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Top 10 Supplements for Depression and Anxiety

by Vin Kutty, MS on October 27, 2012

In the last few blogs, we focused on Omega-3 and its potential effects on your mood.

Supplements for depression and anxiety

Especially, EPA Omega-3.

What’s at the tip of your fork can certainly affect the way you feel.

But even if you are diligent about your diet (read no sugar, no processed grains/foods), it’s difficult to get all the ‘happy nutrients’ you need from just your plate.

This is when supplements can help.

And no, a multivitamin does not count as a supplement for depression. They will not give you the right kind and quantity of what you need.

EPA Omega-3

  • It’s EPA, not DHA, that helps with mood.
  • Take 1000 mg of ‘unopposed EPA’ per day.
  • The mg of EPA minus the mg of DHA is the unopposed EPA in your fish oil pill.

The best Omega-3 supplements for depression:

BRAND mg UNOPPOSED EPA COST PER PILL
OmegaVia EPA 500 500 mg $0.24/pill
Minami MorEPA Platinum 528 mg $0.53/pill
RenewLife EPA 1000 1000 mg $1.11/pill
Nordic Naturals EPA Elite 800 mg $0.64/pill

 

OmegaVia EPA 500 is an EPA-only formula designed just for this purpose. Two little pills get you 1000 mg of unopposed EPA.

And more is not necessarily better!

OmegaBrite is good too but it only has 300 mg of unopposed EPA Omega-3 per pill.

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega has 100 mg of unopposed EPA Omega-3. Nordic’s EPA Xtra has 393 mg unopposed EPA.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but eating cold-water fatty fish 3 to 4 times a week is better than any Omega-3 supplement.

Probiotics (and healing your gut)

Probiotics?! Yes, probiotics. The bugs in your gut talk to your brain through the vagus nerve. (I finally have an explanation for the ‘voices!’) In your case, think ‘gut feeling,’ ‘nervous butt,’ etc.

(This should really be at the top of this list because a lot of your neurotransmitters (‘happy chemicals’) are made in the gut. If there is an imbalance of some sort in your gut, you’re probably in trouble. Gluten, dairy, soda, tylenol, etc. can all cause issues. Simply assume you have gut issues and start to fix it.)

Recent studies have confirmed this head-gut connection and its relevance for anxiety and depression.

This new approach is called psychobiotics. Psychiatrists are all abuzz. You’ll hear more about this in the years to come.

Bifidobacterium longum was shown to help modulate anxiety in mice. Another mouse study on Lactobacillus rhamnosus recently suggested that probiotics have the potential to affect brain chemistry. A more recent human study done at UCLA proved that probiotics can and do influence emotion and sensation.

The bugs in your bowels also affect the metabolism of mood-regulating minerals like zinc and magnesium.

We’re just starting to understand how the bugs in our gut affect our feelings. We have a long way to go.

I don’t have specific probiotic strains or brands to recommend yet, but for now, start with healing your gut – eliminate wheat and fructose from your diet. Eat more fermented foods and only take antibiotics if you doctor feels you must.

A healthy human gut can have hundreds, if not thousands of species of bacteria. The best probiotic supplements have about a dozen species. Most supplements contain lactic acid bacteria derived from dairy. Whereas your gut has a mix of soil-based (think dirt!) and other anaerobic bugs like the kind found in sauerkraut, kimchi etc. Obsessive hand-washing and cleaning with anti-bacterial soap is probably not helping.

Healing your gut requires a lot more than just taking probiotic supplements.

It requires some food elimination (see above), stress reduction (exercise/sleep/meditation/yoga etc.) in addition to taking probiotics and fermentable fibers like resistant starch.

 Vitamin D3

There is quite a bit of evidence linking low Vitamin D levels to poor mood. More studies on Vitamin D and depression here, and here.

Vitamin D and depression

Vitamin D3 stimulates production of serotonin, so this is not surprising.

How much should you take?

Well, I feel pretty comfortable telling people to take 10,000 IU of D3 per day for a couple of days. But I don’t recommend staying at that high dose for more than a week or so.

Your ideal maintenance dose is impossible to guess without actually measuring it – so don’t guess. Talk to your doctor and get it measured. It’s relatively cheap to measure and even cheaper to supplement. Get it to around 50 ng/ml. For most people, ideal dosage is somewhere between 1000 IU and 5000 IU per day depending on where you live and how much sun you get.

Vitamin D is slow-acting. If your ‘tank was on empty’ for a while, it may take a few months before levels reach acceptable levels. So don’t expect to feel remarkable a day after taking 10,000 IU.

Vitamin D is not exactly a ‘vitamin.’ It is a steroid-like substance. So more isn’t always better. In some people, too much D can increase calcium levels in the blood. So, again, work with your doctor on this.

More about Vitamin D3 at the Vitamin D Council’s page and Dr. Michael Holick’s page.

Favorite brands? None. Most Vitamin D3 supplements are comparable. The raw material ingredient (cholecalciferol) is very inexpensive and you should be able to get a year’s supply for under $20. However, taking large doses of Vitamin D without Vitamin K2, A and E is not a good idea – these fat-soluble vitamins work together.

Oh, here is a brilliant, cheaper (and much better) idea: go outside in the summer, and get 10-15 minutes of upper body and leg exposure to midday sun. No sunscreen – it blocks D3 production. No shades – the bright light will help reset your circadian rhythms and can have a positive effect on mood.

Go ahead – expose yourself shamelessly. Make it awkward for the neighbors!

Unlike supplements, your skin makes D3 Sulfate, which is a superior form of Vitamin D and has benefits that extend far beyond mood. Vit D supplements are poor substitutes for sunshine. This year I got most of my D from the sun. I take a few Vit D pills in the winter.

And finally, this study says combing Prozac with Vitamin D is much better at treating depression than Prozac alone.

Magnesium

Magnesium is often called the original chill pill.

Geek speak: magnesium does a lot of things but it does its best work between brain synapses, where it keeps calcium and glutamate from ‘exciting’ the NMDA receptors too much. Overexcited neurons = tension and anxiety. Magnesium keeps a lid on this. Not enough magnesium and the neurons will eventually die. Neurons and synapses going kablooey in the brain doesn’t help you stay cheery. Oh, and remember St. John’s Wort from the 1990s? Everyone thought it was a natural alternative to Prozac. Turns out St. John’s Wort was simply good at protecting cells from the dangers of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium for depression and anxiety

Too much calcium (yes, even from bone health supplements) and stress can wipe out magnesium. Food and water is where we used to get most of our magnesium.

But processed foods have virtually no magnesium. And they remove magnesium from the tap water to keep pipes clean. Dandy.

All that calcium and very little magnesium can make you pret-tee tense, anxious and may be even depressed.

This study showed rapid recovery from major depression in just 7 days, with magnesium supplementation with each meal and bed time. It’s not a perfectly designed study, so your mileage may will vary. But the study is a good read and I think you should pay attention to the message.

Leafy green veggies and nuts are good sources of magnesium. Googling ‘magnesium rich foods’ will turn up beans and whole grains. Ack! Pass on the whole grains – they will spike your glucose, goose your triglycerides, the gluten with mess up our gut and your brain and the phytates will remove valuable nutrients from your body. There is NOTHING present in whole grains that you can’t get from veggies. Nothing. But I digress.

Unlike Vitamin D3, if you decide to supplement with magnesium, it is very easy to buy the wrong product.

Most drug-store magnesium pills are made of magnesium oxide. Even reputable brands like NatureMade use magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide is not easily absorbed. You might as well swallow a pebble. Stay away from these products.

Magnesium for depression and anxiety

Favorite Brands

You can find lots of Magnesium citrate products online. They’re fine. I take Natural Calm powdered magnesium citrate dissolved in a cup of water and/or Jigsaw Health Magnesium.

Well-absorbed magnesium salts are not dense – they are fluffy and cannot be compressed into one small pill. You need to take 4 Jigsaw magnesium pills – and they are not cheap – but they are time-released, so you’re unlikely to experience a laxative effect.

Unless you eat like a hunter-gatherer caveman, you need to take a magnesium supplement. Even if you don’t have depression.

 B-Vitamins

There are lots of studies that link B-vitamin deficiencies to mood imbalance and depression.

Examples here, here, here, and here.

Getting enough Vitamin B12 is a real problem for some people, especially vegetarians. Unless you eat clams, oysters and liver regularly, you may want to think about supplementing.

People used to eat liver. Now they think it is gross. It isn’t. Avoid it at your own risk. Here’s a recipe.

Folate, B6 and B12 help create happy chemicals – dopamine and serotonin. SAM-e is also important here – see more on that below.

As far as supplement recommendations, well, I think these are OK. I’m open to suggestions. Share your thoughts in the comments section below if you know a good brand. I take an occasional chewable B12 but depend mostly on my diet for B-vitamins – egg yolks and grass-fed beef liver.

Watch out for the wrong type of B-vitamin!

B-vitamins and depression

Most multivitamins and drug-store variety B-complex contain small amounts of the cheap form of B12 called cyanocobalamin. Not good. Look for the better methylcobalamin form instead.

Same goes for Folic Acid and Folate. Folic acid is cheap, synthetic stuff and found in most multivitamins. You can overdose in Folic acid. You are much better off choosing Folate. Look for Metfolin or Quatrefolic brand Folate.

Jigsaw Health provides the right type of B-vitamins in their formula. Someone at Jigsaw has done their homework.

SAM-e

SAM-e levels are low in depressed individuals. And several positive studies show that it is at least as good as prescription antidepressants in effect.

SAM-e (say Sammy) is made by our bodies…but to produce it, you need B-vitamins and methionine. Methionine is an amino acid found in meat. Vegans take note.

Which brand to buy?

The recommended dosage is 400 to 800 mg taken twice a day. This can get very expensive. Most brands of SAM-e are fine. There are only a couple of factories in the world that make this stuff and most brands sell the same raw material – usually Italian made. The Chinese may be getting into the game, in which case, forget what I said! Drugstores and Walmart type stores value cost competitiveness, so the likelihood of finding Chinese ingredients there is high.

Costco has a good deal on NatureMade SAM-e.

SAM-e is generally pretty safe, but taking a lot of it without taking a B-complex or a good multivitamin is not a good idea (long story) but just to be safe, take it with a multi.

Creatine

Creatine also works in a similar way to SAM-e. But I’m not aware of any comparisons between the two when it comes to efficacy.

In a recent study, depressed people taking creatine along with their anti-depressants responded better than those taking the Rx pills by themselves.

And creatine has the advantage of being a lot cheaper than SAMe.

Iodine

Every thyroid molecule in your body has iodine attached to it.

And iodine can only come from your diet. Mostly wild seafood, seaweed and dairy. A little bit comes from iodized salt. But since so many people are cutting back on salt and so many more eat at restaurants where they don’t use iodized salt, iodine deficiency is coming back.

A lot of vegetarians and almost all vegans are deficient in iodine. Notice a trend?

Without enough iodine, you’re likely to have an under active thyroid. And an under active thyroid can make you feel tired and depressed.

My kids and some of my vegan friends like to snack on dried seaweed – the stuff is loaded with iodine. I tried it. Ptoooey!

So now I take LifeExtension’s Sea Iodine.

Glycine

This is a nutrient that your grandparents probably got enough of.

Glycine is an amino acid (building blocks of proteins) that’s been shown to reduce anxiety and help with sleep. Glycine is abundant in parts of animals that we no longer eat. American grocery stores have begun selling mostly muscle meats that are low in glycine.

Glycine is found in cartilage and skin – think pork rind, feet, hock, ox-tail, bone broth and chicken feet. Ugh, right? Butchers don’t sell things people are disgusted by.

Pork feet – ’twas what’s for dinner

But our ancestors weren’t disgusted by all this. They ate nose to tail. They scraped stuff off the slaughterhouse floor, put it into intestines and called it haggis. Bad enough that they walked backwards from school in the snow, they got fed pigs feet when they got home! But I bet you they slept better than we do on our memory-tempur-sleep-number-foam things.

Something to think about before you dismiss Paleo diets as fads.

You can talk to your doctor about Glysom, a glycine supplement that’s available through doctors. I have a lot of bone broth at home – I’ll assume that’s out for you. Another option is high quality powdered gelatin like Great Lakes unflavored gelatin from Amazon.com. A couple of tablespoons a day of this tasteless and odorless powder into any beverage will also do the trick.

Zinc

If you eat oysters and beef regularly, you can skip this one. But zinc deficiency will make you feel depressed among other things.

Actually, your zinc levels can be a pretty good indicator of how depressed you are.

If you’ve given up meat and have fallen for the ‘healthy whole grains and beans are better for you’ notion, you may have zinc issues. Grains and legumes have something called phytates that block zinc absorption.

Your body has no way of storing zinc like it can Vitamin D, so you have to eat zinc-rich foods or take a supplement regularly. If you choose the supplement option, do it a couple of times a week, not every day. Choose a gluconate or an amino acid chelate form.

 In case you were wondering…

Why didn’t I talk about 5-HTP, Tryptophan, GABA, Theanine or St. John’s Wort? Well, these are band-aids. They don’t address the root cause of the problem – poor nutrition and inflammation. Other than SAM-e, all the other supplements recommended here are actual nutrients that you need on a daily basis. Once you’ve met those needs either through your diet or with supplements, then you can start looking at other ingredients.

Other References:

Jorde R. Effects of vitamin D supplementation on symptoms of depression in overweight and obese subjects: randomized double blind trial. Intern Med. 2008 Dec;264(6):599-609. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Gariballa S. Testing homocysteine-induced neurotransmitter deficiency, and depression of mood hypothesis in clinical practice. Age Ageing. 2011 Nov;40(6):702-5.

Sanchez-Villegas A, et al. Association between folate, vitamin B(6) and vitamin B(12) intake and depression in the SUN cohort study. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2009 Apr;22(2):122-33.

Jacka FN,et al. Association between magnesium intake and depression and anxiety in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health Study. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;43(1):45-52.

Janice K. et al. Depressive Symptoms, omega-6:omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Inflammation in Older Adults sychosomatic Medicine 69:217-224 (2007)

Adams PB, et al. Arachidonic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid ratio in blood correlates positively with clinical symptoms of depression. Lipids. 1996 Mar;31 Suppl:S157-61.

Conklin SM, et al. High omega-6 and low omega-3 fatty acids are associated with depressive symptoms and neuroticism. Psychosom Med. 2007 Dec;69(9):932-4. Epub 2007 Nov 8.

 

DISCLAIMER: This website is for your education and general health information only. The ideas and suggestions contained on this website are not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your doctor for any health condition or problem. Users of this website should not rely on information provided on this website for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician.

Author Vin Kutty is an expert on fish oil About the Author: Vin Kutty, M.S. is cofounder of Innovix Pharma. He is a nutritionist, author, and Omega-3 expert with over 20 years of experience.
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{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy October 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I have a Jarrow B Vitamin that’s called B-Right.

It has 100 mcg of methylcobalamin B12 and 400 mcg of folate along with
a lot of other B vitamins.

Kathy

Reply

Vin Kutty October 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Thanks, Kathy. They have the right KIND of B12 and Folate. That’s great. Yesterday, checked all the B-vitamins at Costco – all the multivitamins and B-complexes. None of them had the right type of B-vitamin! I like the Jarrow formula, but I think 100 mcg is way too low. 500 mcg or 1000 mcg would be much better. Here’s a link to the product: http://www.jarrow.com/product/57/B-Right

The Jigsaw Health formula I mentioned in the blog has 500 mcg. But it has half the Folate of the Jarrow formula.
– Vin Kutty

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Margie October 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I have heard that green tea extract is supposed to be good for stress and anxiety. It’s supposed to have L-theanine . I have tried to drink green tea, but it is not in the cards for me. Do you recommend this supplement,& if so, can you suggest a good brand.
Thanks!

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Vin Kutty October 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Hi Margie – green tea is a great source of antioxidants and polyphenols…but I have not see any studies that suggest it’s good for stress or anxiety. If you’re after theanine, get theanine supplements. Look for Suntheanine brand theanine. It may or may not work for you, but at 200 or 300 mg Theanine, I feel very relaxed and my eyelids get droopy…but not sleepy. You’d have to drink several vats of green tea to get enough theanine to have this effect.
– Vin Kutty

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Lesley Nogales February 27, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Hi Vin – Just wanted to say thanks for this really interesting and useful info .I’m about to start taking fish oil due to studies showing its potential benefits for asthma sufferers – but as I do have a tendency towards stress & depression – I think I will try adding some of the other supplements suggested above. I have never heard or come across Sam- E in the UK but I will shop around for it.

On a point relating to the absorbption of magnesium that may interest you? A study in the UK has shown that soaking in a hot bath with added magnesium is one of the quickest ways to safely increase your magnesium levels. I can testify that adding Epsom salts i.e. magnesium to my bath water is definitely very soothing and does seem to be reducing the aches and pains associated with arthiritis.

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Vin Kutty March 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Hi Lesley – magnesium can be absorbed transdermally. Epsom salts in bath or even a soak in the ocean can help. The trouble is, you have no clue how much you’ve absorbed.

– Vin Kutty

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janet April 15, 2013 at 7:55 pm

wow thanks for the info. i didnt know that epsom salts had magnesium in them. i will have to try that cause i am over the stress limit barometer!

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Vin Kutty April 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Janet – you burn up nutrients besides magnesium when stressed. Eat liver? If not, consider. Otherwise, consider more exercise, meditation and yoga – all three help with stress.

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Lesley March 4, 2013 at 3:52 am

Hmmm…… due to my lack of knowledge regarding nutritional supplementation I’mhesitant to question your point, but here goes anyway………..) You already made the point about magnesium oxide not being readily absorbed and without measuring bloods/urine how can we know if we are maintaining the optimum level of magnesium through oral supplemetation?

This study indicates that bathing 2/3 times a week in Epson salts enables the body to gradually absorb sufficient magnesium to reach optimum levels , following which less frequent ‘maintenance’ baths will suffice.

Each to their own – but I find bathing in magnesium with a few added drops of essential oils a pleasant, relaxing experience & preferable to establishing a safe i.e. non-laxative , oral dose. Its also surprisingly affordable in 25k sacks!

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Vin Kutty March 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Hi Lesley – it’s not easy to measure Magnesium sufficiency. I work with the assumption that even those of us who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (generally good sources of Magnesium) are somewhat deficient due to intensive agriculture – soils are depleted and if soils are depleted, there will be less of it in fruits and vegetables. So my response to that is to take about 400 mg of magnesium one of the more absorbable forms – citrare, glycinate etc.

Epsom salt baths may work – my advice would be to be generous while drawing your bath…

– Vin Kutty

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Claire Tait-Doak April 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I like this article. I have been a big fan of Magnesium since I started taking it last year, and used it to come off SSRIs that were making me sick. I have taken it on and off because I couldn’t find a tablet that was suitable. The problem with magnesium is that you need to have ideal conditions in your stomach in order to break it down and convert it to it’s ionic form as it must be absorbed on a cellular level. Anything that is not converted is not absorbed and is wasted, but causes laxative effects in the process.

I discovered a while ago that there are ionic forms available. The ionic form is a liquid, taken in water or juice once or more daily depending on your condition, is almost tasteless, and causes no laxative effects whatsoever. Because it is ionic and can be readily absorbed into your cells without being broken down or processed, it is much more effective.

There are various companies that make it, I’ve only used ReMag so far, and really like it, but I think I’m going to try Trace Minerals Research as I’m currently putting in an order from iHerb and they sell that and I’d like to see what different brands do for me. It’s all about finding the best one for you, at the right price for you. Shop around!

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Vin Kutty April 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Thank you, Claire.

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Susan April 8, 2013 at 8:27 am

Hello,

I am curious as to what ‘unopposed’ EPA/DHA means? I have recently been taking PurePharma Omega 3..on its label it says Omega 3 fatty acids 2000mg..and below it says EPA 1250mg..DHA 500 mg.
Does unopposed mean I would have to take the EPA/DHA separately to get the better effect? (taking for depression) Any thoughts on the Purepharma brand? It directs to take 3 softgels a day..so that would be 6000mg of omega 3 a day? Is that too high?

I also take the Natural VItality Calm Magnesium..it is an amazing product..feel its soothing affect at first sip..cannot recommend this product highly enough and it tastes great (i have the raspbery-lemon flavor..yummy!)
Very glad I discovered this site, very informative..thank you so much!

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Vin Kutty April 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Hi Susan – I like PurePharma brand. Their quality is good but their potency could be a lot higher. Each capsule has 433 mg of EPA and 173 mg of DHA. So if you took 3 pills, you would get 1820 mg of EPA + DHA. You DO NOT GET 6000 mg of Omega-3. That’s a bit of label smoke-n-mirrors that fish oil marketers use that I disagree with. The supplement facts panel should always tell you how much Omega-3 ONE CAPSULE contains.

So you are not getting 6000 mg – for that, you would need to take almost 10 pills. Very few people need that much Omega-3.

Unopposed EPA is the amount of EPA that is unhindered by DHA. If you have 100 mg of EPA and 100 mg of DHA, then each molecule of EPA is ‘blocked’ by a molecule DHA. For depression, this would give you no benefits. In your PurePharma example, the unopposed EPA is: 433 minus 173 = 260 mg of unopposed EPA. You need about 1000 mg of unopposed EPA per day for mood health benefits. This means you need to take 4 pills per day to get 1000 mg of unopposed EPA.

Hope this helps.

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Susan April 10, 2013 at 7:47 am

Hi Vin,
Thank you very much for the information ..I have placed an order for Omegavia fish oil..very impressed with the extensive information on the website and really appreciate the responses you provide! Looking forward to trying this product, thanks again:)

Susan

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Vin Kutty April 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Thank you, Susan!

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christina marie April 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

Great information!
I have taken omega 3’s for my anxiety, and while yes they do help some, I need something more! I just came off anti anxiety meds because of the side effect and I don’t plan on going back, but i do need to find something that is safe to use while breastfeeding. I’m considering magnesium but have to do a bit more research to be sure of its “safety” while BF.

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Larissa April 26, 2013 at 2:00 am

I just found this site (excellent info!) and saw your comment regarding magnesium. I just began using a powder called Cenitol by Metagenics. (?) It’s magnesium bisglycinate. So far I have noticed an incredible shift in mood, (much less anxiety/tension/fretting/despair) but it’s also the migraines that I am grateful for it giving me relief from. I’m sure Vin Kutty can elaborate on this form of magnesium, and share his thoughts. Fish oils, less caffeine, Qi Gong and cycling are helping too. Best to you in finding alternatives. I have also weaned off pharmaceuticals – for good. I trust it can be done. :)

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Vin Kutty April 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Hi Larissa – glad it worked well for you. The glycinate/bisglycinate forms are one of the better absorbed forms of Magnesium. It’s too bad that the most common form of magnesium (magnesium oxide) is also one of the least absorbed. There are a lot of people taking mag oxide (from NatureMade brand for example) who will notice few of the benefits you have.

If you had to go on pharmaceuticals due to dietary or lifestyle causes, then addressing those dietary and lifestyle issues will remove the need for drugs. Quite simple.

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Larissa April 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Thanks for the feedback re: magnesium Mr Kutty! Now I’ve a question regarding creatine. I recall taking it several years back when I was racing mountain bikes, as it was some hyped up performance enhancer and I was young and keen to experiment. When I took it – in juice as recommended – I was speedy and over the top! (Good thing the race was cancelled due to a Grizzly being on the course.) We rode that day elsewhere, and I could climb like never before (not needing too much concentration, just brute strength – so I can see why lifters like this.) but on the technical descents I was a mess. My mind was racing, adrenals were pumping, and I was three steps ahead – not in a good way. I’d love to try creatine again if it’s good for depression, but what form would you say is safe for someone who reacted like this? Is this a common side effect? It was like some kind of excruciating stimulant! Thanks again. Your articles are really great, and your input is much appreciated.

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Vin Kutty April 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Hi Larissa – this is not a common side effect of creatine, given that you take the right amount. I suggest that if you try creatine, start small. Everything can be harmful in excess. (This doesn’t mean everything is OK in small doses…I’m thinking of gluten here.) Remember the first rule of toxicology: the dose makes the poison. So if you try creatine, start at lower doses than suggested. I’d also recommend sticking with a whole foods only diet, like paleo. Include organ meats in your diet – liver. Ideally from grass-fed beef and lamb.

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Sue May 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Hi
Very interesting in your site as it has given me some useful tips. I suffer greatly from Chronic sinus problems which when they are bad, like now it get very bad anxiety/panic attacks. Can you suggest the best combination for my symptoms? I have given up dairy, sweets and wheat but not really helping!

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Vin Kutty May 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Hi Sue – sorry to hear about your sinus issues. I have the same problems. Getting rid of sugar and wheat didn’t help me either. Stinks. That just means the problem may have its origins in something other than sugar or wheat, that’s all. When it’s bad, I’ve tried warm saline rinses (several times a day), steaming with my little Vicks steamer that I picked up at CVS. When it’s bad, I steam for a couple of hours while working on my laptop/ipad. I’ve also used Terry Naturally SinusCare – not sure yet how I feel about it.

Instead of telling you which pills to take, how ’bout I suggest you keep a food diary and write down what you eat and how your sinus and mood shifts based on this. I suspect, but have no way to confirm, that you may be histamine intolerant. Read this: http://diagnosisdiet.com/histamine-intolerance/ and also look up Low Histamine Chef.

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Theven May 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

Hi Vin,

I’m on cymbalta for general anxiety disorder. I’m taking omegavia omega 3 2 times daily. I can see positive difference when I lower down cymbalta from 90mg to 60mg. I’m now having a bit of morning anxiety and during sleep. Can you suggest me what other supplement I should take to get the energy and happy mood?

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Vin Kutty May 24, 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi Theven – if you’re already taking the supplements mentioned in the blog above, this is a question for your doctor since you’re already taking Cymbalta.

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Amanda May 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I take PlusEPA from Minami Nutrition for anxiety and depression and OCD. I have found it to help me, but I didnt see it on your website

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Vin Kutty May 25, 2013 at 6:52 am

Hi Amanda – PlusEPA is a great product for mood issues. Any high-EPA and low-DHA formula will help if you’re getting enough unopposed EPA.

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Eva June 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Wondering about the iodine supplementation if you are being treated and taking medication for a thyroid condition. Have been taking Levothyroxine 100mcg for a few years now. Thanks so much. Love the site!

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Vin Kutty June 2, 2013 at 2:36 am

Hi Eva – since you’re already taking thyroid meds, there is no additional need for iodine supplementation, but please check with your doctor.

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Asher P June 3, 2013 at 2:09 am

Very Helpful. Thanks for this

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Mary August 11, 2013 at 3:58 am

I have been fighting depression on and off most of my life. Since March of this year I have had an upward battle. What stinks is back in March I had blood work done and my creatinine levels were low and was told not to worry about it. HUMMMMM After reading this I looked into it, could be a reason.

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Vin Kutty August 12, 2013 at 12:18 am

Hi Mary – there could be other reasons for the low creatinine. Please check with your doctor on how to handle this. Despite the title of this blog, taking supplements is not the best way to treat depression or anxiety – the real solution is to fix your diet (eat a whole foods diet) and lifestlyle. If that does not help, then get proper medical help.

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Karen September 17, 2013 at 4:04 am

Great info! I am taking notes as I read. My teenage daughter is suffering from depression/anxiety. It is hard to know what is digestive related and/or chemical related. She was recently diagnosed with Celiac and is Dairy intolerant. She is now gluten, dairy, soy and for the most part, preservative free. She feels so much better. However, her doctor has her on Zoloft and Atarax for her depression and anxiety symptoms. I want to “add” to her prescriptions with the above mentioned supplements. Are they all safe to take in conjunction with the sertraline and hydroxyzine? Her blood lab tests showed low levels of Vitamin D and B vitamins, so I really feel like those should be added at least. I don’t want to “overmedicate” her, but I also don’t want to miss out on what her body needs. Thanks again for the great info.

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Vin Kutty September 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Hi Karen – glad you found this useful. Since your daughter is under medical care, have her doctor bless any supplement regimen. Otherwise, none of the supplements I’ve mentioned here are known for safety issues. To my knowledge, they are OK. I take most of them. The only suggestion I would have is to have get get a LOT of sun exposure (without sunscreen!) during the summer and may be take the Vitamin D pills in the winter. Since sunlight is not a supplement, I didn’t mention it here. There are advantages to sunlight exposure to skin that Vitamin D pills do not provide. Not to mention that it helps reset circadian rhythms and improves sleep, assuming she avoids ‘screen time’ after sunset.

Also, make sure neither you nor her is afraid of a healthy fats. Be very generous with olive oil, coconut oil, butter and other healthy fats. Time to get over fat-phobia. That belonged in the 1980s. Get her to eat more eggs yolks and if you convince her, liver. Look into a Paleo diet. Get her used to a wide variety of fermented foods – sauerkraut, kefir, etc. to get her gut flora up to par.

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Keynen October 29, 2013 at 11:26 am

Hello. Could your new product EPA 500 help with memory and mood issues, or would you recommend the original omega via product?

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Vin Kutty October 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hi Keynen – Original OmegaVia is an all-purpose Omega-3 supplement. It should help you with mood and memory. EPA 500 is specifically formulated for mood. And also for people who’re concerned that DHA might increase LDL cholesterol. If you are more concerned about mood than memory, then EPA 500 would be better. If you eat a few egg yolks (especially Omega-3 eggs) and seafood a couple of times a week, then you’ll get most of the DHA you need to keep your brain functioning well.

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K November 3, 2013 at 4:37 am

Hi Vin, thanks for all your fabulous information.

Just a question regarding EPA 500 – I have read that the body converts EPA to DHA, but is there any possibility of becoming DHA deficient by just taking EPA 500 for an extended period of time? Or would a meal of fish a week be enough to address this?

Thanks very much.

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Vin Kutty November 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Hi K – the body is not very good at converting EPA to DHA. It can happen, but at very low levels. You are likely to become DHA deficient if you are a vegetarian or vegan. If you eat eggs or seafood on a regular basis, you will get all the DHA that you need. Remember that a drop of DHA will stay in your body for 2-3 years. The body does not easily get rid of DHA. It only needs small amounts and it hangs on to what it gets. Your brain only needs 3-4 mg of DHA per day. An egg could have 75 to 100 mg of DHA. A meal of fish a week is enough to meet your DHA needs.

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K November 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Great, thanks Vin – that’s really helpful.

I shall order the EPA 500 with confidence!

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Elizabeth December 14, 2013 at 3:40 am

Some of my supplements:
Calcium 400 mg
Vit. D 5000 iu
Magnesium 500 mg
Vit. K7 400 mcg
Only Trace Minerals
Co Q 10 200 mg
Vit. B complex
My problem is I don’t know when during the day I should take them.
Which ones counter-act others? Please help!

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Vin Kutty December 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Hi Elizabeth – nice bone and heart support mix. Glad you’re only taking 400 mg of Calcium. That’s enough. Best to get the rest from food. I’d take all of the above with the biggest meal of the day or the one that contains the most fat. Early in the day is best for most. Some people take their magnesium just before bed to help relax them. I don’t see any that would counter act any of the others. The only thing I want to mention is that increased D and K will leave you somewhat unbalanced if you don’t get adequate A and E. A, D, E and K are the four key fat-soluble vitamins – they run together, so to speak. If you don’t eat much animal fats or dairy fat, it will be difficult to get enough pre-formed Vitamin A. You will need to compensate by eating a lot more carotenoid rich (colorful) fruits and veggies. Look into Vitamin E rich foods as well or may be try a mixed tocopherol/tocotrieneol supplement – LifeExtension has a couple.

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Elizabeth December 15, 2013 at 3:39 am

Thank you for you reply.
I divide the calcium, magnesium, Vit. K and the CoQ 10 into two times daily (breakfast and dinner). Is this OK? I read that the chromium (in my Only Trace Minerals) might interfere with calcium. Is this correct and if so when should I take the chromium since I divide the calcium? If I supplement with a Vit. A and E, how much should I take?

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Vin Kutty December 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Hi Elizabeth – large doses of calcium can interact with some other minerals, but you’re not taking a large dose. You’re breaking up your moderate dose into two even smaller doses. I don’t see an issue.

Vit A and E are, as with most nutrients, best obtained from whole foods. If you choose to supplement, take it with a large meal, preferably one that has the most fat – time of day does not matter.

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debbie January 5, 2014 at 1:27 am

Incredible info. I have severe anxiety panic issues. So severe that I cannot leave the house. I have tried serotonee, gabatone,etc.by a company called apex energetics. Nothing helped. I was wondering if you could outline a supplement regiment for me. My doctor wants to put me on a antidepressant. I am afraid of drugs. I really need help. I feel awful 24/7 and I am exhausted from it. I am on paleo, I have hashimotos. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Debbie

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Vin Kutty January 5, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Hi Debbie – I’m sorry to hear about the situation. I can understand how you might feel awful and exhausted.

First, I am neither authorized nor qualified to dispense true medical advice. But I’m happy to provide some nutritional guidance and point you towards some resources that I think will be useful enough to get you functioning and out of the house.

Second, you cannot supplement your way out of this. You will need to address diet first. Lifestyle changes after the diet has started helping you.

I recommend that you get help from a good paleo dietitian. http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/
Why talk to a dietitian? Because most people do paleo the wrong way. One size does not fit all. But I can say with fairly good certainly that everyone will benefit from total avoidance of wheat/gluten, sugar, refined grains and processed foods. In the meantime, start eating more egg yolks and liver. Eat lots of colorful leafy veggies. Cut out all vegetable seed oils.

You will need to address gut health issues, as the gut is where most of your happy chemicals are produced. Poor gut health = poor mood. Read this: http://www.dramymyers.com/2013/01/11/heal-your-gut-heal-yourself/
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALING YOUR GUT!

You will need to address inflammation. Any good diet like Paleo or Zone will help with this.

If I were you, I would take the supplements outlined in this blog, but it really needs to start with your diet. Since you’re already on paleo, you’ve already taken the first step. You will probably need to tweak your diet more. I suspect you will need to go on an elimination diet – your dietitian will walk you thru that. After a month on that, you will begin to feel better.

I can promise that it will be difficult, but totally worth it. Hang in there and keep us posted.

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cecilia borders May 22, 2014 at 5:43 am

HI Debbie, I sympathize with you, because I used to be in the same position as you with my Hashimotos a few years ago. I’m not a medical practitioner, but I’ve learned so much from reading Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s thyroid book (from Amazon.com), and finding a naturopath to guide me, along with a conventional GP who listens to my thyroid symptoms, rather than look only at the numbers on the TSH, T3 and T4. With Hashimoto’s, the doctor MUST go by how you feel in order to adjust the dosage on your thyroid hormone, or even whether or not to prescribe you hormone. But, once you have totally applied a lifetime eating style of Paleo, and that includes a gluten-free lifestyle as well, that is first and foremost. I tried for years only taking supplements, and didn’t feel better. But once the diet was clean and kept clean (no dairy, no grains or beans, no eggs, no gluten) and if you still experience anxiety or depression, then the Apex Energetics products called Serotone, Gabatone, will work for you, and just monitor whether you whether or not you need to take them 3 times daily with your meals. With Hashimoto’s eat often, and eat on a regular schedule, so that your anxiety symptoms don’t flare up from being hungry. Hashimoto’s causes anxiety and depression when not managed very very carefully with a gluten free diet and strict Paleo style. Buy the new book, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, written by a lady who has Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune issue, not just a simple low-thyroid issue. I have Hashimoto’s myself and through the years have learned all of the things I’ve suggested to you. Vit D3 in 2000 to 5000 per day, or sunshine, is vital, as is Vins recommendations above for Fish Oil, EPA. However, avoid iodine supplements ENTIRELY, because with Hashimoto’s, taking iodine is like pouring gasoline on the fire, and will cause a bad flare-up of symptoms and will try to destroy more of your thyroid gland.
Best wishes,
Cecilia B.

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Vin Kutty May 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Hi Cecilia – thanks for adding your helpful insights. I know so many people who could benefit from reading what you’ve written, not just for Hashimotos, but several other autoimmune disorders. Look for a book by Dr. Amy Myers sometime later this year or early next year. It’s all about autoimmunity and reducing it with diet and lifestyle changes.

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james January 14, 2014 at 2:06 am

Hi Vin, great info thanks, could you recommend the best 3 daily supplements to take to help with depression. This would be in conjunction with lifestyle changes. I have tried various antidepressants in the past and nothing really made a difference not with the side effects anyway. I have been tying the diet and exercise route but want to support that effort with proper supplements. Looking for your advice on the top 3 to take daily and the dosage recommended. Thanks in advance

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Vin Kutty January 14, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Hi James – top three, huh? Well, try Omega-3, magnesium and Vitamin D. But taking this minimalist approach is unlikely to get you where you need to go. These supplements need to be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you noticed, most of the nutrients I talk about in this blog can be obtained if you eat a whole foods diet…like a Paleo diet. But the other half of the equation is what you AVOID! Just taking these supplements without eliminating inflammatory vegetable seed oils, sugar and flour will not get you the results you seek. Also, most of your ‘happy chemicals’ are secreted in the gut, which means you need to take steps to heal your gut. More here: http://www.dramymyers.com/2013/01/11/heal-your-gut-heal-yourself/

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Vincent February 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

Hi Vin.

Firstly I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for actually caring enough about your fellow man to pursue solutions for anxiety-and-depression-related issues from the perspective of nutrition rather than the modern “quick fixes” most of us have been lured into trying or even depend on with no, or even detrimental, results. Your philosophy is inspirational.

I have been trying the nutrient supplementation approach to my bouts of anxiety and depression for a few weeks now and I can honestly say that I feel a massive difference already. I actually sleep without complications and I just feel better in general.

I realize that others here have asked you to make decisions for them when comparing products and no doubt you are a busy man, but I would appreciate it no end if you could do the same for me.

I am considering the following Omega-3 compositions and would simply like to know which one you would recommend based on how effective it should be for optimal health (psychologically and physiologically speaking). They are all from the same manufacturer:

Solal Krill Oil Omega-3 (per capsule):
Krill Oil yeilding 500mg Omega-3 fatty acids 110mg of which EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) 60mg, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) 27.5mg,
Marine phospholipids 225mg, Astaxanthin (antioxidant) 25μg

Solal Sol-Oil Omega 3 & 6 (per 2 capsules):
Fish oil omega 3 extract (triglyceride form) 1333mg + Borage Oil (Cold Pressed) 667mg. This supplies: Omega 3 fatty acids, namely: EPA 680mg, DHA 120mg, Omega 6 fatty acids, namely: GLA 114mg

Solal Omega-3 Double Strength (per capsule):
Fish oil (concentrate) 1000mg of which: Omega-3 fats: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) 510mg, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) 90mg

Solal Flaxseed Oil Omega-3 (per capsule):
Each capsule contains the following as active ingredient: Cold pressed flaxseed oil 850mg Which supplies: ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) omega 3 fatty acid 425mg

Solal Fish Oil Extract Omega-3 (per capsule):
Fish oil extract (triglyceride form) 1000mg of which total Omega 3 fatty acids 300mg: EPA 160mg, DHA 100mg, Vitamin E 12mg

Thank you for your consideration and peace to you and your loved ones.

Vincent.

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Vin Kutty February 4, 2014 at 4:27 am

Hi Vincent – I would go with the Double Strength product. It has the most Omega-3 EPA and DHA per pill.

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Shay March 2, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Hi Vin,

I have chronic myofascial pain, Hasimoto’s, some bouts of anxiety/depression. I avoid all the obvious inflammatory foods and take supplements (some recommended by my Rolfer/Nutritionist/Acupuncturist, some by my homeopathic MD, some by myself – have ordered OmegaVia 500 today – will run it by both before deciding. I eat bone broth/organic vegs/grass-fed meat or organic chicken daily, (avoiding berries/fruit as I think I may have an overgrowth of yeast in the gut from the holiday ‘binge’). I use coconut and olive oil – and still use some raw grass-fed butter though I’m not using other dairy at this time. I will be tested by Cyrex Labs for cross contamination, etc., soon. Have been on Paxil a.m. and Lorazepam/Elavil p.m. for sleep for 20 yrs. This is what was given when I developed CMP years before it even had a name. My present doctors inherited my drug-addicted self. I plan to withdraw under their supervision when present conditions are under better control. Here are my questions.

I’m taking a self-selected supplement that contains:
1. 4oo mgs. microcrystaline hydroxyapatite (from grass-fed, free-range cattle)
2. 400 mgs. magnesium taurate
3. 1000 IU vitamin D from lamb’s wool
4. 3 mgs. magnesium citrate
5. 1 mg. boron citrate

I also take magnesium citrate 50 to 300 mgs. (dose varies per day) in a supplement called Glysen that, with diet, helped me reverse insulin resistance – and 2 Trace Minerals Research Electrolyte Stamina.
I total calcium and magnesium at the end of the day and aim for a higher total of mag than cal – if I need to up the mag, I use magnesium citrate capsules. (calcium usually totals out at 531 mgs., magnesium at 600 – 700.) I have felt better since I began taking more mag than cal.

I also use fermented cod liver oil and take K2, Jarrow B Right, extra B6 and B12-Max (Apex Energetics), 6000 Vit. C in divided doses, zinc, selenium, COQ10, E, alpha lipoic acid, glutathione recycler, Taurine, Turmero, Apex Energetics Repairvite and Strengtia – I just ordered Garden of Life Soil-Based Organisms and plan to vary probios, will run idea of prebios past my docs.

I would appreciate any comments you may have regarding the above. Thanks a lot ~ Shay

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Vin Kutty March 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Hi Shay – I’m glad you have a group of professionals helping you. I’m sure it is not cheap, but it is worth it, given how long you’ve been enduring this. The autoimmune trigger source needs to be identified, so I’m glad you’re doing the Cyrex test. The results may limit your diet but that’s a small price to pay.

Overall, you seem to be doing a lot of things right based on the limited information here. I don’t see major red flags – assume Vit D level is fine. I’d focus a little less on Calcium assuming diet is dialed in.

My general suggestions are to tackle this from a diet perspective than supplements. Get the yeast/candida under control, heal the gut, get sleep meds under control, get sunlight, move a lot, manage stress, did I mention heal the gut?

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Cecilia Borders May 23, 2014 at 3:56 am

Hi Vin,
I totally agree with you based on all the literature on Hashimoto’s in most recent years: heal the gut is the most essential aspect to gain control of anxiety/depression. Healing the gut involves cutting out the sugar sources, drink probiotics such as Kombucha, and definitely omit gluten, grains, dairy, and eggs. Those with Hashimoto’s know the worst form of anxiety and depression, so we have to micro-manage the healing of the gut so that all of the good ‘nutrients’ can actually be absorbed into the brain and make our daily live better. Vin is right: constantly, daily, work to heal the gut and keep it healed. ‘Sugar is killing everybody’ (did you hear that statement in recent national news?), and interestingly, most people don’t know that wheat and other grains raise our blood sugar MEGA times higher than cane sugar does, and those same grains usually aren’t digested well, so they cause our guts to have ‘Leaky gut syndrome’, passing outside of the gut to inflame our thyroid and other parts of the body. Wheat and grains just don’t contain any nutrition.

I’m so excited about Vin’s very professional site here on anxiety and depression. I have never seen any site that is so accurate and educational to the public. Thanks so much, Vin, for providing help to so many.
Cecilia B.

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Tina March 16, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Hi Vin,

Thank you so much for your outstanding blog.

I have a question regarding EPA and DHA.

I have been been taking Omega-3 for a few years. From reading information on the web and reviews from Amazon reviews, I was about ready to place the button to order Omegavia EPA 500. I started having anxiety and sleeping problem as the result of hyperthyroidism (i’ m now a hypo after RAI).

If EPA is good for depression how can it be good for anxiety? I took Jarrow omega3 DHA with an understanding that this is good for anxiety. Then I switched to Nutrigold triple strength.

I want my life back badly and have been so disciplined with my diet. This anxiety is so hard on. My entire family.

I really appreciate your help.

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Vin Kutty March 17, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Hi Tina – I can really sense the difficulty you’re going thru from just a few sentences.

First, I assume you are working with an endocrinologist to get your thyroid numbers back to normal. This is not easy but can be done. The process of finding the right dose and balance can take a while.

Second, EPA appears to be beneficial for both depression and anxiety, not necessarily because these two conditions have different pathologies or require separate nutrients to be healed, but because EPA is a strong anti-inflammatory and assists in proper nerve function. Even though you’re better off with just EPA for mood issues, I suspect you would have been fine with the Jarrow or Nutrigold items – they are both good products. But you may need to higher dose to get more ‘unopposed’ EPA.

Glad you read this article – I suggest you try these supplements along with working with a dietitian to get your diet 100% on track. I suggest someone on this list: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/
Focus on eliminating sugar, flour and vegetable seed oils for now. Eat fresh veggies, meats, seafood, eggs, nuts and fruits – that’s it. Nothing processed and nothing from a package.

I’d also focus on magnesium and glycine. And may be curcumin as well.

Ultimately, I think the cure lies in diet, exercise, lifestyle modifications. Hope this helps.

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Peter M. April 13, 2014 at 10:21 am

Hello Vin,

just found this page with greast infos concerning Omega3.
At the moment im using Omega product with 300mg epa/200 mg dha per capsule. as i understand for depression/anxietxy i should take 1000mg epa per day, and therefore i need to subtract the cha from the epa. this means 300-200=100 mg. so i would need to take 10 capsules per day? is that right? sounds a lot!
as im living in germany there is no product available containing only epa. i need to ask in pharmacy tomorrow. otherwise i need to order from UK, or so. i found these “PurePharma Omega-3″ – seems i would need to take 3 pills per day, which seems to be much more comfortable as 10 pills!
any other suggestions for germany?

thank you for helping!

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Vin Kutty April 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Hi Peter – you may be able to get products made by Minami Nutrition. They make a few high-EPA products. They are a Belgian company and have good distribution in EU. In addition, you may be able to order our EPA 500 directly from our website – give it a try if everything fails locally. As I note in the above article, your depression/anxiety may be caused by other factors, including Omega-3 deficiency. But to get true and total relief, you will need to address most of those root causes. You cannot outrun depression and anxiety with supplements alone – you will need to start with a diet change targeting inflammation and then add supplements, lifestyle changes (outdoor activity, stress reduction like yoga/meditation, sleep issues) and professional medical help, either pharmaceutical and/or talk therapy.

Even though people with depression have lower levels of Omega-3 in their bodies, it does not mean that taking Omega-3 will reverse depression. It does in some people, but you may have to address each one of these issues with professional help. Do not rely on supplements alone.

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Peter M. April 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm

hello vin,
thanks for your quick answer. yes i know about the supplements and i am having a therapy with a psychologist as well. in fact i want to avoid ADs i want to work with these supplements as 5HTP and Omega 3.

Thanks for your advices, but is my calculation correct, and do you think i can use my Omega 3s, although i need to take 10 pills?

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Peter M. April 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm

and thanks, ill have a look for these high-EPA-products. thank you very much!

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Vin Kutty April 14, 2014 at 12:11 am

Hi Peter – I think you may be able to use your Omega-3 until you find something a little more concentrated or higher in EPA. I don’t think you’ll need 10 pills. How many exactly? I don’t know. Likely less.

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Peter M. April 14, 2014 at 7:14 am

hey vin – thanks, ok i will use those O3s i already have. with your calculation (see above) i would need those 10 pills. seems to be the correct amount – sounds a lot… ;-)

jessica h. April 19, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Hello,
Thank you for sharing again. I am just starting out with the SAM-E and D3 to help control my anxeity and depression.Do you recommend a Multi Vitamin?

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Vin Kutty April 20, 2014 at 12:43 am

Hi Jessica – a multi doesn’t hurt, but I don’t take one and usually don’t tell others to take it. You’re better off getting these nutrients through food, but if you want to follow the supplement route, I think you’re better off taking the supplements mentioned here individually. That way, you control how much of each you’re getting. You need to approach this from several angles: 1) diet and lifestyle change 2) pharmaceuticals if prescribed 3) professional help to get to the root cause and 4) supplements.

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Sandy April 23, 2014 at 12:23 am

Hi, thank you so very much for all of the info you have shared! I have been taking Omegavia fish oil for depression and plan to switch to the EPA 500 next order. I also would like to start taking Green Pastures High Vitamin Butter Oil with cod liver oil. Will the EPA (15%) and DHA (10%) in that undo the 1000mg unopposed EPA I am striving for?
Also, I don’t think I’ll ever trust myself making homemade sauerkraut just in case I grow the wrong bacteria haha, so is the store bought Kefir and Kombucha I have been enjoying adequate for probiotics?

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Vin Kutty April 23, 2014 at 3:56 am

Hi Sandy – no, the butter oil is great. It will not undo any benefits. In fact, you’ll probably be healthier. Kefir and kombucha is a good start, but you may want to look into mail ordering some sauerkraut! :-) You have to use several approaches to get a healthy probiotic colony in your gut.

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Sandy April 27, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Thank for your reply! May you be blessed for how much you help all of us! =)

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Khali May 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Hi, i have terrible anxiety and Hashimoto’s. Do you know pills for that? I read that someone got rid of the anxiety with these three supplements and want y your feedback: N-Acetyl-Glucosamine 1,000 twice daily
Flaxseed oil one tablespoon daily
Turmeric 1.000 twice daily

Do you think will work, thank you. I feel my body with tremors from this, it is horrible.

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Vin Kutty May 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Hi Khali – sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. I strongly suggest that you get in touch with a functional or integrative medicine doctor – there are many MDs who treat hashimotos. I would not be surprised to find out that the root cause of the anxiety and hashimotos are related. The supplements you mentioned cannot hurt, but I would start with a dramatic change in diet – for now, eat only vegetable, fruits, seafood, grass-fed meats, eggs, nuts and some seeds. No sugar, grains, and processed foods.

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Msk May 10, 2014 at 2:10 am

I have Genetic Weepy Depression and I am Taking Cipralex 20mg.
Which, Omegavia or OmegaVia EPA500 will be better and what times?
What other vitamins Supplements will be better and which Product?
Vitamins B Which one B complex or other B vitamins best Product in Your view, Vit D3 and which other Vitamin will help me to reduce
Weepy sensation Depression.

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Vin Kutty May 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Hi Msk – since you’re taking Cipralex, I assume you’re under the care of a medical professional. If your doctor is OK with it, I suggest taking the supplements outlined above to see if it makes a difference. The ones listed above are the brands that I recommend.

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Natasha B June 5, 2014 at 12:18 am

Hi!
Thanks for a great article, I’m already taking a few of the supplements in your list. I’ve been struggling with derealization for the last 4 months, despite seeing some improvements I’m still experiencing constant rumination, depression and some anxiety still. Do you see these supplements helping with these? I’m wondering too if you can think of any supplement that might help with focus?

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Vin Kutty, MS June 5, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Hi Natasha – sounds like you may require additional medical/nutritional/lifestyle support. I suggest you track down an integrative or functional medicine doctor in your area. Many of them are able to offer help through Skype, if there are none near you. The supplements I mentioned can only help if you are deficient in those specific nutrients and that specific nutrient deficiency is causing some or all of your issues. You may also need to talk to a nutritionist about optimizing your diet. See if you can work with one of these: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/

One of the supplements I mentioned is probiotics. This is complex because a lot of your ‘happy’ and ‘calm’ chemicals are produced in your gut. If your gut needs healing, simply taking probiotics will not help – it requires an integrated approach: http://www.dramymyers.com/2013/02/08/how-to-heal-your-gut-naturally/

The point I’m trying to make is that taking a few of these supplements alone may not help. You may require professional nutrition/medical help to get you back on track.

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Wanda Gomez June 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Hi there
Dx with anxiety 1yr ago age 34,started out of no where. On lexapro it does work but I know there is something else that has to be wrong even though blood work all comes back fine..

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Vin Kutty, MS June 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Hi Wanda – you’re probably right that something/s else might be wrong. I strongly suggest you find an integrative or functional MD or practitioner to find the root cause. Regardless, diet and lifestyle fixes should be the first things you address.

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Emma Hickey June 25, 2014 at 11:04 am

Hi,

I found your post really interesting as I was taking Vit D3 2500 IU daily:

Then as I have begun training 4/5 times a week again I have begun taking Omega 3 dbl strength x 1
Calcium D- Glucarate x 1
Multi vitamin with added vit D x 1
Acidophilus lactobacillus x 1

But found my mood has been a bit low so I started taking Vit D3 as well.

My question is it ok to take D3 with omegas and everything else.

My training diet is very high protein, 5/6 meals a day including 0% total Greek yoghurt at night to balance good bacteria in the gut from the acidity of protein. I also include 4 100g servings of green veg (alkaline) to help acidity in gut.

When I eat so clean & train I find wheat, gluten, alcohol also upset my stomach hugely creating gas and discomfort with this be an intolerance?

Apologies so many questions. It is good to check the supplements I take are in balance with food plan & training. Many thanks interested to hear what you think and where if need, make any changes

Emma H

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Vin Kutty, MS June 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Hi Emma – yes, Vitamin D3 may be taken with Omegas and the others. Actually it is better if you take all of the above with a meal that contains some fat.

You may be sensitive to gluten. The only way to tell is to completely go gluten-free for a couple of months and then reintroduce – eat bread at every meal for a few days. Jot down how you feel before and after reintroduction. You may wish to do the same thing with dairy, legumes and anything else you suspect you have issues with.

If you food plan is working well, there is no need to change, but to me, it seems rather rigid, artificial and too low in fat and possibly complex carbs from roots and fruits. My approach would be a simpler, more natural and would include a variety of whole foods.

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Emma Hickey June 25, 2014 at 11:13 am

Can I add from the following post, the above supplements are recommended for me by my trainer – I don’t just take them lol – so for anyone reading this please don’t take lots of supplements together unless seek advise :)

Initially I took Vit D3 as I do get low mood, hormonal particularly for 10 or so days at a time. Some anxiety that reduces when training .

Thank you

Emma

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Khali July 4, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Hi, I take Chelated Magnesium 400 mg and it. Made me so relaxed I can’t even get out of bed, is this normal? I have not dare to take it again. I also have Magnesium Chloride but have not dare tried it for fear of a bad reaction like this Chelated one. Any thoughts?

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Vin Kutty, MS July 5, 2014 at 7:06 am

Hi Khali – I’ve never heard of such a reaction to just 400 mg of magnesium.

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Khali July 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Hi, I need to up my Ferritin level so my hair stops falling, now it is at 50, can you tell me what to eat or supplement to use.?

Thank you

I have Hashimoto’s , anxiety and under a psychiatrist to taper off, but he wants me to take antidepressants and. I don’t like to take more pills specially that a affects my brain. I have also developed GERD this last week went to the Gastro and he gave. Me a PPI that want to quit as soon as the 6 weeks are gone. Plus Reglan another pill for. My stomach. Tried the. CAV method but did not worked so I have to take the. Pills. Any feedback it’s. Appreciated

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Vin Kutty, MS July 5, 2014 at 7:04 am

Hi Khali – you need to take the meds your doctors are prescribing while you tackle it from a diet and lifestyle perspective. A lot of the issues you’re dealing with often have dietary causes. Talk to someone on this list: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/

What may seem like completely unrelated problems may all point to the same issue – a poor diet. If you take the pill route, you may not address the root cause of the problems and if you take the dietary intervention route, it requires you to make and adhere to dramatic lifestyle changes. Either route is not easy, but probably worth it.

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Decia September 9, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Hello Can you take omega 3. ( 1500 EPA, 400 dha) vit d3 (5. 000), k (100 mg) magnesium (400 mg) in addition with antidepressants? Currently on Prozac for anxiety and wandering if supplementation with them would be helpful and safe at all. Thank you

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Vin Kutty, MS September 9, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Hi Decia – these supplements are all very safe. They may be taken whether you are on or off other drugs. However, since you are on a prescription medication, talk to your doctor as well. Make sure the Vitamin K is the K2 form.

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Decia September 10, 2014 at 10:40 am

Thank you. How much vit K2 would you recommend while taking vit d 5000 IU daily?

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Vin Kutty, MS September 10, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Hi Decia – I recommend 500 to 1000 mcg of MK-4 form and 50 to 100 mcg of MK-7 form of Vitamin K2. Taking Vitamin K2 and D without taking Vitamin A is not a good idea. The fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K should all be ingested together. Taking a lot of one an none of the other will lead to problems. Work with your doctor to get your blood tested to make sure that 5000 IU of D3 is not too much during the summer. For D3, it is best to stop supplementing in the summer and get it from mid-day sun exposure. You cannot get too much D with the sun but you can get an imbalance if you take it with supplements. You will be far healthier and happier if you get Vit A and K from grass-fed animal fats, D from the sun and E from eggs, nuts, and seeds.

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Kumar September 28, 2014 at 6:35 am

Hi Vin,
I just came off effexor 2 months back which was prescribed for anxiety.
I’m still having some discontinuation syndrome like low mood and weird dreams with brain zap/shock .
Currently I’m taking omegavia fish oils 1000 mg per day with b-complex nutritite.

Kindly advise what other supplement that I need to add/start taking.

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Vin Kutty, MS September 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Hi Kumar – the brain ‘zap’ symptom is classic for anti-depressant withdrawal. I imagine you don’t feel very good at the moment. My suggestion is to aggressively treat inflammation thru diet and supplements, increase exercise, maintain excellent sleep habits (no TV or screen time 2 hours before bed etc.) in addition to a Paleo type whole foods diet and some of the other supplements mentioned above. Increase your Omega-3 to 3000 mg per day and may be take an aspirin with it. Consider a turmeric supplement.

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Connie October 7, 2014 at 6:16 am

Hello, I am very, very scared to lose my 14 year old daughter. She is severely depressed and has been since about March of this year. Before that, I suspected she was depressed but wasn’t sure because a lot of her symptoms mimic adolescent behavior. She is a good kid, not on drugs or alcohol, she’s just really, really sad. We have a good relationship and she does not know what triggered or triggers her depression. She started her period at age 11 1/2 and I noticed a change in her a few months before she started. (spending a lot of time alone). She has always been very well liked with a lot of friends and she is a pretty girl. None of that makes her feel better. She is depressed all the time, doesn’t know or understand why, and is afraid of and tired of feeling the horrible pain inside of her. She wants the pain to stop so my husband and I have been frantically looking and researching how to help her. She is under the care of a Psychiatrist and a Therapist but she is not getting better. She’s tired of hearing it takes time. I don’t want to run out of time. I suspect her depression is hormone-related but I don’t know how. Every morning, I give her one Vit B complex, one Vit B-50, one Fish oil capsule, one Probiotic, 2000mg Vit D, and 450 mg Welbutrin and at night time, I give her one Probiotic and 20mg Lexapro. She does not sleep well, she gets nightmares, she gets night sweats (also during the day), feels shaky on the inside all the time. I think she has something hormone related but I’m not sure. I don’t want to lose her!!!! She feels hopeless and joyless. She is too fatigued to exercise. I took her to acupuncture last week and she felt better for a couple of days. She says she cannot remember when she felt 100%. I cannot find any Medical professional or organization who is helpful to her or us. Please tell me what you think I could give her, or do for her, or change, to help her. Thank you.

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Vin Kutty, MS October 8, 2014 at 1:19 am

Hi Connie – sorry to hear about your daughter’s condition. It is very critical that you continue taking her to the psychiatrist/therapist.

In addition, you will need to find a ‘functional medicine’ doctor in your area. Look for them here:
http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/
http://primaldocs.com/physician-finder/

And find a good dietitian from this list or someone like this: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/

Relying on meds and supplements alone may not do the trick.

The hard work may involve a dramatic shift in how your entire family looks at food, diet, eating and living.

Hope this is helpful.

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Kumar October 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Hi Connie,
I had the same shakiness feeling when I was on lexapro, it’s serotonin syndrome for me till the Dr lowered the dosage of lexapro.

Another thing I did was started on sahaja yoga. It’s the one that helped me till now. Hope it helps. Keep us posted and let me know if you need more clarification.

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jamaal October 12, 2014 at 2:45 am

Hi Vin,

I am currently taking Vit D3 – 2000 IU, Fishoil – 1400 mg of unopposed EPA (Barleans ultra EPA, 3 Pills) and Superior Source B-Vitamins – 1 lozenge.. I have noticed a good improvement in my daily energy levels. I used to depend on coffee for clearing the morning fog, but now after taking this combo I’ve dropped coffee completely. The biggest difference came in my libido and sperm quantity, not sure whats causing this but am constantly horny almost to the point of interrupting work and my refractory period has come down from 4 days to 1 day. I am really surprised by this because am a 34 yr old male weighing 210 lbs and have tried a lot of supplements for sex drive (tribulus, maca, tongkat ali, cnidium, yohimbe, damiana, horny goat weed, arginine, citrulline, DAA.. u name it I most probably would have tried it) all of them had some effect, but nothing like the combo of VitD, Fish Oil and B vitmains. can you talk about what could be causing this..

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Vin Kutty, MS October 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Hi Jamaal – I don’t know what might be causing this. The nutrients you’re taking, along with other factors, may be responsible. May be you’re eating better. May be your testosterone level has naturally gone up. May be your aromatase enzyme levels have gone down. Lots of things like age, obesity, high insulin levels from high sugar/carb consumption and even RoundUp weedkiller can increase aromatase levels, which in turn decreases testosterone levels. May be you fixed one of these factors. These are all guesses. But if you’re happy, keep doing what you’re doing.

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jamaal October 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Thanks Vin.

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Gandy October 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I recently quit anti anxiety medication due to many bad side effects and have been interested in trying natural supplements for my anxiety, but I’m currently breastfeeding and I haven’t been able to find out if any are safe while breast feeding. One thing I have tried is bathing in epsom salts since magnesium is known to help with anxiety and it helped temporarily, very well, but i need more to help control my anxiety during the daytime.

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Vin Kutty, MS October 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Hi Gandy – if you’re breastfeeding, then you need to take a LOT of Omega-3. Aim for 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Omega-3 is safe and essential during breast feeding. Find a functional medicine doctor in your area quickly and get to the bottom of why you’re experiencing anxiety.

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