The answer to jitters, sweaty palms, and rapid heartbeat is probably sitting in your supplement cabinet right now.
Something happened to you while you were gestating. Maybe Mother Nature was in bed with the flu and she had to send her cousin Stooey to watch over your development, but his color-blindness caused him to hook up some of the red wires in your brain to the green wires instead of to the red.
Subsequently, you grew up with a faulty nervous system. You're described as the "nervous type," but that relatively benign label hardly does justice to the anticipatory dread you live your life in.
You've tried nearly every drug that ends in the letters p-a-m or i-n-e and you can't even, in good conscience, pee into a toilet without fearing that your drug-laced urine will put every downstream fish or aquatic mammal in the local ecosystem into a float-down-the-river stupor.
Now Brazilian scientists have found something new for you to experiment with, but unlike most of the things you may have tried, it's safe and inexpensive. It's vitamin C.
What They Did
The Brazilian scientists recruited 142 women to participate in a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study.
They then interviewed them using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS) to determine their personality type. The women were then divvied up into two groups; 75% of them in the "low to moderate anxiety" group, and the other 25% in the "high trait anxiety group."
The women were then given 1,000 mg. of vitamin C or placebo and were re-interviewed two hours later.
What They Found
The vitamin C had no effect on the low to moderate anxiety group, but the high anxiety group felt less anxious after taking the vitamin supplement. The researchers don't know why it worked, but for once they didn't mention the squelching of cortisol as a possible cause.
They did, however, throw out another old chestnut as a possible explanation – inflammation, or rather inhibition of inflammation. They speculated that anxious brains might be temporarily inflamed brains and that the vitamin C might quench the fire and restore calmness.
The researchers were nevertheless jazzed over the results, concluding that their findings "...represent the first evidence for a rapid anxiolytic effect of ascorbic acid in a sub-sample of high trait anxiety individuals."
How to Use This Info
While the common anti-anxiety prescription drugs usually work rather well, they generally impede your mental and physical performance while reducing sex drive and causing weight gain, thereby giving you a couple of more things to feel anxious about.
As such, it would be truly wonderful if these drugs could be replaced, or at least their dosages reduced, by taking vitamin C. It's certainly an easy experiment to conduct on your own, though.
Just take a couple of 500 mg. tablets of vitamin C when you're feeling anxious, or before entering a situation that you foresee as causing anxiety. It might work, but if it doesn't, the worst thing that'll happen is that you'll have boosted your immune system, along with the immune systems of the all the downstream fish and mammals when you inevitably pee it out.
- Moritz B, Schwarzbold ML, Guarnieri R, Diaz AP, S Rodrigues AL, Dafre AL. "Effects of ascorbic acid on anxiety state and affect in a non-clinical sample." Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2017;77(4):362-372.