How Amino Acid for Anxiety Can Help You

amino acid for anxiety

The way amino acid for anxiety works, is that it can manipulate the chemistry of the brain to help you get relief from anxiety or depression. The real cause of anxiety, depression and other related illnesses is not known.

If you put two different people in a stressful situation, one may develop anxiety but the other may not. You may get anxiety through a combination of variables, including genetic predisposition, chemical and hormone imbalances in the body, and environmental conditions. 

Tryptophan Amino Acid for Anxiety

Tryptophan is an amino acid related to serotonin. Perhaps you’ve heard of serotonin before, it’s the neurotransmitter related to sleep, appetite, regulation of mood, and fatigue of your central nervous system. Serotonin is naturally produced in the body, and having less of it is seen as the reason you have anxiety and depression. 

How Antidepressants Work

Serotonin is often the target of many medications for anxiety and depression. Pharmaceutical labs use all kinds of drugs to manipulate serotonin in the body to help you manage your state of mind. Drugs used to regulate serotonin are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

SSRI is a kind of antidepressant medication, specifically for anxiety disorders. When it was first developed in the 1980s, it replaced benzodiazepines (BZs) which is known to be addictive. SSRI is considered effective for OCD, phobias, and PTSD. 

Doses for SSRI is typically higher when treating anxiety, than depression.  

Where to Get Tryptophan Amino Acid

tryptophan amino acid
High-protein food like eggs, chicken, cheese, fish, milk, soy products and chocolate, are high in tryptophan amino acid. Increasing intake in tryptophan can have a positive effect for amino acid for anxiety maintenance.

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, it’s usually safe. High-protein food like eggs, chicken, cheese, fish, milk, soy products and chocolate, are high in tryptophan amino acid. In addition, you’ll 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. 

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 (PMS) mood swings. There isn’t 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. You’ll 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.  

Nutrition for Less Anxiety

You’ll want to maximize your essential amino acid intake from food to effectively treat anxiety. Foods high in tryptophan are usually also high protein food. There is some controversy in the kinds of protein which is best for the body, as some people want to be vegan or vegetarian and insist on non-animal sourced proteins. 

tryptophan amino acid
Foods high in tryptophan that are plant-based include: nuts, soy products, tofu, lentils, beans, and oats.

But the animal or plant source of your protein is not important when it comes to tryptophan amino acids. It may matter for other amino acids like carnosine, which is only found in animal sourced food. 

Foods high in tryptophan that are plant-based include: nuts, soy products, tofu, lentils, beans, and oats. Animal based foods high in tryptophan are milk, dairy products, fish, turkey, chicken, red meat, and eggs. The recommended daily requirement for tryptophan is 4mg for every kilo of body weight, or 1.8 mg for every pound of body weight. 

You’ll need just about 60 grams of seeds, nuts, dairy product, or soy product to fulfil your recommended daily intake of tryptophan. 60 grams is around half cup in volume. If you prefer meat, you only need 66 grams of meat (around half cup) to meet the RDI for tryptophan in an adult.

Nutrition, Veganism and Anxiety Disorders

Veganism and some vegetarian diets can limit your nutrition sources to the point you are unable to get sufficient nutrition to maintain a sound mental state. If you are trying to overcome an anxiety disorder through holistic means, you may want to consider a more flexible diet that includes animal derived foods. 

If you are suffering from some kind of deficiency in amino acid or other vitamin related to the chemical balance of your body, it is far easier to address nutritional deficiency when you have more food options. 

You can take supplements, but it’s not always easy to trace all the sources of your supplements to make sure they are all plant-based. A company that makes nutritional supplements to make a profit will always pick the cheaper and most readily available sources, and they are under no obligation to mark the product as animal or plant sourced. 

In the end, you may be taking nutritional supplements that are animal-sourced without your knowledge. 

There are studies that vegetarians (and vegans) tend to have less amounts of certain amino acids in their body, as compared to those who eat meat and other animal products. Such is the case of the amino acid carnosine, which is needed for normal body muscle functions. Vegetarians are more likely to find themselves deficient in carnosine, resulting in more muscle fatigue. 

Make an appointment with your psychiatrist today to see if increasing your amino acid intake or making other dietary adjustments can help you be successful in managing your anxiety.

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