Amino acids can be used to treat anxiety. The question is which ones to use, what dose, and how often. These can be difficult questions to answer as there are various causes of anxiety which might respond to various amino acids.
What’s more, everyone is slightly different and therefore able to absorb differing amounts of amino acids through natural diet and supplementation.
General advice on dose when it comes to amino acids and anxiety is to use the least amount that works and to never go beyond the amount recommended on the packet without medical supervision. Often, when a deficiency of an amino acid has been corrected you can move to a much lower “maintenance dose” or stop taking the supplement altogether as long as your requirements are being satisfied by diet alone. At any rate you should stop taking the supplement periodically for a week or so.
The most important amino acids for anxiety are:
Tryptophan, which is used to make the feel-good chemical serotonin. Found in most protein based food such as meat, fish, dairy and egg it is thought to be low in people with anxiety disorders and depression. There have been questions over the safety of tryptophan but now it is back on the market in most countries. Some people prefer 5-HTP as a natural way to raise serotonin.
Taurine is one of the amino acids the brain uses to make GABA, an important calming substance. Taurine is found in reasonable quantities in some fish and meat products.
Glutamine is also used to make GABA and is widely available. Research as to its efficacy is scant however.
Theanine is known by some as Nature’s Valium. It is safe and encourages relaxing brainwaves to keep you calm. It is found in green tea but can also be supplemented.
Histidine is sometimes used for anxiety, as is glycine.
Tyrosine is often used for depression but there is good reason to believe that it might help anxiety in some cases as well.
You should also read about amino acids side-effects. If you are interested in treating the root cause of anxiety through amino acids and other physiological aspects you will find Killing Anxiety From The Roots extremely interesting.