Mental Health: Vitamin C for Anxiety, Depression, Memory and Calm

Vitamin C for Anxiety

Guest post by Catherine Moore

The importance of vitamin C in our diets isn’t news but it may have more benefits for our brains than we knew.

A healthy body equals a healthy brain — focus, memory and cognitive processes all start with proper nutrition. Whether we suffer from anxiety, depression, poor memory, or we have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, natural food and a healthy dose of vitamin C can do wonders for our minds. That’s why vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the ingredients in Calm Balance.

We have known the importance of vitamin C since the days when sailors got scurvy from diets completely deficient in this essential nutrient.

Now, we know that its antioxidant properties neutralize free radicals and protect our DNA. Vitamin C also helps iron absorption which prevents anemia. During cold and flu season, some people believe it helps to increase our intake of vitamin C to help keep respiratory illnesses at bay.

People with cancer may benefit from taking vitamin C, though further research is needed in this area.

Vitamin C, Mood, and Brain Function

Vitamin C in Oranges, Kiwi and Pills for Anxiety and Mental Health

In terms of mental health and cognitive ability, the benefits of vitamin C are notable.

Vitamin C protects the nervous system which leads to emotional stability, better memory, a sense of calm and higher IQ.

Here’s how:

Our bodies require antioxidants such as vitamin C to keep free radicals in check. When there are more free radicals than antioxidants, oxidative stress occurs.6

Oxidative stress can cause neuropsychological disorders like depression and anxiety.

One study of high school students showed a significant decrease in anxiety after taking vitamin C for 2 weeks. The study also suggested that the decrease in anxiety led to improved academic performance.7 Those diagnosed with ADD/ADHD often have anxiety and vitamin C may improve symptoms.

That’s because vitamin C plays an integral role in brain and nerve cell development and myelin production, both of which are necessary for the protection of the nervous system.8

According to Alison Smith Ph.D., vitamin C helps convert dopamine into norepinephrine which is essential for focus, memory performance and emotional calm. In fact, those with ADHD may have low norepinephrine.

Better memory performance is also associated with a high level of vitamin C in blood serum. Those of us who are ageing need vitamin C because it supports cognitive function.9

Vitamin C was included in the Calm Balance formula for just these mental health benefits.

How Much Vitamin C Do We Need?

Vitamin C in Oranges and Lemon for Anxiety

If our diets are varied and include lots of fruits and veggies and few processed foods, we are likely getting enough vitamin C. According to Health Canada, the daily amount of vitamin C for adults is 60 to 90 mg and 15 to 50 mg for kids. Dieticians say the upper limit is 2000 mg of vitamin C per day.1 It is important to note that physical activity helps our body’s response to vitamin C. 2 (NCIB 2017 Mar 29)

We find the highest concentration of vitamin C in fruit and some vegetables. These foods contain the most vitamin C:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet peppers
  • Guava
  • Tomatoes
  • Brussel Sprouts
 

In supplement form, vitamin C is known as ascorbic acid.

Lack of vitamin C can lead to:

  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Fatigue
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression4
 

Some people may need more vitamin C than others. Those at risk of inadequate vitamin C are:

  • Smokers
  • Infants who are not breastfed or fed with fortified formula
  • People with chronic diseases that hinder absorption5
 

To get the health benefits of vitamin C in a supplement for calm-focus, try new Calm Balance from Natural Calm.

About the Author: Catherine Moore is a freelance writer in Toronto with a background teaching English and developing curriculum

Sources

1. Alison Smith Ph.D., Dietary Supplements in relation to Mental Focus and Memory

2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

3. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/nutrients/vitamin-c.html/

4. https://www.supplementhq.com/vitamin-c-supplements-and-benefits/

5. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/nutrients/vitamin-c.html/

6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26353411

8. Alison Smith Ph.D., Dietary Supplements in relation to Mental Focus and Memory

9. Alison Smith Ph.D., Dietary Supplements in relation to Mental Focus and Memory

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