Lifestyle

8 Best Vitamins For Stress & Anxiety: Benefits, Dosage & More

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Can Vitamins Help With Stress & Anxiety?

The ‘daily grind’ is a phrase that many of us are familiar with, but this daily dose of stress can have a knock-on impact. Not only on your mental health but on your physical health as well. Whilst it might be an unusual thought to use vitamins to help with mental health and wellbeing, evidence suggests that various vitamins and minerals can help to reduce levels of stress and anxiety.

Let’s look at the 8 best vitamins and supplements that can be used to help improve wellbeing:

  1. Vitamin B1
  2. Vitamin B6
  3. Vitamin B7
  4. Vitamin B9
  5. Vitamin B12
  6. Vitamin C
  7. Vitamin D
  8. Vitamin E

The Best 8 Vitamins For Stress and Anxiety

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is often used to help prevent cognitive decline in hospital patients with alcohol dependence. However, the benefits of B1 supplementation extend past this narrow use. Supplementation has been shown to reduce generalised anxiety, improve energy levels, and improve overall feelings of well-being (1). B1 plays a role stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system responsible for ‘rest and digest’ functions.   

Natural sources of vitamin B1 include whole grains, nuts, bananas and oranges.

The B1 requirements differ between men and women: men need 1mg per day, whilst women require 0.8mg per day (2).

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also referred to as pyridoxine, plays a role in increasing resilience to stress and stress-related effects (3). Vitamin B6 helps to modulate neurotransmitters, including happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. Furthermore, vitamin B6 supplementation helps to control blood pressure, which can sometimes be raised when stress levels are high (4).

Natural sources of vitamin B6 include meat and fish, dairy products, and bananas.

The recommended amount of vitamin B6 for adults differs slightly between sexes: men need around 1.4mg per day, whilst women need around 1.2mg per day (2).

Why not try Myvitamins Relax Gummies, a tasty source of vitamin B6 and chamomile that can help you wind down at the end of the day.

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Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, has been linked to lower levels of anxiety, stress and depression in adults (3). B7 is involved in the regulation of cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone (5). B7 can also impact blood sugar levels, and low levels are linked with poor blood sugar control including raised fasting blood glucose levels (6).

If you eat a balanced diet with plenty of variety, you may get all the biotin you need. However, it is recommended that supplements are used and intake should not exceed 0.9mg per day (2).

Vitamin B9

More commonly known as folate (folic acid), research suggests that low levels of B9 is linked with higher rates of both depression and anxiety (7). Low levels of B9 are also more likely to increase the likelihood of mood disorders being treatment-resistant (8). B9 plays a role in a variety of brain activities, including neurotransmitter formation. It can also be broken down and used as short-term energy source.  

 Natural sources of folate include most dark and leafy greens, broccoli, chickpeas, and kidney beans.

It is recommended that adults have 200 micrograms of folate per day (2). However, if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant then it is recommended to supplement with 400 micrograms per day (9).

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is well known for its role in the maintenance of energy levels and immune system function. However, low levels of vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, can lead to poorer brain health function. B12 is required for the formation and functioning of dopamine and serotonin and a deficiency in either of these hormones can be associated with low mood and increased levels of anxiety. B12 can be used to help combat these mood changes by supporting production of dopamine and serotonin (6).

B12 is found almost exclusively in animal products, including meat, fish and dairy products.

The recommended intake of vitamin B12 for adults is 1.5 micrograms per day (2). It is suggested that all vegans and vegetarians supplement daily with B12.  

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which helps to reduce the damage from free radicals – toxins that cause inflammation within the body. Vitamin C has been shown to support the immune system by reducing the inflammation caused by free radicals and other stressors. Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce the side effects of stress, such as raised blood pressure and increased levels of anxiety (10)

Natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and brussel sprouts. 

The recommended intake of vitamin C for adults is 40mg per day (11).

Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with poorer immune function and decreased energy levels. However, low levels of vitamin D are also associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety (12). Whilst the mechanisms behind this are not understood completely, it is suggested that vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties. These properties may have a neuroprotective effect, leading to improved mental health and wellbeing (13).

Sun exposure is the main source of vitamin D – it is absorbed through the skin and processed in the kidneys and liver. However, due to low levels of sunlight it is recommended that everyone in the UK supplements with vitamin D from September to April.

The recommended amount of vitamin D for both adults and children is 10 micrograms per day, equivalent to 400 IU (14).

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is often used in skincare to help prevent against damage from UV exposure. However, it has also been used as an adjunct therapy in patients with anxiety and/or depression, with some promising results (15). The benefits of antioxidants have already been touched on in this article; the anti-inflammatory properties of antioxidant fatty acids is the main mechanism behind improving mood.  

 Vitamin E is an essential fatty acid, and can be found in olive oil, vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds.

It is recommended that men need 4mg per day, whilst women need 3mg per day (16).

Take Home Message

Different vitamins can be used in combination, or alone to help improve mood and alleviate stress. Whilst trying to choose the right combination for you can be overwhelming, further information can be found here:

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Talk To Your Doctor

It is important to note that this article is not a substitute for medical advice. Please contact a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns about your personal health or supplementation.  

FAQs

Do stress relief supplements work?

Evidence suggests that supplements can have a positive effect on mood and anxiety. Myvitamins have an entire range aimed at supporting wellbeing:

https://www.myvitamins.com/your-needs/well-being.list 

Which vitamins are best for stress and anxiety?

As like most things health-related, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, a lot of the evidence suggests that B vitamin combinations can be useful in relieving anxiety, whilst vitamins C, D, and E are all powerful antioxidants that can also play a role in wellbeing.  

Which vitamins help keep you calm?

Myvitamins relax gummies contain both vitamin B6 and chamomile, both of which contain calming properties. Chamomile is widely used in herbal teas to support sleep and relaxation.  

Which vitamins are natural antidepressants?

Much of the research looks at the role of vitamins as an adjunct therapy to anti-depressants. However, having the right balance of vitamins and minerals is essential for overall health. Vitamins can be used as both prevention and support for mental and physical health.  


  1.  https://file.scirp.org/pdf/IJCM20110400012_74168399.pdf
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-b/
  3. Mahdavir M, Hosseinzadah M, Saelhi-Abergoui A, Mirzaei M, Vafa M. Dietary intake of B vitamins and their association with depression, anxiety and stress symptoms: a cross-sectional, population-based survery. J Affect. Disord. 2021; 288: 92-98 
  4.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6298677/#:~:text=High-dose%20(100%E2%80%93300,of%20corticosteroid%20release%20%5B11%5D
  5. https://www.diagnostechs.com/2015/04/07/a-foundational-approach-to-adrenal-restoration/
  6.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/
  7. Erensoy H. Vitamin B12 and folic acid in depression and anxiety: a pilot study. J Neuro Behav Sci. 2020; 7(3): 164
  8. Zhao G, Ford E, Li C, Greenlund K, Croft J, Balluz L. Use of folic acid and vitamin supplementation among adults with depression and anxiety: a cross-sectional, population-based survery. Nutr J. 2011; 100: 102 . 
  9. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/vitamins-supplements-and-nutrition/
  10. McCabe D, Lisy K, Lockwood C, Colbeck M. Impact of essential fatty acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc supplementation on stress levels in women: a systematic review. 2017; 15(2): 402-453 
  11. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/#:~:text=How%20much%20vitamin%20C%20do,of%20vitamin%20C%20a%20day 
  12.  https://www.proquest.com/docview/2714060107/79E0BBF4F2944B93PQ/12?accountid=14888
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8552952/
  14. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/
  15. Gautam M, Agrawal M, Gautam M, Sharma P, Gautam A, Gautam S. Role of antioxidants in generalised anxiety disorder and depression. Indian J Psychiatry. 2012; 54(3): 244-247
  16. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-e/  

 



rachelgreene

rachelgreene

Nutritionist

Rachel is a qualified Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) who holds an MSc in both Applied Human Nutrition and Physician Associate Studies. Over the last year, Rachel's been working as a freelance nutrition writer and coach, with her areas of interest including weight loss and specialist dietary requirements. As well as this, she's contributed towards published research on weight loss, and is currently studying the role of plant-based diets in health-conscious individuals.