Using Amino Acids To Treat Anxiety
Can you take an amino acid for anxiety relief? That is the question in focus, and it is a great question. That is why we took a deep look at the connection between the two. But before we talk about amino acids for anxiety, we must understand exactly what anxiety is.
Many people refer to anxiety as the feeling of unsettledness and nervousness. But, the term indicates a potentially devastating mental condition. Individuals experience anxiety due to drastic changes in their lives or surroundings, such as school tests or starting a new job.
In most cases, feelings of anxiety fade naturally over time. People with an anxiety disorder might be forced to deal with these feelings and mood swings throughout their lives. Other common anxiety symptoms include shortness of breath, insomnia, tension, digestive problems, and increased sweating.
Treatment of anxiety disorders entails the use of medications. However, given that most of these drugs have side effects, patients opt for alternative treatment options. Therapy, such as counseling and massage, is an ideal treatment option for anxiety disorders. The other great way of treating anxiety is the use of amino acids.
Anxiety disorders affect a large percentage of adults in the United States and other parts of the world. Its paramount to treat anxiety disorders early enough. Otherwise, the condition may make it challenging to succeed at work, participate in hobbies, and maintain friendships.
When To See A Doctor For Anxiety
When a person is experiencing anxiety and stress, it is always best for them to seek out a specialist, such as a psychologist.
Sometimes, a doctor or mental health professional may recommend talk therapy such as CBT to manage anxiety and stress. Doctors or psychiatrists may prescribe medications such as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , or benzodiazepines.
People should follow a doctorâs instructions when using these drugs, as they can have severe and possibly life threatening adverse effects.
Disorders Of Phenylalanine And Tyrosine
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid and tyrosine is a semi-essential amino acid. In humans, tyrosine is synthesized from phenylalanine through phenylalanine hydroxylase, which adds a hydroxyl group to the aromatic ring. Tyrosine is catabolized via several steps forming acetoacetate and fumarate as end-products. The hyperphenyalaninemias and the hypertyrosinemias are reviewed in detail in the Online Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease . The biochemical pathway for phenylalanine and tyrosine metabolism is illustrated in Figure 1.
Overview of phenylalanine and tyrosine metabolism. Enzyme deficiencies are shown in the red star shapes. Green line represents mitochondrial membrane. SUAC, succinylacetone BH4, tetrahydrobiopterin HPA, hyperphenylalaninemia, PKU, phenylketonuria TYR, tyrosinemia.
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Why Do Panic Attacks Happen
As with anxiety, a panic attack is a result of your body going into fight mode. It’s your nervous system springing into action.
Adrenaline is transferred into your bloodstream putting your body on high alert. This quickens your heart rate, brings on heart palpitations and sends more blood to your muscles.
The result is fast, shallow breathing and your blood sugar increases.
Because of all this happens instantly, it can be terrifying, bring on extreme fear, and you feel out of control.
Theres ongoing research to determine whether panic attacks are also bought on by an imbalance of serotonin levels. Serotonin is the hormone in our body that stablises our mood, wellbeing and happiness.
Studies On Tryptophan Amino Acid For Anxiety
There is some research that says tryptophan is effective in helping people regulate their addictions, like nicotine dependence. It may also help premenstrual mood swings. There isnt enough evidence to definitely say that tryptophan is effective for insomnia and sleep apnea treatment. But it helps some people.
Even if more studies are needed to confirm that tryptophan as effective for anxiety disorders, it works for some people and it could work for you. Adjusting your diet to maximize your essential amino acids is inexpensive and helps you get healthier in other ways. So even if its effects on anxiety turn out to be negligible, it will still help you to eat better.
Improved nutrition creates a higher resistance and a more resilient immune system. Youll feel less ill effects from an anxiety disorder if your body is physically in good working order.
Since tryptophan amino acid is essential for normal body function, people who are deficient in it will feel some negative effect. Tryptophan supplements are inexpensive, it is also readily available from food.
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Why Do People Take Gaba Supplements
GABAs natural calming effect on the brain has led to countless claims about the use of GABA supplements to reduce stress. Too much stress is linked to poor sleep, a weaker immune system, and a higher risk of depression, among other things. Heres a closer look at the effects of stress on your body.
In addition, people with certain medical conditions may have lower levels of GABA. Some of these conditions include:
- seizure disorders
suggests that its only small amounts.
Heres a look at some of the research behind GABAs more popular uses.
What Are Panic Attacks
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear or anxiety that can cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Panic attacks are often triggered by stressful situations, such as public speaking or flying on an airplane. However, they can also occur without any obvious trigger.
Panic attacks usually last for a few minutes, but the feeling of terror and dread can last much longer. Many people experience recurrent panic attacks, which can lead to a diagnosis of panic disorder. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by recurring and unexpected panic attacks.
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Where To Get Tryptophan Amino Acid
Many drugs that affect serotonin will have side effects, but amino acids like tryptophan do not, especially when you get your essential amino acids from food. You can get tryptophan from eating food or from supplements. You may find success in an increase in your amino acid for anxiety.
In supplement form, tryptophan is known to cause side effects, such as stomach pain. In very rare cases, tryptophan in supplement form is linked to a rare disease called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome.
When you get tryptophan by the food you eat, its usually safe. High-protein food like eggs, chicken, cheese, fish, milk, soy products and chocolate, are high in tryptophan amino acid. In addition, youll need to accompany tryptophan with other vitamins vitamin B6 and B12, and iron in order to have tryptophan be effective at the production of niacin and serotonin.
Can Theanine Impact Your Anxiety
Before diving into what Theanine can do for anxiety, it is important to first understand what it is. To be more specific, L-theanine can be seen in both black and green tea.
The aforementioned amino acid has also been observed in Bay Bolete mushrooms, and these days, you can find it in drugstores packaged as pills and tablets.
Now, it is time to get into why L-theanine is something that can be useful for the purposes of treating anxiety.
Through research, it has been found that one of the key characteristics of L-theanine is that it helps people relax. Relaxing is something people can benefit from doing more often regardless of whether or not they are affected by an anxiety disorder.
L-theanine affects the brain and helps you relax in a number of ways.
First off, L-theanine works by increasing the levels of GABA, also known as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, in the brain, according to an earlier study conducted on the amino acid that was cited by the National Center for Biotechnology Information .
GABA is a chemical manufactured by the brain and it has the effect of reducing excitability, improving a persons mood, and it can even impact the body by reducing fat and making pain easier to deal with. For the purposes of this article though, the most important effect brought about by the increase of GABA is the reduction of a persons anxiety.
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Do Amino Acids Help Anxiety
Though many people equate the term anxiety with simply feeling nervous or unsettled, for others, this word indicates the presence of a potentially debilitating mental illness. Many people feel some type of anxiety in their lives, whether because of a drastic change in their environment, such as moving to a new city or starting a new job, or some other source of significant stress. However, in the majority of these cases, the feelings of anxiety abate with time, whereas those who suffer from an anxiety disorder might have to deal with these emotions constantly throughout their lives. While this type of mental illness is often treated with medication, people tend to look for alternative treatments, given that most anti-anxiety drugs come with side effects. One thing people wonder is whether amino acids help anxiety. To find out, keep reading as the people at aminoVITAL® discuss this topic.
Can Tryptophan Manage Your Anxiety
- Can Tryptophan Manage Your Anxiety?
I am constantly searching for the best chemical intervention that can help manage my anxiety. Today, I may have found that intervention. On the 1st of May, 2018, I started a review of all literature written on the amino acid, tryptophan. My search included an examination of all published articles on tryptophan between June 2013 to June 2018, which included the criteria of key words such as ‘Anxiety’, ‘Tryptophan’, ‘Supplementation’ ‘Clinical Trials’ and ‘Human Trials’. The database used to complete a search of the literature was ‘science-direct’. My aim was to determine if there was any evidence to support use of tryptophan to manage my anxiety. What I found could be a game-changer. However, there is regulation on the use of tryptophan, and, for that reason its use in practice may be limited.
So, What is Tryptophan?:
Tryptophan is the only precursor for the neurochemical serotonin. Which means, that tryptophan helps you, and me, create serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical that helps to balance your mood, increase a sense of happiness and limit recognition to fear. Tryptophan is capable of mediating the activity of serotonin in the brain. Chemically, when serotonin is moderated by tryptophan we are less likely to present with feelings of panic and anxiety. I say this, given that the majority of findings on tryptophan deficiency or depletion indicate increased risk to anxiety and panic disorder.
But Could I Use 5HTP?
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Natural Mental Health: Amino Acids For Anxiety
The brain is a complex organ, but optimizing it to support improved mental health can be simple. Often its a matter of rebalancing the chemicals called neurotransmitters, and there are many ways to do this without pharmaceuticals.
In my practice, I use nutraceuticals as part of a synergistic approach to healing anxiety. A varied diet of fresh whole foods is the bedrock of balanced brain function when this equilibrium is disturbed, however, nutritional supplements especially amino acids, which contain building blocks for our neurotransmitters can help.
Take Part In Exercise You Enjoy
As an anxiety attack or panic attack can be triggered by stress, exercise is a really good way to combat them.
Exercise releases endorphins, which are dubbed as ‘the body’s natural painkillers’. They relieve pain and create a general feeling of wellbeing. Other feel-good chemicals, such as endogenous cannabinoids, are released when you exercise too. So basically, exercise banishes the ‘panic’ chemicals and replaces them with more joyful and happy ones.
Its important you choose to do something active that you enjoy though, otherwise it’ll be harder to release those good chemicals!
Exercise is classed as anything that makes you active – it doesn’t have to be intense. It could be:
Walking with a friend
Taking part in a team sport
Hopping on your bike to work
Or even virtual-yoga from your own home
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Ready To Learn Even More About Amino Acid Therapy
The use of individual amino-acid supplements helps balance our brain chemistry, which can do wonders for anxiety, panic, and depression. Pairing amino acid therapy with lifestyle changes, such as meditation, yoga, and relaxation, can make a huge difference in our mood and stress response.
And if youd like to go deeper on the topic of balancing your stress hormones and healing your nervous system in a brand new way, I have a BIG Announcement for you! The Adrenal ReCode, our new groundbreaking program, is designed to help YOU free yourself from fear, anxiety, insomnia, overwhelm and exhaustion by teaching you how to ReCode your adrenals, restore your thyroid and heal your nervous system. This is my most powerful and personal program to date, as its truly the culmination of my own Whole Journey mind, body, and spirit.
Now we want to hear from you, have you tried using amino acids before? How have they worked for you? Let us know in the comments.
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Amino Acids Can Help To Relieve Anxiety In Children
My guest this week is Trudy Scott, a certified nutritionist on a mission to educate and empower parents and children who suffer from anxiety. She is known for her expertise in the use of targeted individual amino acids, the social anxiety condition pyroluria and the harmful effects of benzodiazepines. Trudy is the author of The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings.
In this episode, Trudy and I discuss the incredible impact that targeted amino acids can have on both children and adults with anxiety when approached with the right guidance. Trudy shares a few case studies demonstrating the use of amino acids such as Tryptophan, GABA, DPA and more. Connect with Trudy online via her blog, , and .
Where to learn more?
Need help with improving your childs behavior naturally?
- My book Life Will Get Better is available for purchase, to learn more.
- Looking for more? Check out my Blog and Workshops.
- Interested in becoming a patient? Contact us here.
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The Best Amino Acid For Anxiety
Some amino acids help in managing feelings of anxiety and depression. Taking such amino acids may help improve your mood, and by extension, your quality of life. One such amino acid is DL-Phenylalanine, which has positive impacts on your brain and body.
L-Phenylalanine creates essential neurotransmitters, proteins, and hormones. It also includes thyroid hormone, dopamine, and norepinephrine, vital for mental and brain function. 5- hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid that helps in regulating mood and memory.
Limit Caffeine And Artificial Sweeteners
Many people drink caffeine to ‘wake them up’. However, caffeine can also cause you to feel jittery, which is similar to those feelings you have when you’re anxious. So while a cup of coffee won’t necessarily bring on an anxiety or panic attack, it can worsen your symptoms as it will heighten light-headed and racing-heart feelings.
There are also ongoing studies into the effects neurotoxins can have on anxiety. Neurotoxins can be found in food dyes and artificial sweeteners and evidence shows they disrupt our nervous systems worsening anxiety attacks.
On the subject of ingredients, did you know that foods youre sensitive to can worsen anxious moments by upsetting your bodys functioning balance? Therefore, its worthwhile getting a food allergy test if anxiety is affecting your everyday life. Various foods could be your trigger and you might not even know it!
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How To Stop Panic Attacks Naturally
Its estimated that 1 in 10 people suffer from occasional panic attacks, while 1 in 50 has panic disorder, which results in more frequent attacks. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from the condition.
Panic attacks cause both physical and emotional symptoms an overwhelming fear or apprehension, along with nausea, sweating, heart palpitations, uncontrollable shaking and shortness of breath. These attacks often last between 5 and 20 minutes, with some people likening them to a heart attack.
Give Cognitive Behavioural Therapy A Go
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, also known as CBT, sounds a lot scarier than it actually is! The medicine-free treatment is designed to make you think and react in a different way when you find yourself feeling anxious or a panic attack coming on.
It gives you coping mechanisms when you get a feeling of unease in everyday situations. Practising these coping mechanisms enables you to tackle challenging moments, and eventually your anxiety is likely to lessen.
CBT is now available for free on the NHS with Talking Therapies. You dont need to be referred by your GP either. You simply fill in a form, and hey presto, youre on your way to receiving therapy. Easy!
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Mechanism Of Action Of Glutamatergic Agents
As was mentioned above, the iGlu receptors will not be discussed here as a putative target for new drugs. However, it is worth mentioning that the blockers of the NMDA receptor were shown to possess anxiolytic-like activity. One of the compounds, memantine, was effective in humans and has undergone successful clinical trials . In the preclinical studies, the antagonists of the second iGlu receptor, AMPA, exerted anxiolytic-like efficacy as well, supporting the important role of the iGlu receptors in anxiety . The AMPA expression was predominantly found on pyramidal cells and interneurons, among others in the amygdale, known for its role in stress response . To all the possibilities the action of memantine is mediated via the NMDA receptor localized postsynaptically on inhibitory interneurons. Blockade of those receptors by the antagonist would inhibit the GABAergic tone which would contribute to the stimulatory effect on inhibition followed by the inhibition of excitation.
The schematic neuronal network showing the mechanism of action of the NMDA receptor antagonist, memantine . empty dots- GABA black dots-Glu -inhibition -enhancement the number of dots indicates the amount of neurotransmitter released