Taking A Nutritional Supplement During Times Of Stress

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Stress relieving vitamins

Vitamins are becoming more well-known as we learn more about their effects and importance in maintaining good health. Vitamins can be a potential tool for stress management in certain situations because certain vitamins and nutritional supplements can affect mood. Knowing which vitamins have an effect and what those effects are is beneficial.

USANA Health Sciences' molecular biologist Brian Dixon, PhD, and registered dietician John Bosse explain how vitamins can affect stress levels.

Vitamins help your body function at its best, and multivitamin supplements can ensure you're getting the right amounts of each mineral. It's important to remember that vitamins and minerals don't work in isolation, and that consuming too much of one nutrient can have negative consequences. Furthermore, because many vitamins and minerals work together, if one is deficient, body function as a whole is compromised.

What Effects Do Vitamins Have on the Body?

Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E are extremely effective. Many free radicals are produced as a result of breaking down our food and moving our bodies, which can cause cumulative damage to our cells. Many environmental exposures produce significant free radicals, which is normal, but we see the effects of their cellular damage over time, especially with high exposure. Antioxidants assist us in fending off this harm.

Thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), and biotin (B7), for example, work primarily as middlemen in assisting our bodies in obtaining energy from the food we eat or creating new substances in the body.

Consider the B vitamins as coworkers on an assembly line. If some people are missing, the line can still function, but not as effectively.

Some B vitamins, such as folic acid (B9) and cobalamin (B12), play particularly important roles and are mentioned because they are frequently deficient. Vitamin B12 and folic acid are essential for the production of healthy DNA, which is the genetic material that makes up our cells. They also aid in the reduction of homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine, a substance formed during amino acid metabolism, have been linked to heart disease and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin D is essential for bone and immune system health. The amount of information on vitamin D is rapidly increasing, and more research is pointing to roles in cardiovascular, muscle, and overall health. 

Vitamin C is also necessary for the formation of collagen, which is essential for the health of our skin, tendons, and ligaments3, and vitamin K, like vitamin D, is beneficial to bone health. Vitamin K aids in blood clotting4, preventing excessive bleeding when we have a wound, and vitamin C promotes collagen formation, which aids in the formation of new tissue to close wounds and strong tissue that is more resistant to wounds.

These are just a few examples of vitamin collaboration; keep in mind that vitamins and minerals also work together to create strong bones, such as vitamins D and K collaborating with the mineral calcium to create strong bones.

The Most Beneficial Vitamins for Stress Relief

It's important to remember that "stress" can refer to either the emotional phenomenon of stress or cellular oxidative stress caused by free radical formation, which causes stress and damage to our cells even if we aren't aware of it. Because our bodies are made up of so many cells, cellular oxidative stress can eventually manifest as damage and conditions that affect the entire body.

In terms of psychological stress, at least three studies have found that supplementing with B vitamins for two to twelve weeks can improve subjective stress perception and mood.

It might be worth adding a good antioxidant supplement to your diet if you're suffering from cellular oxidative stress. Vitamins A, C, and E, for example, provide antioxidant protection that can help reduce free-radical damage. When our bodies are stressed, the formation of free radicals increases. Although free radicals are a normal by-product of cellular metabolism, they can also be caused by pollution, smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating high-fat foods. Antioxidants can help with relief if you include them in your daily supplementation.

Is a Multivitamin Supplement Enough?

Although multivitamins are a good place to start when it comes to supplements, they aren't always enough.

Once you've decided on a multivitamin supplement, consult with your doctor and a dietitian to tailor your supplementation regimen to your specific needs.

When it comes to physical wellness, it all comes down to the individual, their level of activity, and the environment in which they live. An indoor athlete, for example, may require more vitamin D than an athlete who competes outside. All athletes who compete at a high level, however, should make sure they are getting enough calcium to support bone, muscle, joint, and immune health. According to new research, getting enough vitamin D from the sun is becoming increasingly difficult.

Furthermore, extreme endurance athletes and people who work in industries with a lot of chemicals and pollutants are more prone to oxidative stress and would benefit more from antioxidants like vitamins C and E.

Vitamins: What Kind of Impact Can They Have?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that supports optimal health is the best way to deal with stress.

Vitamins are a good complement to other emotional stress management techniques like exercise, progressive muscle relaxation, naps, a good night's sleep, and deep breathing, but they are not a replacement.

Within a few weeks of starting supplementation, you may notice an increase in your energy level, which may help you cope with emotional stressors. It's important to keep in mind, though, that it usually takes a few months to build up sufficient levels of nutrients in the body to see noticeable results. Techniques for dealing with emotional stress usually yield noticeable results sooner.

Antioxidant supplements, on the other hand, begin quietly providing many health benefits when it comes to combating chronic oxidative stress. Finally, these advantages improve long-term vigor in both tangible and intangible ways.


Starting a supplementation regimen with a high-quality supplement, such as a multivitamin, is a good place to start. Another common concern is the safety and purity of vitamins. It is usually safer to buy from a company that has been around for a while and is known for producing high-quality goods.

Don't be afraid to comparison shop, not only for price, but also to ensure that what you think you're putting in your body matches what's in the bottle. You can use third-party data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to see if the products you're thinking about taking are pure and free of contaminants, for example.

There are even a few companies that have FDA registration, such as USANA Health Sciences, which guarantees that their products are held to the highest quality and purity standards.

Before taking any supplement, always consult your doctor if you have any specific needs or concerns. This is especially important if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications, or otherwise being treated for a disease or condition.

The human body's function is a fascinating interplay of multiple organs and systems. Nutrition provides the fuel and intermediates (vitamins) that allow these systems to work together seamlessly to produce a vibrant, healthy person. Unfortunately, many emotional and physical environmental exposures can disrupt our homeostasis, necessitating a step up in our stress management strategies.

Vitamins, in conjunction with other strategies, can help maintain health and manage daily stress. Supplementation is even more important for the majority of Americans, who eat a diet deficient in so many vitamins. When it comes to choosing a vitamin supplementation regimen, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you're trying to manage stress.

After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of how vitamins work together in the body, how to distinguish between different types of stress, and what to expect from vitamin supplementation. Most people can benefit from taking multivitamins on a regular basis to help them live a healthier lifestyle.

The advantages of a good supplementation and nutritional program will most likely become apparent as you get older, because those who have received optimal nutrients have a lower risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases in the long run. Consult your doctor or a nutritionist for a more detailed plan to improve your health.

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