Stress & anxiety improvements with Ashwagandha and B-vitamins

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University of Delaware
Therapies for improving chronic stress and anxiety is still an active area of research and development. The current available therapies and treatments are not reducing the number of individuals developing chronic stress, anxiety, or progressed conditions associated with adverse health effects. These adverse health effects include high blood pressure, obesity, and even metabolic disorders. A recently popular herbal supplement in the US, Ashwagandha, has gained attention in the reduction of stress and anxiety, and potentially possess other medicinal benefits. In fact, Ashwagandha has been used within the Ayurvedic branch of medicine for centuries. Separate from Ashwagandha, B-vitamins are used as another common alternative therapy to enhance mood and neuropsychological function. The present study examines the effects of the combination of B-vitamins and Ashwagandha supplementation on stress and anxiety, and other physiological responses. In this pre- post- study design, 40 women between the ages of 30 and 50 years old, with a body mass index between 25 and 35 kg/m2, were recruited. Qualified participants consumed a chocolate-flavored chew containing Ashwagandha extract and B-vitamins, twice a day, for four weeks. Stress and anxiety were measured using validated self-reported questionnaires. Additional measurements included heart rate, blood pressure, and salivary stress biomarkers. Our data showed evidence that after four weeks of supplementation with B-vitamins and Ashwagandha, trait anxiety was reduced by 12.8% (p < 0.001), state anxiety was reduced by 14.2% (p = 0.026), negative affect was reduced by 15.1% (p = 0.012), heart rate was increased by 4.9% (p = 0.001), perceived stress was significantly reduced by 19.8% (p < 0.001) evaluated through questionnaire, and momentary self-reported stress was reduced by 25.3% (p = 0.044). Four weeks of supplementation did not significantly change blood pressure, BMI, or weight. A double-blind placebo-controlled study with a larger sample size is needed to ensure the validity of these findings.
Amylase, Anxiety, Ashwagandha, B-vitamins, Cortisol, Stress