Anxiety is a common mental health condition. In fact, over 33% of people will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime (1).
Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder (SAD), specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder.
Treatment often involves psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavior therapy or medication (1).
However, research suggests that dietary changes, including taking certain vitamins, minerals, and other supplements, may also be helpful for people with anxiety disorders.
The supplements on this list were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Efficacy. The primary ingredients are supported by current research to be safe and effective.
- Brand reputation. The supplements are produced by reputable brands that use third-party testing.
- Quality. The supplements prioritize high quality ingredients.
Here are 10 of the best supplements for anxiety.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in the body’s stress response (
Additionally, research suggests that magnesium supplements may be beneficial for people with anxiety and are generally safe and well tolerated.
For example, a 2017 review of 18 studies concluded that although the quality of existing studies on the subject is poor, magnesium supplements are likely to benefit people with anxiety (
Another 2017 study of 112 people with depression found that taking 248 milligrams (mg) of elemental magnesium supplements daily for 6 weeks significantly improved symptoms of depression and anxiety, compared with a control group (
Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate is a highly absorbable form of magnesium, making it a good choice for those with anxiety (
The supplements are certified by United States Pharmacopeia (USP), an independent, nonprofit organization that sets strict standards for identity, quality, and purity of dietary supplements (6).
In addition to being tested by third-party labs, Pure Encapsulations supplements are also certified gluten-free and GMO-free (6).
Each capsule provides 120 mg of magnesium.
Saffron is a brightly hued spice that has culinary and medicinal uses. It’s loaded with antioxidant compounds and may be especially beneficial for people with anxiety when used as a supplement.
A 2018 review of 100 studies found that saffron supplements helped reduce anxiety. Some studies included in the review demonstrated that treatment with saffron had similar anti-anxiety effects when compared with the anti-anxiety medication fluoxetine (
Similarly, a 2016 study in 60 people with depression and anxiety found that supplementation with 100 mg of saffron per day for 12 weeks significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety, compared with a placebo. The supplement was also well tolerated by the participants (
However, pregnant people should speak with their doctors, as limited research suggests that saffron supplements may cause uterine contractions (
NOW Foods Saffron is a good option, as the supplements are non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free and undergo third-party testing for potency and purity.
Each capsule provides 50 mg of saffron, with recommendations to take 1 capsule twice per day or as directed by your healthcare professional.
Many people are deficient in or have suboptimal levels of vitamin D, a fat-soluble nutrient that’s essential for brain function and mood regulation (
Furthermore, research suggests that taking high doses of vitamin D may be effective in reducing the severity of anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety disorders, including those with GAD (
A 2020 study in 106 people with depression found that treatment with 1,600 IU of vitamin D per day for 6 months led to significant improvements in anxiety symptoms, compared with a control group (
MegaFood Vitamin D3 is one of the best vitamin D supplements for anxiety, as it combines vitamin D with vitamin K.
These nutrients work synergistically in the body to help maintain healthy levels of vitamin K and to promote heart and bone health (
This supplement delivers 5,000 IU of vitamin D and 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin K in just 1 capsule. As a result, it’s a good choice for people with low vitamin D levels.
Keep in mind that while higher dose vitamin D supplements may be necessary to treat deficiency, for people who simply want to maintain healthy vitamin D levels, a supplement that provides 1,000–2,000 IU per day may be more appropriate.
Your healthcare professional can test your vitamin D levels and recommend a dose of vitamin D for your specific needs.
Chamomile is an herb known for its calming properties. While it’s more commonly consumed as a tea, chamomile supplements may provide benefits for people with anxiety.
In fact, research suggests that chamomile has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties (
One study in 93 people with moderate to severe GAD found that daily treatment with 1,500 mg of pharmaceutical grade chamomile extract for 26 weeks significantly reduced anxiety symptoms, compared with a placebo treatment (
Nature’s Way Chamomile is a good option, as it’s gluten-free and certified by TRU-ID, a certification program that uses DNA testing on ingredients and finished products to prevent adulteration (19).
Each serving provides 440 mg of chamomile flower and 250 mg chamomile extract.
However, keep in mind that pregnant people should avoid taking chamomile supplements due to potential safety issues.
Additionally, chamomile supplements may interact with some medications, including those used to treat anxiety, so it’s important to consult your doctor before taking chamomile supplements.
L-theanine is an amino acid that’s naturally found in green tea. It’s been shown to have stress-relieving and anti-anxiety effects when taken in supplement form (
A 2020 review of 9 studies found that taking doses of L-theanine ranging from 200–400 mg per day may help reduce stress and anxiety in people who are exposed to stressful conditions (
Integrative Therapeutics L-Theanine is one of the best options, as the company tests raw materials and finished products to ensure quality, purity, and potency.
Each two capsule serving provides 200 mg of L-theanine.
Omega-3 fats provide powerful anti-inflammatory effects and may be beneficial for people with anxiety.
A 2018 review of 19 studies found that treatment with omega-3 fatty acids significantly improved anxiety symptoms, compared with control groups (
However, the review noted that significant anti-anxiety effects were only reported in studies using at least 2,000 mg of omega-3s per day (
Nordic Naturals is a company known for its high quality omega-3 supplements.
In particular, the Nordic Naturals ProOmega supplement is a good choice for those with anxiety, as it provides 2,000 mg of omega-3s per 2 softgel serving.
The Nordic Naturals website provides a certificate of analysis for each supplement to document that it has undergone testing for quality and purity and adheres to specifications and standards (25).
Vitamin C is a nutrient that functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body, and researchers suggest that vitamin C may help combat damage caused by oxidative stress in people with neuropsychological disorders, including anxiety (
Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated benefits of vitamin C supplements in people with anxiety (
For instance, one study in 42 high school students found that taking 500 mg of vitamin C per day for 14 days increased blood vitamin C levels and reduced anxiety levels, compared with a placebo (
Vitamin C supplements have also been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms in women and in adults with diabetes (
Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Vitamin C delivers 1,000 mg of highly absorbable vitamin C per teaspoon (5 mL).
The supplement contains liposomal vitamin C, a form of vitamin C that’s encased in tiny lipid spheres and has been shown to be more bioavailable than non-liposomal vitamin C (
This vitamin C supplement comes in a convenient liquid form, which makes it an excellent choice for people who can’t or don’t like to swallow pills.
Curcumin is a polyphenol compound found in turmeric that’s been shown to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may have antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties as well (
A 2017 study in 123 people with major depressive disorder demonstrated that those who received 500–1,000 mg of curcumin or 500 mg of curcumin combined with 30 mg of saffron per day for 12 weeks had greater improvements in anxiety symptoms than those who took a placebo (
Pure Encapsulations Curcumin 500 with Bioperine is one of the best curcumin supplements, as it delivers 500 mg of curcumin per capsule along with Bioperine, a black pepper extract that significantly increases the absorption of curcumin (
Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a popular natural remedy for a number of health conditions, including anxiety.
Evidence suggests that CBD, when used in doses ranging from 300–600 mg, may help reduce anxiety in people with SAD, as well as in people without anxiety disorders (
In addition, a recent review of 25 studies found that CBD may help reduce anxiety in people with SAD. However, the researchers acknowledged that many of the studies are low quality, so more high quality research is needed (
Charlotte’s Web is a CBD brand that’s trusted by healthcare professionals, as the company is committed to keeping customers safe and informed.
Charlotte’s Web provides a certificate of analysis for each of its products. This documentation supplies the consumer with information on the quantity of cannabinoids, as well as information on levels of pesticides, heavy metals, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in the products (36).
Charlotte’s Web 25MG CBD Oil Liquid Capsules are a convenient way to take CBD, offering 25 mg of CBD per capsule.
It’s important to note that this dose is much lower than those shown to be effective for anxiety in research studies. Before taking CBD, it’s important to talk with your healthcare professional to discuss your optimal dose.
Research suggests that multivitamin supplements may help improve anxiety symptoms.
For example, one study found that taking a multivitamin containing B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc for 30 days led to a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms in young adults, compared with a placebo (
Additionally, an older review of 8 studies found that treatment with multivitamin and multimineral supplements for at least 28 days reduced levels of perceived stress and anxiety in healthy people (
The review also found that supplements containing high-dose B vitamins may be more effective than those containing low doses of B vitamins (
Keep in mind that multivitamins aren’t one size fits all, and some multivitamins may be inappropriate for certain people, as nutrient needs depend on several factors, including age, gender, and overall health.
For example, younger women may benefit from additional iron in their diet, whereas men and postmenopausal women typically have lower iron needs.
Before taking a multivitamin for anxiety, be sure to talk with your healthcare professional, as they can help you choose a product that’s appropriate for your needs.