Gram of vitamin C makes the anxious less anxious
No, there is nothing wrong with having a worried and anxious personality. Such a personality may help you to see all sorts of risky situations before other people do, so you can protect yourself from them. But if those risky situations are absent, such a characteristic can be cause unnecessary stress. If that's the case, supplementation with a hefty dose of vitamin C helps, reported Brazilian biochemists from the Federal University of Santa Catarina.
The Brazilians interviewed 142 students with standardized questionnaires, so they could determine how anxious the students' personality structure was.
Then, they divided the students into two groups. 75% of the students [with a relatively low or average score came] in the "low-to-moderate trait anxiety group", 25 percent of the students [with a relatively high score] came in the "high trait anxiety group".
The researchers then gave the students 1000 milligrams of vitamin C in capsules. Just before the administration and 2 hours later they determined how worried and anxious the students felt at that moment.
Supplementation with vitamin C made the "high trait anxiety" students less anxious, the researchers discovered when interviewed the subjects with the STAI state-anxiety scale questionnaire.
Supplemental vitamin C had no effect on the subjects in the other group.
The researchers asked the subjects whether, before and two hours after supplementation, they wanted to give their feeling of anxiety a score between 0 and 10 [Visual Analog Mood Scale; VAMS]. The subjects also had to do this for some other feelings. Again it appeared that the subjects with an anxious personality structure responded to vitamin C - while other test subjects did not.
The researchers do not know how vitamin C works. Perhaps the supplement inhibits inflammation processed in the brain, they speculate. Or perhaps vitamin C boosts the effect of glutamate on brain cells. Vitamin C is involved in the transport of glutamates into brain cells.
"This work presents the first evidence for a rapid anxiolytic effect of ascorbic acid in a sub-sample of high trait anxiety individuals", the Brazilians summarize.
"The present results combined with previous evidence suggesting that ascorbic acid may play a significant role in mood regulation, and the fact that its use as a nutritional supplement is safe and inexpensive, warrant further clinical studies dealing with its potential as an anxiolytic agent."
"Future mechanistic studies are necessary to provide clues for the development of new treatments. If confirmed, the use of ascorbic acid may be considered for the clinical practice, either as a supplement for normal individuals presenting high trait anxiety, or as an adjuvant for the treatment of anxiety disorders."
Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2017;77(4):362-72.
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