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20.04.2016


Less anxiety and worry with vitamin C

A supplement containing 500 mg vitamin C can reduce anxiety among high school students if taken daily, Brazilian researchers discovered.

Vitamin C & anxiety
Many people's lives are tyrannised by the fact that they worry inordinately. This solves nothing but does reduce their quality of life.

Health scientists are searching for a solution, and some believe that the answer is vitamin C supplementation. They base this theory on basic research done in the 20th century which shows that vitamin C improves the functioning of the GABA-receptor. [Biull Eksp Biol Med. 1986 Sep;102(9):288-9.] GABA is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in relaxation and rest.

There are indications that seriously high amounts of vitamin C may have positive psychological effects. In a study done about fifteen years ago German researchers reported, for example, that a daily dose of 3 g vitamin C reduced the concentration of cortisol in the blood and feelings of stress. [Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2002 Jan;159(3):319-24.] And a Pakistani study from 2013 showed that a daily dose of one gram of vitamin C helped diabetics to worry less. [Pak J Biol Sci. 2013 Nov 15;16(22):1597-600.]

So could vitamin C supplementation help healthy people to also feel more at ease? And waste less energy on worrying? That's the question that researchers at the University of Brasilia set out to answer when they did an experiment with school children. Anxiety and worry reduces school performance among high school students, and that's not a desirable state of affairs.

Study
The researchers divided 42 high school students into two groups, and gave one group 500 mg vitamin C every day and the other group a placebo. Just before and just after the period of supplementation the researchers assessed the participants' levels of anxiety using the Beck Anxiety Inventory [BAI].

If you score higher than 35 on the Beck Anxiety Inventory your anxiety levels are so high that your physical and mental health is in danger. A score of between 22 and 35 means you have moderate anxiety. You worry quite a bit but it's manageable. Scores below 22 are healthy: psychologists call that low anxiety.

Results
After two weeks the students in the placebo group scored pretty much the same as they had at the start; the students who had taken the vitamin C had lower scores. Their worry levels had gone down from moderate to low anxiety.


Less anxiety and worry with vitamin C



Conclusion
"The authors recommend the implementation of nutritional programs in high schools that include healthy foods rich in micronutrients such as vitamin C", the researchers write in conclusion. "They also recommend the use of vitamin C as an adjunct treatment for anxiety and for improving academic performance among students."

"In conclusion, this study suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C can help to reduce anxiety levels and possibly increase academic performance among anxious students."

Source:
Pak J Biol Sci. 2015 Jan;18(1):11-8.

More:
Vitamin C boosts breast cancer survival chances 07.10.2014
Supplement containing vitamin C makes it easier to do more exercise 16.09.2014
Diet rich in magnesium, betacarotene and vitamins C and E protects your hearing 02.02.2014

Archives:
Vitamin C
Vitamins
Psychology
Cerebrogenics


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