Inositol for AnxiousnessAug 11, 2020
by Henry Emmons, MD
[adapted from The Chemistry of Calm]
ps: You've read Part 1 of this series and the introductory article about balancing GABA and glutamate, right? If not, head to those posts first.
pps: some of these natural therapies are not ideal for all types of anxiety. Visit our Calm Section to learn your anxiety subtype and tailor your approach.
Inositol Benefits | Inositol and Anxiety
Inositol is often classified as a B-vitamin, though technically it is not a vitamin since the body can produce it. Taken as a supplement, it has long been known to reduce general anxiety, panic and OCD symptoms. Researchers found inositol to be just as effective as a popular antidepressant for panic disorder, and participants tolerated it well even at massive doses up to 18 grams per day.17
Inositol Dosage & Use*
Inositol is often recommended at a dose of about 1-2 g daily, though in studies it has been used at much higher doses.
Inositol Side Effects*
Side effects are mild, including occasional nausea or diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue and headache. There has been a report of inositol worsening bipolar disorder, and should likely not be used for folks with that condition.
Inositol Powder Supplement**
Unwind contains 2 g of inositol per scoop. Along with some other key ingredients, it works to reduce brain overactivity through GABA supporting nutrients.
Tip: It's often more economical, and generally more effective, to get a product that combines several of these ingredients into a single capsule or powder. We often recommend combination products like Unwind rather than piecing things together one nutrient at a time.
*Note: Some of the supplements discussed in this series can cause side effects, but many people tolerate them much better than prescription medications. They are generally considered safe, however, they should not be started without your doctor’s knowledge and supervision. If you are taking medication already, be sure to talk with your doctor before adding any of these items. If you are considering going off medication, remember never to stop your medication suddenly—always consult with your doctor about how to safely taper off any psychiatric medication.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
NAC Supplements for Anxiousness
NAC is short for n-acetylcysteine. It has been used for years in emergency rooms for patients who are at risk for liver damage from something they have ingested (e.g., too much acetominophen). It protects the liver for the same reason it protects the brain: it works as a powerful antioxidant, boosting levels of the body’s own primary antioxidant—glutathione. As researchers have realized the connection between glutamate/GABA balance and anxiety conditions, they have begun experimenting with NAC. Read more.
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