My Experience: The Best Nootropics For Anxiety

This post is an experience report graciously provided by HDL. The author offers suggestions about nootropics and supplements for social and generalized anxiety.


To give a bit of history, I came a very long way from where I was to where I am now.

I suffered from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety for about 20 years. I developed coping mechanisms and probably put myself into a somewhat dissociative state to be able to function occupationally and socially.

This took a toll on me and resulted in a lot of frustration. Every once in a while I would crash. Survival instincts would eventually kick in allowing to continue my daily routine.

I started researching natural supplements in 2015. Since then, I was able to improve my condition to a point where I enjoy social interactions. They give me that fuzzy warm feeling inside - something I completely forgot existed.

There's still progress to be made and I'm not (at least not yet) cured, but my functional level and anxiety levels are nowhere where they were for about 20 years.

Quest For Nootropics

In my quest for supplements/nootropics I targeted all bodily systems I knew of that could be contributing to my condition. Here are the nootropics and supplements that work for me and how I use them. It is a big list. But buying these items from bulk sellers (PowderCity, PureBulk, others) can bring the costs down.

Some of the supplements below are for nighttime use, some for day use, some for both. I developed this stack progressively. I used to take all of the nootropics I suggest below for about 6 months. Now I only take a few every day - the rest I take when I need to - either all or some - depending on how I feel.

I hope my experience will be helpful, at least in part, to anyone that has to deal with the reality of anxiety, whether generalized or social.

Note that many conditions such as chronic sinusitis, gut issues, nutritional deficiencies, infections in general can all contribute to underlining anxiety so a doctor checkup can also help.

I'm not sure if I can post links to research, so I'll only post some abstracts.

N-Acetyl Cysteine

This is one of the principal supplements in my stack.

I take NAC every day.

  • It has many benefits; it replenishes glutathione, a primary endogenous antioxidant and has a stabilizing effect on many psychiatric conditions.

Melatonin

Another principal supplement in my stack. I take this every night.

  • Melatonin is a hormone made by the brain to regulate sleep cycles, but it can also play a role in mood and anxiety.
  • It helps control the level of stimulation and activity experienced by the body, and demonstrates anxiolytic effects.

Vitamin D

A must have. I take Vitamin D every day.

Several studies report an association between low levels of vitamin D - or hypovitaminosis D - and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Magnesium

Magnesium (bisglycinate or other bioavailable forms) is a great supplement - a must have. Take at night and/or day.

  • Studies demonstrate involvement of the NMDA/glutamate pathway in magnesium's anxiolytic activity.

Zinc (Picolinate)

Take at night and/or day.

  • Zinc plays an important role in axonal and synaptic transmission.

Vitamin C

As a smoker, Vitamin C is good to have. I take this every day.

General Supplements

  • B6(P5P and not pyridoxine) (day). B6 (as P-5-P) boosts brain neurotransmitters
  • B12 (methylcobalamin) (day) - has a neuroprotective effect

Folate

I don't have enough experience with one yet - I just bought this for a trial along with Uridine - to research

Neurotransmitters precursors

These are the levers that control your mood behind the scene. I cycle them; sometimes I take one, sometimes all, sometimes more, and sometimes less.

Excess serotonin can worsen social anxiety based on the latest research, so I try to keep serotonin in check.

L-Tryptophan

Taken at night and/or day. L-tryptophan is precursor to both serotonin and melatonin (indirectly). As mentioned above, too much serotonin can be a factor in social anxiety.

I usually use L-tryptophan with L-phenylalanine or by itself when I feel too irritable.

L-Phenylalanine

To be taken during the day.

The precursor for tyrosine; the monoamine neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline).

I usually check my dose with this one because it can produce agitation. L-phenylalanine can help lower anxiety levels, especially social anxiety.

Both L-tryptophan & L-phenylalanine above need to be balanced. My sweet spot is 500mg l-tryptophan & 250mg L-Phenylalanine.

I had fewer benefits with 5-HTP and l-tyrosine which are one step above in the biological conversion path.

Myo-Inositol

To be taken at night and/or day.

Myoinositol is found in high concentrations in the brain where it influences neuroplasticity and signal transduction.

Alpha-GPC and CDP-Choline

To be taken during the day only.

Alpha-GPC and CDP-Choline are both precursor to acetylcholine and may regulate dopamine.

CDP-choline (citicoline) is a nootropic compound that converts to both choline and cytidine after ingestion. The latter converts further converted to uridine in the body. CDP-choline confers cognitive-promoting properties as a prodrug for these two compounds. CDP-choline may also regulate dopamine receptor density.

Alpha-GPC seems to increase acetylcholine, which is important for learning and memory. Alpha-GPC has been noted to increase dopamine transporter (DAT) density and potassium-stimulated dopamine release, along with raising DOPAC levels in the cerebellum as well as the frontal cortex.

I do better with Alpha-GPC. CDP-Choline is somewhat depressogenic for me.

I use cholinergics with Noopept, which I'll touch base on later in the post.

Anti-Inflammatories

Cytokines regulate functions in the central nervous system (CNS) that ultimately modulate behavior.

Dysregulation of cytokine signaling can lead to depression, anxiety, and cognitive dysfunction.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

Taken at night and/or day.

MSM is a natural and effective anti-inflammatory because of how sulfur impacts the immune system and facilitates normal cellular activity.

Curcumin 95%/Peperine

Taken at night and/or day.

Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory. Piperine enhances its effects.

Trimethylglycine (betaine)

Taken at night and/or day.

I'm not confident about trimethylglycine. It could be an issue for overmethylators. The reason I've included it is that it has the potential to lower homocysteine. I take this from time to time when I'm feeling low.

Betaine acutely reduces the increase in homocysteine after methionine loading

Others (Energy or Circulation)

L-Arginine

Take at night and/or day.

L-arginine promotes NO production.

ALCAR (night and/or day)

Take at night and/or day.

Shows promise for alleviating social anxiety and phobias.

Adaptogens

I use them at night only - some users find them helpful during the day. Adaptogens are natural substances considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes

Principal supplements in my stack:

  • L-Theanine
  • Ashwagandha
  • Lion's Mane
  • Bacopa Monierri
  • Valerian root (night only - on and off - needs to be cycled. I get depressive if I take this too many days in a row )

Adaptogens have too many benefits to be listed here.

Nootropics

To be taken during the day only.

Noopept

Noopept literally changed the way I viewed the word. Noopept was a potent anxiolytic in my case, though I've heard different subjective experiences. It also greatly reduced my anxiety levels and increased my focus and confidence.

Noopept's effect build up with use, along with benefits which seem to remain after discontinuation. Noopept should be used with a choline source (Alpha-GPC or CDP Choline).

  • Noopept stimulates the expression of NGF and BDNF in hippocampus. It's always great when regeneration happens :)

Mexidol

I experienced great results with Mexidol. Note that it should be cycled. Mexidol has an anxiolytic effect and seems to regulate dopamine.

  • The level of dopamine and of its metabolite dihydroxyphenylacetic acid is found to be considerably elevated in the frontal cortex, suggesting a pronounced cortical component in the mechanism of action of mexidol.

Mildronate

Mildronate is great for resetting glucose metabolism. Mildronate boosted my energy levels.

Semax

Great results.

  • Rapidly elevates the levels and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its signaling receptor T rkB in the hippocampus, and rapidly activates serotonergic and dopaminergic brain systems.
  • Semax also boosts immune system.

Selank

Great results (see note below).

  • Selank drug has shown to provide a sustained nootropic and anxiolytic effect which is useful for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Selank has an advantage over traditional anxiety treatments, such as benzodiazepines, as it has no sedating or negative cognitive side effects and no associated addiction or withdrawal problems

P21 peptide

I'm new to P21 and not yet sure about my results with it. I mix P21 with the two nootropics above.

  • Derived from Cerebrolysin
  • Potential others: Cerebrolysin, other racetams

Gut

N-Acetyl-Glucosamine (NAG)

  • I take NAG every day for its effects on the immune system and intestinal mucosa
  • NAG can correct an overactive immune system so that autoimmune reactions occur less frequently.
  • The mechanism is that NAG controls immune T-cell over activity and stabilizes mast cells.
  • NAG also helps to correctly regulate your gut flora by maintaining the mucosal barrier

Probiotics

I take probiotics every day.

  • My experience with probiotics is very positive. They have a mood-leveling effect.
  • You can prepare them at home from capsules, tabs or liquids. Look for recipes online. Most recipes involve warming milk to 110 F and leaving a probiotic in the milk overnight. Using this method, you can produce a gallon of probiotics in 1 day.
  • Of interest: strain L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 found in BioGaia Gastrus. Microbial symbionts accelerate wound healing via the neuropeptide hormone oxytocin.
comments powered by Disqus

Xavier Kent

I'm interested in nutrition, nootropics, and javascript. I'm a firm believer in getting really good at one thing.

Maryland

Subscribe to BrainProTips

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

or subscribe via RSS with Feedly!