Some Supplements May Help Treat Anxiety

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8 (UPI) — A systematic review by U.S. researchers finds some nutritional and herbal supplements can be effective to treat anxiety without serious side effects.

Shaheen Lakhan and Karen Vieira of the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation — a non-profit organization in Los Angeles that advocates for advancement of neurological and mental health patient welfare, education and research — says the research indicates strong evidence that extracts of passionflower, or kava, and combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine can help alleviate anxiety.

The researchers pooled the results of 24 studies involving more than 2,000 participants. Included in the review were 21 randomized-controlled trials, and of these 15 showed positive effects from either a nutritional or herbal remedy. Any reported side effects were mild to moderate, the researchers say.

“Our review and summary of the literature on herbal remedies and dietary supplements for anxiety should aid mental health practitioners in advising their patients and provide insight for future research in this field,” the researchers say in a statement. “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.”

However, for the kava, L-lysine and L-arginine supplements, more research needs to be done to establish the most effective dosage and to determine whether this varies between different types of anxiety or anxiety-related disorders, the researchers add.

The findings are published in the Nutrition Journal.

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