. This was more pronounced for spreads fortified with vitamin B-12.

Taking B complex supplements can help a person get enough of all the B vitamins.

Learn more about the benefits and uses of vitamin B complex supplements here.

People can usually get enough B vitamins from eating a variety of nutritious foods.

Some B vitamins, including vitamins B-12 and B-2 (riboflavin), mostly occur in animal based foods.

For this reason, people following a vegetarian or vegan diet may need to obtain these nutrients in other ways.

Read about vegetarian and vegan food sources of vitamin B-12 here.

Magnesium may play a role in anxiety.

Magnesium is an important mineral necessary for the proper functioning of almost every system in the human body.

Several studies suggest that it plays a role in anxiety.

  • A looked at the results of 18 different studies. The researchers found that magnesium supplements may improve measures of anxiety in people vulnerable to the condition, but also that the quality of evidence is currently poor.
  • A reports that people with anxiety related to premenstrual syndrome benefited from taking magnesium supplements.

People can take magnesium supplements or obtain the nutrient by eating the following high magnesium foods:

  • whole wheat
  • spinach
  • quinoa
  • almonds and cashews
  • dark chocolate
  • black beans

Taking high dosages of magnesium can cause diarrhea. Start with a lower dosage, such as 100 milligrams (mg). Avoid exceeding 350 mg per day without a doctor's approval.

A supplement that contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals may benefit people with anxiety.

Each brand of multivitamins contains a different composition of ingredients. Check with a doctor or pharmacist about which may be best.

Omega-3 fats occur in foods such as fish and flaxseed. They play an important role in brain health, .

The body cannot make these fats, so people must get them from their diet.

A looked at the results of 19 clinical trials and concludes that taking an omega-3 supplement such as fish oil could be helpful for people with anxiety.

A suggests that a low intake of omega-3 fats can raise the risk of anxiety and depression, and that taking omega-3 supplements could help prevent or treat these conditions.

Learn about the best dietary sources of omega-3 here.

Omega-3 fatty acids can interfere with certain medications, including blood thinners. People should ask their doctor before taking omega-3 supplements if they have existing health conditions or take any prescription medications.

Lemon balm is an herb that features leaves with a lemon-like aroma. It is related to mint and is a popular calming remedy.

  • A found that lemon balm tea, or Melissa officinalis, improved anxiety symptoms and sleep quality in people who had experienced burns.
  • A looked at people who recently had heart bypass surgery. Those who took capsules containing 1.5 grams of dried lemon balm per day had lower anxiety levels than those who took a placebo.