Anxiety affects your brain chemistry, just as your brain chemistry affects anxiety. Some people are simply born with low or insufficient neurotransmitter levels. Others create low or insufficient neurotransmitter levels because of stress and anxiety.
Most medicines to treat anxiety are designed to regulate some neurotransmitter. But if you can get the same relief from a natural supplement, it makes far more sense to take the natural supplement. That's why some people take inositol, GABA or both.
How to Cure Anxiety Without Drugs
No medicine, supplement, herb, or vitamin can cure anxiety permanently. Even if you choose an inositol or GABA supplement, combine it with a long term treatment in order to get true relief.
Take my anxiety test to learn more.
Natural Supplements to Treat Anxiety
Few natural supplements have received the degree of research necessary to claim they truly treat anxiety, and inositol (as well as GABA) is no different. But that doesn't mean it can't work - only that you shouldn't depend on it as your only treatment.
Talk to your doctor first, and then take my free 7 minute anxiety test to find out more about other valuable treatment options for your anxiety.
Inositol As An Anxiety Treatment
Inositol is an intriguing option as a natural anxiety treatment. It's a carbohydrate that does not qualify as a sugar, and it is found in fruits, beans, grains, and rice, although these foods only have inositol in low doses.
Several small studies have shown that inositol in high doses may be valuable in controlling several mental health disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, and depression.
Those that use inositol believe that the carbohydrate plays a role in serotonin modulation. In other words, it helps regulate serotonin in the brain and body in a way that should potentially reduce anxiety and stress, since poor serotonin regulation has been linked to both mild and severe anxiety. It is also believed that inositol affects the same receptors as the benzodiazepine drug class, but without the addiction risk.
GABA as an Anxiety Treatment
GABA is another neurotransmitter that has been linked to anxiety. It may also come in the form of glutamate, due to concerns that GABA itself cannot cross the blood-brain barrier but instead needs to be created within the brain through glutamate synthesis.
While the exact relationship between anxiety and GABA is still under research, drugs and supplements that appear to increase GABA in the brain all appear to have anti-anxiety benefits, and potentially anti-convulsive effects as well.
Using Both Inositol and GABA to Treat Anxiety
With that in mind, many people have chosen to combine the two supplements together, taking both inositol and GABA in order to control anxiety. The thought process here is that the by controlling both serotonin and GABA, the person will be able to receive two significant anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) benefits from a natural supplement that is not known to have any side effects.
It's a pretty fair idea, but unfortunately there is little research to confirm or deny the benefits. The good news is that there is also currently no research suggesting that either option has side effects, so those that are interested in trying the two types of supplements can see if it works for them without worrying about any long term risks.
It's still a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying any supplement regimen.
Combining the GABA and Inositol Treatments
Whether or not you decide to try the two natural supplements (or a single supplement that contains both nutrients) it is still very important that you also utilize some type of non-medicinal treatment. Only a non-medicinal treatment can help you genuinely cure anxiety forever, rather than simply manage it on a day to day basis.
I've worked with many people that use natural supplements. Start right now with my free 7 minute anxiety test. You'll find that the test has significant value in helping you learn more about your anxiety and how to control it.
Fux, Mendel, et al. Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 153.9 (1996): 1219-1221.
Kofman, O., et al. The anxiolytic effect of chronic inositol depends on the baseline level of anxiety. Journal of neural transmission 107.2 (2000): 241-253.
Palatnik, Alex, et al. Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology 21.3 (2001): 335-339.
Lydiard, R. Bruce. The role of GABA in anxiety disorders. The Journal of clinical psychiatry 64 (2003): 21.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Sep 28, 2017.