A natural food supplement may relieve anxiety, study find

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In a recent study published in Cell Reports Medicine, researchers found a natural food supplement may help reduces anxiety,.

The plant-derived substance, beta-sitosterol, was found to produce this effect both on its own and in synergic combination with an antidepressant known under the brand name Prozac.

The findings could point the way toward the use of beta-sitosterol as a treatment for relieving anxiety in humans.

The study is from the Weizmann Institute of Science. One author is Prof. Mike Fainzilber.

Anxiety is not always a bad thing. In fact, in evolutionary terms, feeling anxious about potential threats is critical for survival because it helps us mount an appropriate response.

That’s precisely why developing antianxiety drugs is so challenging.

The circuits for anxiety in the brain are closely related to those responsible for memory, awareness and other functions vital for handling danger.

Scientists are on the lookout for compounds that can selectively suppress anxiety without causing unwanted side effects.

In the study, the team searched an international genomic database for existing drugs or other compounds and found beta-sitosterol, a plant substance sold as a dietary supplement intended mainly to reduce cholesterol levels.

In a series of experiments, mice given beta-sitosterol showed much less anxiety than the controls.

Next, the researchers tested the effects of beta-sitosterol on mice when given in combination with fluoxetine, a drug belonging to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, and sold under the brand name Prozac, among others.

The combination had a synergistic effect: Both beta-sitosterol and fluoxetine reduced the anxiety o at lower doses when given together.

The team says one of the major problems with existing antianxiety medications is that they produce side effects, so if beta-sitosterol could help cut down the dosage of such medications, it may also reduce the unwanted side effects.

A great advantage of beta-sitosterol is that it is naturally present in a variety of edible plants, and it is thought to be safe, as it has been marketed for years as a nutraceutical.

It is found in particularly large concentrations in avocados, but also in pistachios, almonds and other nuts, in canola oil, in various grains and cereals and more.

However, this does not mean that eating avocado can induce a calming effect, since it doesn’t contain enough beta-sitosterol.

The team says you’d need to eat avocado day and night to get the right dose — and you would be more likely to develop digestive problems than relieve your anxiety.

If you care about mental health, please read studies about anxiety linked to faster Alzheimer’s disease development and findings of taking this supplement once a day may reduce anxiety.

For more information about mental diseases, please see recent studies about one dose of this drug may lower anxiety and depression for 5 years and results showing that taking this supplement once a day may reduce anxiety.

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