Experiencing excessive fear, worry, restlessness, and/or debilitating muscle tension could be symptoms of an anxiety disorder, the most commonly diagnosed mental health condition around the world. Between the onset of puberty and the cessation of menopause, a female is twice as likely to experience an anxiety disorder than a male in the same age range. This simple statistic implicates biology, hormones, and brain chemistry as probable factors in this difference.
Studies have shown that the fight-or-flight response is more sensitive to triggers in women than in men and it stays activated longer, due in part to the actions of estrogen and progesterone. It has been well-documented that women are twice as sensitive to the stress hormone corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). In an almost opposite action, the female brain doesn’t process serotonin as quickly as the male brain, meaning the response to that particular neurotransmitter (associated with positive mood) may be delayed after a stressful or anxiety-causing event.
Luckily, there is not only a great amount of research available about who is affected, but also a wealth of information about what can be done to ease the symptoms of anxiety. Aside from physical and lifestyle changes like getting adequate exercise, rest, and meditating, there are some important nutritional changes you can make to support a healthy brain chemistry and nervous system.
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that controls brain activity in a variety of ways and regulates muscle tone throughout the body. You can get small amounts from food, but most of it is synthesized in your body from glutamate in a process that is catalyzed, in part, by vitamin B6. Unlike other neurotransmitters, GABA has an inhibitory function; it slows down neuron firing, causing nerves to “calm down.” Most other neurotransmitters (such as adrenaline) have an excitation function and tend to stimulate neuron firing. Without enough GABA, neurons fire too easily and too often. GABA supplementation is thought to have a natural calming effect and may reduce feelings of anxiety and fear, improve mood, promote quality sleep, and decrease premenstrual symptoms by decreasing neuronal excitability. In fact, many Western medications prescribed to patients suffering from anxiety (such as valium, xanax, etc.) are designed to target GABA receptors and mimic GABA’s action in the brain.
Anxiety Control® is Metabolic Maintenance’s most powerful GABA support product, and GABA has been combined with the potent botanicals Primula veris and Passiflora incarnata, as well as a synergistic mineral and amino acid blend. This product can be used during the day to support a calm relaxed sense of well-being. In the evening, ingredients like magnesium and glycine help quiet the mind, relax muscles, and improve sleep quality. Although scientists find it difficult to agree on whether dietary GABA molecules cross the blood brain barrier, its precursor, glutamine, and the catalyst for its biosynthesis, vitamin B6, are definitely transported to the brain so the ingredients are available for endogenous GABA production. Both of these nutrients can also be found in the Anxiety Control® supplement.
Magnesium is also an essential player in GABA receptor sensitivity, but many forms of magnesium are not easily absorbed by the body. Derived from the magnesium salt of citric acid, the magnesium citrate contained in Anxiety Control® is highly bioavailable, allowing for a greater uptake and circulation of supplemented magnesium.
Primula veris (a.k.a. cowslip) and Primula incarnata (a.k.a. purple passionflower or maypop) are yet two more players in the maximization of GABA’s anxiolytic effect on the body. Studies suggest that P. incarnata helps to relieve symptoms related to nerves and anxiety by boosting the abundance of GABA in the brain. P. veris has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for insomnia and hyperactivity. Modern research indicates that this effect is a result of P. veris’ dose-dependent activation of the GABA receptor.
Glycine, an amino acid also found in the Anxiety Control® supplement, has also been implicated in the reduction of brain hyperactivity and may even have a regulatory function in some mental disorders. Glycine supports cognitive performance and the CNS by regulating the metabolic synthesis of certain nutrients that the brain and nerves require for energy. Because it is connected to both nerve and neurotransmitter function, glycine may also aid in the improvement of sleep quality (without causing fatigue), increase mental performance, heighten bodily sensations, balance mood, and improve memory.
It is important to note that while statistics show that women are more likely to experience anxiety-related symptoms, this is certainly not a gender or sex-specific malady and our Anxiety Control® supplement can be beneficial to any human needing a bit of nutritional support, not just women. Most research about anxiety has been conducted in westernized cultures, mainly Western Europe and North America, and it is likely that there are some cultural biases that affect the data. For one, revealing or discussing perceived emotional weakness may actually prevent some self-reporting in many situations and could skew statistics, even within a culture. Regardless of statistics, we know that anxiety is a common problem and causes human suffering, a sense of well-being is universally strived for, and everyone deserves to feel happy, calm, and safe. No matter your circumstance, consider Anxiety Control® a gentle boost on your path to attaining that peace of mind.
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