There are a variety of natural ways to relieve anxiety. Recently this issue went viral on TikTok with claims that Vitamin D and Magnesium can help treat anxiety. People are sharing stories on social media platforms like TikTok that using vitamin D and magnesium supplements has helped treat their anxiety symptoms. Nutritional experts say there is good science backing these claims.

Ways to Relieve Anxiety with magnesium and vitamin D

What do magnesium and Vitamin D do for the body? Dr. Uma Naidoo, director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of “Calm Your Mind With Food,” told Healthline there is “clear support for the role of vitamin D and magnesium in helping symptoms of depression and anxiety.”

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in:

• calcium absorption
• bone growth
• mineralization
• remodeling of bone

According to Naidoo, “vitamin D acts as a neuro-steroid and plays a role in protecting against depression and anxiety disorders, and there is a well-established link between vitamin D deficiency and symptoms of depression, as well as worsened anxiety, as the deficiency or excess of vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating stress responses.”

What does magnesium do in the body?

• Magnesium is a mineral that regulates at least 300 different biochemical reactions in the body, such as protein synthesis and muscle and nerve function.

• “This mineral helps to regulate many key neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation,” said Naidoo.

• “Magnesium deficiency is also associated with anxiety, ADHD, fatigue, and low libido,” she said, “in fact, symptoms of having low stores of this key mineral include tension, irritability, and symptoms of anxiety.”

She additionally noted that magnesium deficiency has been associated with both depression and reduced levels of dopamine while supplementation has been shown to increase these levels.

“Adding more to one’s diet is also shown to improve quality of sleep, hydration and muscle growth and recovery,” Naidoo added, “and sleep, nutrition, and physical activity are all closely tied to our mental health, especially symptoms of anxiety and depression.”

When should you supplement with magnesium and vitamin D?
Before you rush out to buy magnesium and vitamin D supplements, however, it’s important to note that supplementation alone may not be a magic fix for your depression or anxiety.

Dr. Kara Kushnir, MSW, LCSW, founder and clinical director of A Work of Heart Counseling, said, “They aren’t magic because nothing is in mental health — it is usually a combination of factors, and we know that a variety of changes and resources are often the best recipe for improving mental health.

• We know that therapy, medication, social support, and outlets/emotional releases like exercise, hydration, nutrition, and stress reduction techniques are often the most impactful ways to improve mental health and well-being.

• Having said that, however, Kushnir advised that supplementation — when done appropriately and under the guidance of a physician — can potentially help reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.

• The exact amount that you need to supplement will vary depending on your current levels. A healthcare provider can do testing to determine what is right for you.

• However, many people do have a deficiency in these two nutrients, Kushnir noted.

• She also stressed that it’s important that people recognize that these aren’t necessarily “magic bullets” for mental health conditions.

Natural ways to get magnesium and vitamin D


Although supplementation can work, Naidoo said that eating wholesome and nutrient-rich foods is the best way to fuel a healthy brain and body:

• We should still strive to eat a healthy whole foods diet by including an array of colorful fiber-rich plant foods and healthy fats so that our bodies get the well-rounded nutrition they need.

• The gut-brain connection is optimized by fiber, which nourishes the gut and its microbiome; plant foods offer powerful antioxidant phytonutrients and tamp down inflammation in the brain; healthy fats offer strong building blocks and fend off aging stressors on the brain.

• In combination all the macro- and micronutrients in our diet come together to support our most optimal mental health.

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