Depression is a condition in which we commonly treat with antidepressants and other drugs. These medications create many potential side-effects, as they combat one’s symptoms. Since these drugs increase neurotransmitter levels and activity, your diet and supplementation can also play a role.
Choline supplements are now being researched for their effects on depression and anxiety. In fact, choline supplementation has been shown to improve mania in patients that suffer from bipolar disorder. Although evidence is limited at this time, many have reviewed choline supplements, explaining how they’ve helped improve their overall mood.
When choline levels are low, individuals often experience anxiety. Therefore, choline may be a great way to boost your mood, while reducing anxiety. First, let’s take a closer look at depression and anxiety, then focus on the ways in which choline may benefit the symptoms of these conditions.
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Current Treatment Options for Depression and Anxiety
It is hard to generalize, as each individual is unique. Not only does your environment play a role in your mental state, but your brain chemistry does as well. When someone experiences mild to moderate depression, they may also suffer from anxiety. The symptoms of both these conditions, tends to hinder one’s ability to maintain their quality of life.
Currently, most people being treated for depression and anxiety, are taking prescription medication. Due to the rising concerns regarding antidepressants, more and more people are looking for alternative methods. For some, antidepressants actually worsen their mood, leading to thoughts of suicide. As some people take these drugs, their symptoms of depression and anxiety tend to worsen.
Your lifestyle choices can have a large impact on your mood. There have been many studies conducted, which support the fact that a balance diet and ample exercise, contribute to a more stable state-of-mind. What happens when a healthy diet is not enough? What if you are not getting all the nutrients you need? For this reason, many are seeking out supplements, eliminating various deficiencies.
Taking Choline Supplements for Depression
Although our bodies can produce choline, it is typically not enough. It is highly recommended that you seek-out choline sources, incorporating them into your diet. If you do not get enough choline in your diet, then supplements are your best bet.
When you have enough choline in your body, you experience multiple benefits. Not only is this molecule linked to improved mood, but increased cardiovascular health, the prevention of neural tube defects, and improved memory.
The level of choline in your system, directly influences your acetylcholine levels. Since choline is a direct precursor to this neurotransmitter, it indirectly affects cognitive functioning, mood, brain health, and more.
How Acetylcholine Relates to Mood
We now know that choline influences acetylcholine production, but what then? How do increasing levels of acetylcholine benefit one’s mood? It is believed that acetylcholine may hinder or stimulate various functions regarding mood. Mood regulation is crucial, when attempting to prevent depression.
Although research has been fairly limited, numerous studies have found a correlation between high levels of anxiety, and low levels of choline. There is also a relation between acetylcholine and GABA, a neurotransmitter that is known for its ability to regulate high levels of stress.
In some cases, acetylcholine helps to increase GABA levels, which can help combat overwhelming symptoms of depression and anxiety. Since choline plays such a vital role in the production of acetylcholine, supplementation may successfully treat anxiety and depression.
How Choline Impacts Your Brain
If you are deficient in choline, you could potentially experience a number of complications. Not only are poor moods common, but a lack of energy, as well as memory loss. When you become deficient, it may be necessary to supplement. Although supplementation is typically the best way to get enough choline, you should also focus on incorporating more choline-rich foods into your diet.
When you consume foods that are high in essential fatty acids and B6, you can start to balance low levels of choline. The following are some the richest sources of choline within your diet:
- Vegetables: While attempting to kickstart acetylcholine production, there are various vegetables to choose from. The same is true for some herbs and spices, so make sure you’re consuming a varied, yet balanced diet. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are both great options, each containing around 60 mg of choline.
- Nuts, Seeds, and Soy: If you’re looking to amp up your choline intake, then add more flax seed, organic soy, and nuts into your diet. If you do not eat meat, then focus on consuming foods such as tofu (as 3 ounces, yields about 100 mg of choline).
- Eggs and Milk: Eating one large egg, will provide your body with approximately 120 mg of choline. Although not as high, 1 cup of skim milk, still yields 38 mg of choline.
- Meat and Seafood: Meat is typically very high in choline. Only about 3 ounces of beef liver, provides you with 350 mg of choline. The same is true for seafood, as 3 ounces of cod, salmon, or shrimp; all provide you with 60-140 mg of choline.
Recommended Dosage of Choline Supplements
It is recommended that you take anywhere from 250 mg to 500 mg, once daily. The maximum dosage is debatable amongst providers, however, adults can typically use up to 1.0 grams daily. If you have never taken this supplement before, start with 50 mg a day. From there, you can increase your dosage.
Although choline bitartrate is the most commonly sold supplement in health stores, Alpha GPC and Citicoline are more reliable sources, as they contain higher concentrations of bioavailable choline. You can purchase these options online, as they are harder to find in retail stores.
If you or your loved one are currently suffering from an anxiety disorder or depression, you know that it is essential to find relief. When suffering from a chemical imbalance for instance, drugs are generally prescribed. With an increasing interest in more natural remedies, various nootropics have become increasingly popular.
Originally offered to individuals that suffer from sleep-related conditions such as narcolepsy, it is also a great supplement to target symptoms of mood disorders. Since Nuvigil increases dopamine levels, it creates similar effects to anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications.
The FDA approved this supplement in 2007, as it is considered a safe medication. In terms of its use as a cognitive enhancer, this is still fairly experimental. When nootropics are used to treat depression, they are often experimental regarding cognitive effects.
How Common Are Mood Disorders?
It is believed that as many as 40 million Americans are currently suffering from an anxiety disorder. If those figures aren’t shocking enough, 1 in 10 Americans are believed to suffer from depression. Even though these conditions are highly prevalent, approximately 80% do not receive treatment.
When treated, individuals are often given anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants. Although these help minimize symptoms, they can create a new list of concerns. Many prescribed medications increase one’s risk of addiction. This is due to increasing tolerance levels, which can lead to a physical dependence.
When someone becomes physically dependent on a substance, they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing use. This can create extended use, which creates physical and psychological side-effects.
When you use more natural supplements, you’re able to achieve the results you desire, while avoiding harsh side-effects. There are many nootropics that help combat mood disorders. When users take Nuvigil, it naturally works with the user’s brain chemistry.
By targeting brain chemistry, this supplement creates effective short-term solutions. If you actively attend therapy and consume more natural supplements, you can overcome your mental health issues in a safe and effective manner.
Taking Nuvigil for Mood Disorders
When targeting symptoms of anxiety and depression, Nuvigil helps to control one’s thoughts, increasing focus. Although its main effect is wakefulness, it also has off-label benefits. Due to these effects, users can experience increased levels of concentration, a reduction in social anxiety, as well an enhanced ability to complete tasks without being distracted.
When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, it’s not uncommon to experience erratic thoughts when having an anxiety attack. Nuvigil helps reduce these thoughts, while increasing mental energy. When mental energy is boosted, you can combat the fatigue that’s often associated with depression. After using Nuvigil, users also experience thoughts that promote feelings of excitement, while becoming more motivated.
How Does Nuvigil Work?
When focusing on how Nuvigil works, researchers actually know more about how it does NOT work, than how it does work. Amphetamines for instance, work by stimulating dopamine receptor sites. Although Nuvigil has an effect on dopamine, it is not a dopamine receptor agonist. It inhibits dopamine re-uptake, which allows dopamine levels to remain available.
The effects associated with depression symptoms are related to the way in which Nuvigil stimulates hormones. It’s believed that it works by training the brain to perceive alertness in the sleep centers of the brain. It is a strong supplement, however users do not experience withdrawal symptoms. If taken early in the day, it does not generally affect one’s ability to sleep.
Through research and user reviews, Nuvigil is very promising when attempting to eliminate symptoms of anxiety and depression. With that being said, these symptoms are not enough to gain a prescription. If you want to be legally prescribed Nuvigil, you will need to suffer from a sleep disorder, such as shift work disorder, narcolepsy, or sleep apnea.
If you would like to try Nuvigil, then you can potentially purchase it online. Since these are sourced from offshore pharmacies, their quality is not controlled. Since mood disorders tend to be chronic, these aren’t generally a reliable treatment.
Since accessing Nuvigil without a prescription is possible and generally legal online, once the pills reach United States Customs, they can potentially seize your shipment. You will require a prescription if asked. If you can not produce a prescription, they will be confiscated.
Are There Reliable Alternatives?
If you’re interested in Nuvigil’s effects but you cannot access a prescription, then you are encouraged to try one of its alternatives. You can still experience relief by trying an alternative supplement, without having to take harmful prescription medication (i.e. anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications).
There are a wide number of nootropics available which help boost cognitive functions and mood. When you achieve a clearer mind, you take the first step towards eliminating your depression and anxiety. Adrafinil is a great substitute, as it’s closely related to Nuvigil.
When Adrafinil is processed by the liver, it’s turned into Modafinil. Although Modafinil also requires a prescription, Adrafinil does not. It is legal to buy and use within the United States. It provides relief from symptoms of anxiety, making the disorder more manageable.
You should also focus on your current lifestyle, as your diet and level of fitness can greatly impact symptoms of mood disorders. Incorporate more whole foods, exercise more often, and make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. All of these factors can greatly impact your symptoms. Focus on nutrient-rich foods that promote positive mental health. Try to consume fish or fish oil at least twice a week as well (as essential fatty acids help boost brain health).
Anxiety can have crippling effects on those who suffer from this condition. There are a variety of anxiety disorders, all yielding uncomfortable effects. There are varying degrees and forms, each with their own symptoms.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is generally being in an unpleasant state, accompanied by somatic effects and nervous behavior. Anxiety is often confused with fear, which is incorrect. Fear relates to immediate threat, whereas anxiety if related to perceived future threats.
Anxiety is generally associated with feelings of restlessness, lack of concentration, fatigue, and tension. Although some anxiety is normal, too much or prolonged anxiety may result in an anxiety disorder. These disorders range from social anxiety, phobias, and panic disorders.
Do You Suffer From Anxiety? What are the Symptoms?
As mentioned, everyone has feelings of anxiety and nervousness. We have all felt anxious before a speech or when we’re going through financial difficulties. How do you know when anxiety is becoming an issue? The following are some common symptoms that you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:
- Excessive Worry: Do you worry about the smallest of things? Are you feeling anxious most days of the week, allowing it to interfere with your daily life?
- Issues Sleeping: Is your overactive mind not allowing you to sleep? If you’re laying awake because you feel nervous or anxious, this may be a clear sign of an anxiety disorder.
- Having Irrational Fears: Sometimes anxiety is not generalized. It can be associated with specific things such as insects, crowds, or flying. This fear creates overwhelming feelings that are disruptive to your life.
- Tense Muscles: Do you clench your jaw often? Are your muscles sore from flexing? This muscle tension is often associated with anxiety disorders.
- Panic Attacks: Do you often have panic attacks? This is an overwhelming feeling of fear, followed by physical symptoms. You may have issues breathing, experience chest and stomach pain, and have an increased heart rate.
Anxiety, the Brain and Nootropics
Anxiety is caused by a number of factors, associated with various parts of the brain. One of the core factors is associated with a deficiency in GABA. Gamma aninobutryic acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that is produced by glutamate.
It inhibits the central nervous system, suppressing feelings of anxiety. When you do not have high enough GABA levels, your nerves begin to become overactive. This causes signals to fire more often than they’re supposed to.
When GABA levels are increased or at normal levels, you are less likely to experience anxious feelings. An example of a GABA stimulant is alcohol. It is known to reduce anxiety, but is associated with a number of negative side-effects. Therefore, it is not considered a nootropic.
Although increased GABA is beneficial, GABA supplements are not very effective at reducing anxiety. This is because GABA can not cross the blood-brain barrier. GABA needs to physically reach the brain in order to inhibit signals associated with anxiety. In order to be effective, supplements need to cross the blood-brain barrier and be a precursor to GABA.
Which Nootropics are Best for Anxiety?
Nootropics are generally used to enhance cognitive abilities. However, many nootropics are now also being used for their anti-anxiety effects. As mentioned, supplements need to cross the blood-brain barrier. The following nootropics are not only anti-anxiety supplements, but cognitive enhancers as well.
Aniracetam is the best racetam supplement to treat anxiety. It stimulates receptors associated with glutamate. Glutamate is necessary for GABA production, therefore Aniracetam has an indirect effect on GABA levels. It is used for individuals that struggle in social settings, helping them fight their shyness. In terms of cognition, it also improves focus, energy levels, motivation, and communication.
Basically, users have reported feeling calmer and more relaxed. Stressful situations become easier to deal with and less emotionally draining. Anyone who also experiences feelings of depression will benefit from the serotonin and dopamine boosting abilities. Many students also take Aniracetam before studying or writing an exam, as it helps lower feelings of anxiety.
A typical dosage is generally between 1 and 2 grams, three times daily. If you have never used Aniracetam before, start with smaller doses. You can increase your dosage over the course of a week. You may also want to stack this nootropic with a choline supplement for even better results.
It is said that Phenibut is the best nootropic in treating anxiety. However, this is not a nootropic that should be used daily. Basically, Phenibut is a derivative of GABA. It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, making it much more effective. This is due to the addition of a Phenyl ring. Once it reaches the brain, it can then bind to receptor sites.
It creates a mild sedative effect, allowing users to relax. This why many users take Phenibut as a sleep aid, especially when they’re experiencing feelings of high anxiety. It is also known to increase levels of dopamine, which is responsible for mood and motivation. This is highly beneficial as these are two areas that are typically lacking in those that suffer from anxiety and depression.
However, be aware that there are some potential side-effects associated with its use. Very vivid dreams have been experienced, drowsiness, and pain within limbs. Careful with the amount of Phenibut you take, as effects can last up to 24 hours. For anxiety purposes, take approximately 500 mg. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Just like racetams, Noopept increases glutamate uptake. This supplement tends to be hit or miss, as some say it works incredibly well and other do not notice any mood enhancing effects. This supplement is fairly potent, so only small doses are recommended. It is 1000 times stronger than Piracetam, so you it should be taken with caution.
It also increases levels of dopamine and serotonin within the brain. Serotonin creates feelings of happiness. Unlike GABA, serotonin also has nootropic effects. It plays a role in memory and mood. Due to its positive effects on mood, it is also great for individuals suffering from depression.
This compound is found in both black and green tea and is often used to relieve feelings of anxiety. L- Theanine boosts GABA levels within the brain, and boosts dopamine as well. Not only do users feel more calm, they tend to experience a feeling of well-being. Once again, GABA can not cross the blood-brain barrier on its own. However, L-Theanine can, which then stimulates GABA production.