Supplements that boost Serotonin Levels

Today’s article is brought to you by a new AG contributor named CJ.

– Paul Dooley

Effects of Serotonin

Serotonin, or 5-hydroxytryptamine, is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating several important bodily functions, but its popular implications today are its effects on mood and anxiety.  Modern day antidepressants of the class SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) cause serotonin to be removed from the bloodstream and brain more slowly, allowing more to be available for the brain to use.

This excess of serotonin boosts mood, induces relaxation, and can also boost confidence.  Unfortunately, SSRIs have many negative side effects, and require a doctor’s prescription to use.  SSRIs can cause sexual dysfunction, mania, paradoxical anxiety, hallucinations, and other mental problems.  Luckily for the general population, you don’t need to take SSRIs to boost your serotonin levels.

Vitamins for anxiety are widely available in health food stores and pharmacies.  It is important to differentiate, however, vitamins from inducers.  Anti-anxiety vitamins contain the amino acids required to build more serotonin in a person’s body, allowing the body to naturally form the serotonin.

Many products are available to relieve anxiety that are not vitamins but rather inducers, that is, natural drugs.  St. John’s Wort is an herb available for purchase in health food stores that inhibits the breakdown of serotonin almost exactly like an SSRI.  L-theanine (also called levotheanine or theanine) is becoming very popular as an anti-anxiety chemical, but it does not act on the serotonin system at all, rather acting on dopamine and GABA channels.

Because of its action on these pathways, l-theanine is addictive and should be avoided for long term use.  The same goes for Valerian root, which acts exclusively on the GABA complex and is also addictive (its action is much like that of diazepam).  How will you know if you should be taking serotonin-boosting remedies?

Stress symptoms vary widely, but can manifest as insomnia, irritability, and lack of focus, depression, chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased cortisol levels, and an overall dysphoria.  If you experience any of these problems it is important that you talk to a doctor, and if the doctor determines you do not need any more serious medical help, then perhaps you should consider taking some vitamins for anxiety reduction.

Reduce your level of stress

If used properly these should reduce your level of stress overall in life.  The best way to use these supplements to their greatest effect is to know your anxiety.  Is it caused by previously existing trauma? Or do you get too little sleep every night? Do you have stressful relationships with family, friends, or co-workers?  Do you spend too much time at a stressful job?  Do you have a family history of psychiatric problems?

Depending on the answers to these questions, a doctor can adequately tell you whether supplements will help solve your problem, help deal with it, or be of no benefit at all.  If your anxiety has a root in reality, supplements may not be your best option, although they may help day to day.  In this case, you need to also be seeing a therapist to help you deal with your anxiety.  Another important thing to consider when discussing stress, anxiety, and supplemental vitamins used to alleviate them is whether conventional pharmaceuticals are a better or worse choice.

The aforementioned selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs are in use for a reason.  In general, if compared to something like St. John’s Wort which has a similar effect, an SSRI like the potent paroxetine has a significantly larger ability to increase serotonin levels.  This allows it to act faster and more powerfully than a supplement might.  Use of supplements requires patience, a careful balance of diet and exercise, self-meditation, and the advice of a doctor.

SSRIs are all in one, and require only the recommendation of a doctor to use.  It is also important to note that SSRIs are not addictive, as some believe.  They are often confused with another drug type used to reduce stress levels, the benzodiazepines.  “Benzos” act on the GABA complex within the brain, causing a slow-down of impulse firing.

This produces a number of calming effects, but is also highly addictive.  This should be avoided unless you are dealing with extremely severe anxiety and a doctor recommends this course of treatment.  It is best to just go to the drug store and pick up a supplement, like 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan).  This substance is the basis for the serotonin molecule and unlike 5-HT, it can pass from the blood to the brain.

Vitamins and drugs

This is the primary concern with anxiety vitamins and drugs alike; serotonin can not simply be ingested or injected because the body will not let it access the brain.  In today’s society, people have become acutely aware of their stress and anxiety levels, as well as simpler, or more complex ways to treat them.  This is likely because of the level of comfort that has been afforded us by technology.

We are so used to things being done for us, and exercise not being necessary that we become anxious.  This is one of the keys to relaxation: exercise.  When you exercise, your body releases natural dopamine and endorphin, reward and pleasure chemicals.  Dopamine relieves stress and provides energy, while endorphin, a chemical similar to the painkiller morphine, provides pleasure as well as slowing activity in the GABA complex.  All of this is natural, so it is only addictive in the context that food or sleep is addictive.  All this, and it’s free and easy.

Exercise can be done anywhere, at any time.  Combining exercise with supplements can help reduce anxiety and stress levels and make you a significantly healthier person for very little money.  It requires some effort to maintain exercise and continue taking supplements, but if you do, you will soon find you have a significantly improved quality of life.

The best way to boost the happiness and relaxation chemicals in your mind is to generate them naturally.  All of the previously mentioned things are important to consider in your life to determine whether vitamins, exercise, better eating, and mental wellness would improve your quality of life.  Take time to consider them.

Have you tried any of these supplements?

Balance Your Diet and Supercharge Your Mind & Body

Today’s post is brought to you by Lance Wiles. Lance is a new contributor to AG and I’m very thankful that he’s decided to lend a hand to help our community. — Paul Dooley

When it comes to anxiety and panic, nutrition is just as important as any other coping mechanism. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different views on diet and nutrition, and almost as many on supplements, medicines, and homeopathic treatments. What I will not do here, is dig into the basics of a well rounded diet.

The first step in determining what is the right path toward proper nutrition is to make sure that you have worked with your health-care provider to make sure that you do not have one of the following conditions(not all inclusive:)

  • Any food allergies or intolerance
  • Heart Conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic Disorders

After making sure that these conditions are not the reason for your anxiety and panic, you can start to develop some healthy nutritional/lifestyle habits, such as:

  • Stop the use of all Tobacco Products
  • Reduce your intake of refined sugar
  • Avoid or Reduce Coffee intake
  • Avoid or Reduce Soda consumption
  • Avoid or Reduce Chocolate intake
  • Avoid or Reduce White Bread intake
  • Avoid or Reduce White Rice intake
  • Avoid or Reduce Alcohol consumption

Developing a Healthy Nutrition Regime

We live in a fast paced society.  There are fast food restaurants by the hundreds in almost every city.  This in and of itself can and does tend to lead us to having a poor diet.  It is almost unavoidable that we fall into the fast food trap.

Replacing well balanced meals with meals that are carbohydrate heavy is the trap of our fast food nation.  Carbohydrates are the trap that can cause us to get into a cycle of anxiety and panic because as they are metabolized by the body they turn into sugar.

Excessive sugar levels can contribute to the production of chemicals that are known to induce anxiety, and this can sometimes trigger panic attacks.  This is one way that panic and anxiety can be triggered, it’s not only by a certain situations, but also because of the food we eat.

A healthy diet that leads to a calmer you will look something like this:

  1. 25% of meat, poultry, seafood (salmon, swordfish, tuna, clams, crab, mussels, and oyster), and products made from soybeans like tofu, eggs, and cheese.
  2. 30-35% percent of baked potato, broccoli, asparagus, peanuts, legumes, watermelon, and oranges.
  3. 40-45% of brown rice, whole grain cereal, pasta, wheat germ, oatmeal, and rye bread.

The above menu is filled with food rich in B vitamins, which can and will help (through the maintenance of a well-balanced nutrition regimen) reduce panic attacks and general feelings of anxiety.

Ultimately, balance should be your goal. But what is important in establishing balance is that you eat your meals at regular times.  This cannot be stressed enough.  Your body is a fine tuned machine and while there maybe certain conditions that can cause brain “misfires,” there are steps YOU can take to reduce the misfires and hopefully reduce the number of anxiety filled days.

I have never personally been one to eat breakfast.  It was never an important meal to me, but every nutritionist and dietitian that I spoke to in preparing this article was clear that breakfast is important.  In addition, it’s well known that 4 small meals a day, as opposed to 3 big meals, lends itself towards a healthier balance. It’s also important to note that your largest meal should be eaten at lunch.

A good example of what a 4 small meal a day routine would look like is this:

Breakfast 6:00AM – 8:00AM

Mid Morning Meal 10:00AM – 12:00PM

Mid Afternoon Meal 2:00PM – 4:00PM

Evening Meal 6:00PM – 8:00PM

Most nutritionist and dietitians I spoke with agree that the Evening Meal should be COMPLETED by 8:00PM.  Do not eat a heavy meal after 8:00PM as this will disrupt your sleep cycle.  However, this recommendation is for people that work a regular 8:00 – 5:00 schedule.  It would need to be adjusted for someone that does shift work.


How Drinking Tea Can Relieve Anxiety

tea for anxietyThere are many ways to treat an anxiety disorder. Some people use drugs, yoga, acupuncture, vitamins and the list goes on. But did you know that drinking tea can help relieve anxiety?

Tea contains a unique anxiety reducing amino acid called L-Theanine that helps create a calming sensation. The irony is that tea often contains caffeine. Nonetheless, people who drink tea often say that they feel calm after having a cup.

In addition to reducing anxiety, studies have shown that L-Theanine may be effective in promoting concentration, strengthening the immune system, lowering blood pressure, and increasing the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA (an amino acid that suppresses anxiety). It’s also thought to increase dopamine levels, while having no known side-effects.

So, how do we know that tea is safe to drink in quantity? Well, for starters, tea is the most consumed beverage worldwide after water and has been consumed for thousands of years. Plus, studies on rats have shown that consuming high doses of L-Theanine has no harmful effects.

To get the full effect of L-Theanine in tea it’s recommended that you have 1-3 cups of tea daily. This is yet another natural remedy that you can throw into your anti-anxiety tool box. It’s also a reminder that anxiety relief is everywhere if you know where to look for it.

Here’s a Quick Whey to Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Today I want to share with you a diet tip that can help you reduce your anxiety and depression .  I’ve always believed that to successfully cope with anxiety you have to use plenty of different tools and I’d like to suggest that you put whey protein into your toolbox.

Now, if you can’t consume milk or milk derived products, whey protein will not be of much use to you, so to these people, I owe you one.  But for everyone else that can consume milk derived products, let me introduce you to whey protein.  This stuff is absolutely amazing, and yes I do drink it.  I don’t work on a farm and have no connections to the dairy industry, so no this isn’t a commercial plug.  It just works and I want to tell you how.

Whey protein can do lots of things, for example, it can help you to heal wounds faster, lower cortisol, manage your weight, prevents bone loss, control cholesterol, and researchers believe it may even prevent cancer!  OK, before I get carried away, let’s just focus on how it can reduce anxiety and depression.

What is Whey?

Whey is made from cow’s milk and is a by product of the cheese making process.  Whey is the watery stuff that is separated from the curd and is usually made into a powder mix.  Depending on the brand you buy, it may not be the best tasting thing in the world, but nowadays there are many brands of whey protein that come in vanilla, chocolate and other flavors that are reasonably tasty.

What’s in Whey?

Whey is jammed packed with amino acids and various vitamins.  There are however two main amino acids that I want to talk about:  Tryptophan and Glutamine.

1. Tryptophan – This is an essential amino acid (meaning it’s not made by the body) typically found in whey protein powders.  Tryptophan aids in the the production of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter many researchers believe is linked to anxiety and depression.

It’s thought that having low levels of serotonin in the brain can make you anxious, depressed, and alter your mood in general.  So increasing serotonin should, hypothetically at least, make you feel better.  Also, unlike Prozac and other drugs used to maintain serotonin levels in the brain, consuming amino acids like tryptophan actually helps to make more serotonin, and as far as I know whey protein (milk) doesn’t make you want to kill yourself like some SSRIs (anti-depressant meds) do, so it can’t hurt.

2. Glutamine –  Is a non-essential amino acid (meaning the body can produce it) that is known to reduce anxiety.  Glutamine is a precursor of GABA which “regulates neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system,” i.e., keeps you calm.

I really don’t want to start spewing science babble about amino acids, neurotransmitters, and all the rest of it.  Don’t get me wrong, this type of thing is useful to know, but my point is that WHEY IS GOOD.

I drink whey isolate because it’s about 90% protein, which means it has lots of those awesome amino acids I was talking about, but less fat and lactose than whey concentrate.

Preparation is also a snap.  Because it comes in powdered form you simply mix the whey protein with water or milk and simply stir, shake, or blend it.  You can also add fruit to the mix.

Here’s a Quick Protein Shake Recipe:

1 banana

1 scoop of whey protein

half cup of water or milk

1/2 cup low fat yogurt

1/2 cup of ice

Blend until smooth and tasty looking.

You can add any and all kind of fruit, but I like to use bananas because they contain tryptophan and boost energy without making you feel all wild eyed like coffee does.

Whey protein is not known to have any side effects if you tolerate milk well.  That said, some have posited that drinking too much whey protein can damage the kidneys and or liver if abused, so I’d air on the side of caution and keep consumption to under 48g per day.

Remember that you also get protein from food, like meats for example, so you don’t have to go crazy and start downing jugs of this stuff.  It is simply a supplement to the rest of your diet.

The bottom line is that amino acids are the building blocks of our bodies.  They help keep our nervous system healthy and promote the production of beneficial neurotransmitters that help regulate mood.

Protein is made from amino acids, and whey powder mix has lots of protein in it.  It’s natural and is a great addition to any anti-anxiety arsenal.

But please, do some research and look into it further for yourself.  I don’t want to over hype whey protein like some summer blockbuster film.  You know the one, were all your friends over sell the movie as the best thing ever, then when you go see it you feel robbed and empty because it sucked.

Whey protein is not a magic serum, but it certainly contains the basic building materials for a healthy brain.  I started using it because I work out a great deal and it helps me recover from intense workouts.  But I also noticed that after I drank it I felt relaxed and calm.

The worst that could happen is that you get some gas and a little bloated.  That’s not a huge price to pay for something that could potentially reduce your anxiety and depression.  Cheers!


The Anti-Anxiety Menu

Dannon Light & Fit Diabetic Friendly Yogurt (with some fresh blueberries thrown in)
Creative Commons License photo credit: TheGirlsNY

Article Highlight:

  • Although many rely on medications to help manage their anxiety, food can also play a large role in relieving anxiety.
  • There are several types of foods that contain different types of vitamins and nutrients that are thought to reduce anxiety.
  • Many of the so called anxiety reducing foods are inexpensive everyday foods like yogurt and almonds.
  • We should not underestimate the power of food to help us manage stress and anxiety.

Click the image or click here to get the full list of anti-anxiety foods.

How To Change Your Brain To Reduce Depression Symptoms

Twitter 365 Project - Day 41children of a common mother
Creative Commons License photo credit: john.d.mcdonald
Creative Commons License photo credit: lu_lu

As many of you know when someone is afflicted by an anxiety disorder usually the anxiety brings along friends like depression.  Like anxiety, depression can be a very nasty mental ailment that not only impedes your life but can also cause great harm.

As a result, vigilance and action are a must.  Now some of you take synthetic medications like antidepressants to deal with both anxiety and depression and if it works for you sweet.  But for those of you that are more into the natural “green” modes of therapy let me suggest this LINK.

For those of you on the run here is a brief recap of natural supplements and vitamins that have been proven effective for depression in some people.

  • L- Tyrosine
  • L-Phenylalanine
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Folic acid
  • Magnesium
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Ginkgo

This is a short list of course, there are other supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids or 5-HTP tablets that could also be effective.

For those of you that follow this blog you might be asking yourself, “but Paul I’ve heard you say this before”, and my answer would be, “Yeah, I know”.  No but seriously, I truly believe that some people could be helped by the more natural anxiety/depression remedies.

In addition, I’ve recently had a nasty bout of depression and had to remind myself (like I did here) that I have to go back to the basics sometimes to reach my desired state of normalcy i.e., not hyper-anxious.

Like many others sometimes I get lazy and fall off the vitamin bandwagon.  In yet other times I feel so much better that I forget that I have to continue to be proactive when it comes to staving off a case of bad nerves.

Much of anxiety and depression is horrible but also cyclical.  And if there is anything that we can do to soften the downturns of our anxiety cycles then I say we should do as much as safety and reason will allow.

Is Taking Gaba Supplements For Anxiety Just Hype?

The Choice
Creative Commons License photo credit: lrargerich

Article Highlights

  • Gaba is an important neurotransmitter that encourages feelings of calmness.
  • Gaba deficiency may cause anxiety, irritability, and palpitations.
  • Researchers are still not sure if Gaba really works to relieve anxiety.
  • There are other ways to promote Gaba production in the brain.

Click the image to read the full article.

Dietary Supplements For Anxiety – What Works?

As you may or may not know I am not a huge fan of synthetic drugs. I instead encourage anxiety sufferers to find other means of managing their anxiety disorders before trying anti-anxiety medications. One of the most popular alternatives to anti-anxiety dope are dietary supplements. Today I want to explore the safety and effectiveness of five supplements commonly used to combat anxiety. Do they work and should we even bother?

First I’d like to clear the  air a bit and preface this article by letting you know that I am not an anti-drug zealot, far from it. In fact if you find yourself in a bind and are having a trying time with your anxiety disorder then by all means buy some drugs (after consulting with your doctor) to aide you on a temporary basis. But I am always anxious (wink) to provide you with alternatives that can help you avoid the side effects and long term addiction associated with many synthetic anti-anxiety drugs.

One of the ways people avoid the common pitfalls related to any synthetic drug is by choosing products that are deemed "natural" and "safe". Now before introducing the supplements I have in store for you let’s look at the  terms natural and safe for a moment. These two terms are relative and should be taken with a grain of salt. The words natural and safe are thrown around loosely and as a result you should take care to read up on the things you plan to consume. The most important reason for this is because these so called natural and safe products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and because contrary to popular belief some of these natural remedies can also have side effects.

In case you don’t know the folks at the FDA are given the task of ensuring that all the food and drugs we consume in the United States are safe. Although certain anti-anxiety drugs can leave you feeling down (literally) they have also been tested and re-tested for safety. The dosages, ingredients, etc have all been measured and scrutinized. Herbs and supplements meant for the same purpose on the other hand are not required to go through the same amount of testing or in many cases any testing at all – so buyer beware.

You need to be careful for a couple of obvious reasons. Primarily you want to make sure that you’re not ingesting any dangerous substances and that your not mixing substances in a way that can become dangerous or cause adverse effects. The most basic solution to both these problems is to talk to your doctor . If you don’t have a doctor or insurance you should cough up the fifty or so dollars you need and go talk to a doctor. Your safety is of paramount importance and you don’t want to surrender it to slick marketing, chance, or anything else that is avoidable for that matter.

Now for the supplements themselves. There are hundreds of supplements used for every ailment under the sun and they can take the form of vitamins, plant extracts, and other naturally occurring substances. Today I’ll be focusing on five non-vitamins that are commonly used as a means of reducing anxiety. The list is not exhaustive and only represents a very small percentage of what is available. Over the next several weeks I will be writing about other supplements and vitamins it’s just that there is really no need to write a 400 page dissertation about it – seriously you have better things to do.

1. Melatonin

Benefits: Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps to stimulate serotonin levels in the brain. Increasing serotonin levels is what many synthetic drugs are designed to do to help manage your anxiety. Studies have shown that it is effective for insomnia, anxiety, depression, heart disease and several other conditions.

Downside: This supplement does have some serious drawbacks however. Chief among them is the tendency to cause some people to have vivid dreams or nightmares. In addition melatonin has been known to cause stomach pain, dizziness, headache and may even worsen depression and anxiety according to some studies. There is also no known correct dosage – so start very low and work your way up if needed.

2. Sam-e

Benefits: This supplement is an amino acid that is created naturally by the body. Although the research for it’s benefits is limited there are many people (including some doctors) who believe that it can help alleviate depression, anxiety and even muscle pain and stiffness. Like Melatonin, Sam-e also seems to increase the serotonin levels in the brain which helps to stabilize mood.

Downside: Sam-e is said to be effective only in low doses since higher doses may increase anxiety, insomnia, headache and irritability. Too much of a good thing in the case of all "safe" and natural supplements can actually be bad for you.

3. 5-HTP

Benefits: This supplement is also known to increase serotonin levels (sound familiar?). This particular supplement is actually very popular since some studies have proven it to be effective in treating anxiety and depression. It is also thought that 5-HTP increases endorphins which is a naturally occurring compound that relieves pain.

Downside: This supplement is known, scientifically speaking, to reduce anxiety on a limited basis. It may cause drowsiness and should not be used if you have cardiovascular disease, are on weight loss meds, are taking tranquilizers, drink alcohol, are taking antibiotics or if you’re undergoing chemotherapy. So clearly this supplement has the potential to mix adversely with other medications so be sure to speak with your doctor.

4. Gamma Amino Butyric or GABA

Benefits: GABA is known to have "relaxing, anti-anxiety- and anti-convulsive effects". This amino acid with mild sedative effects is also thought to promote sleep. To read more about GABA click here .

Downside: May cause stomach pain, nausea, change heart and breathing rates, numbness in the arms/legs and if taken in high doses can make your anxiety worse.

5. St. John’s Wort

Benefits: St. John’s wort is an herb extracted from the plant, you guessed it, called St. John’s wort. It is a yellow flower that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. It is used to treat the three things that are most common in anxiety disorders, namely anxiety, insomnia and depression. It is taken in tea or pill form and is thought to be effective on mild cases of anxiety and depression.

Downside: Some studies indicate that it is no more effective than a placebo and may even increase anxiety in some people. It can also cause dry mouth, dizziness, stomach ailments, fatigue, headache and cause sensitivity to sunlight. You should not take St. John’s wort if you are on antidepressants.

Many of these supplements have similar benefits and side effects as can be seen in the examples I selected. They are primarily used to increase serotonin, adjust your mood, and calm you. They can however also cause stomach problems, headaches, and in the worse case scenario worsen your anxiety symptoms.

I strongly encourage you to use caution with any herb or other natural supplement. You should always talk to your doctor about any supplements, medications or even vitamins your taking because these can all mix in a way that can cause you problems. A lot of the side effects are mild, but nonetheless take care of yourself by doing the research.

If you find a supplement you’d like to try and have cleared it with a health care professional then take low doses and head out from there. Try not to be cute and win yourself a trip to the ER because you failed to use good judgment. It is too easy to get caught up in eye catching slogans and product eye candy. Look past all the marketing psychobabble and make sure you make decisions based on sound information and not a desperate attempt to eradicate your anxiety. So to answer the questions I set out to answer – do they work? Sometimes for some people. Should we bother? Yes, I think so.


Clearance Sale

Anxiety Food: Fish Oil

The belly rules the mind. ~Spanish Proverb

Of all the things you can do to help cope with your anxiety, the most simple would be to add anti-anxiety foods to your diet. I will be posting and podcasting about various types of foods and supplements that can help you cope with your anxiety. However, today I want to focus on fish oil. Fish oil is derived from oily fish like salmon, mackerel, lake trout, flounder and albacore tuna (eat lightly). The food that salmon and similar fish eat produces omega-3 fatty acids that you can consume by munching on the big fish.

Because some of these fish are known to be somewhat toxic (Biomagnification) they should be eaten moderately. To avoid this I take a 1200 mg supplement pill (you can up the dose if you like to 2400 mg) of fish oil every single day. I feel that it does work for me. It helps to manage my mood and it has no side effects. As you all might know by now I am a staunch proponent of taking natural eatables to help me with my anxiety. I am not against meds per say, but I stay away from them because of the potential for side effects.

According to some experts (based on scientific research studies) there is some evidence to suggest that regular consumption of fish oil can help with anxiety, depression, cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease prevention and the list goes on my friends. There is no such thing as a magic bullet for anything, but this is close. Researchers do caution that some of the data is inconclusive and so there is a debate out there about whether or not this stuff works, but I believe it does. Harvard research labs have done studies that show it helps people with bipolar disorder and depression, the latter of which is related to anxiety which is a type of mood disorder. Just remember that depending on the severity of your anxiety you might have to take a lot more than I do, but that doesn’t mean you have to pop pills all day either. There is plenty of food rich in omega 3 fatty acids and all kinds of yummy ways to cook them up. If your unsure of the doses talk to your doctor.

The bottom line is that I love the stuff and I did start feeling better after I started taking them. I also was skeptical about whether or not they would help when I started the regimen, but now it is an everyday part of my anti-anxiety food plan. Eating healthy is always a safe bet and when you have an anxiety disorder or PTSD you want to do everything you can to help manage those brain juices (chemicals) and other vital bodily functions, such as maintaining a healthy heart, which for anxiety sufferers is awesome because that is one less worry for us. You really don’t have to curl up into a ball when you have anxiety because you always have the option of doing something about it while you accept it for now and get better overtime.