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The field of nutritional psychiatry explores the impact of dietary patterns and specific nutrients on mental health. Emerging research suggests that nutrition plays a crucial role in the development and management of anxiety disorders. This article aims to provide an overview of recent findings in nutritional psychiatry, specifically focusing on the use of nutrition in treating anxiety disorders.

Nutrition and Anxiety:

Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental health conditions worldwide, and traditional treatment approaches often involve psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. However, there is growing evidence that nutritional interventions can be valuable adjunctive strategies for anxiety management. Here, we highlight some recent research findings on the potential benefits of nutrition in reducing anxiety symptoms.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have gained attention for their potential role in anxiety management. Several studies have indicated that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders. For instance, Jazayeri et al. (2019) conducted a randomized controlled trial and found that omega-3 supplementation significantly reduced anxiety scores in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.


The gut-brain axis has been recognized as a bidirectional communication system linking the gut microbiota to brain function and mental health. Probiotics, beneficial bacteria that promote gut health, have shown promise in alleviating anxiety symptoms. A meta-analysis by Huang et al. (2019) indicated that probiotic supplementation was associated with significant reductions in anxiety compared to placebo or control groups.


Deficiencies in certain micronutrients have been linked to increased anxiety symptoms. For example, studies have suggested that low levels of magnesium and zinc may contribute to anxiety disorders. A randomized controlled trial by Tarleton et al. (2017) demonstrated that magnesium supplementation led to a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms in individuals with mild-to-moderate generalized anxiety disorder.

Mediterranean Diet:

The Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and healthy fats, has been associated with a lower risk of anxiety and depression. A systematic review by Lai et al. (2019) found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was inversely associated with the prevalence of anxiety disorders. However, further research is needed to establish a causal relationship.


Recent research in nutritional psychiatry highlights the potential of nutrition as a complementary approach in the management of anxiety disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, specific micronutrients, and dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet have shown promising results in reducing anxiety symptoms. However, it is important to note that nutrition-based interventions should be integrated with standard treatments and personalized according to individual needs.

Further research is warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and optimize the use of nutrition in anxiety management. Nevertheless, the emerging evidence underscores the importance of considering nutrition as an integral component of comprehensive approaches to mental health and provides hope for novel therapeutic strategies for individuals living with anxiety disorders.


  • Jazayeri S, et al. Omega-3 supplementation effects on anxiety symptoms and inflammatory cytokines: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Psychiatry Res. 2019;273: 681-686.
  • Huang R, et al. Effect of probiotics on depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrients. 2019;11(11): 2784.
  • Tarleton EK, et al. Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(6): e0180067