A review of dietary supplements for stress...

Dietary supplements for stress are many. For the stress symptom of insomnia there are a few choices. Magnesium, 300mg/day combined with hawthorn and California poppy has some preliminary clinical research to support it for the treatment of mild to moderate anxiety; however, there is insufficient reliable evidence to rate. 

Melatonin is another choice for insomnia and has an FDA approved indication for circadian rhythm sleep disorders. I made the mistake of taking 4mg one time before bed and woke up with a major migraine. It does put you to sleep quickly though. Just make sure to start with only 1mg one hour prior to bedtime. It is unknown if a tolerance develops to it. There is evidence to support its long-term use for up to 9 months in some patients. 

Valerian root has been purported by Dr. Oz as a better sleep aid then magnesium and melatonin. A suggested dose is 400mg daily. It may take up to 2 weeks for effects to kick in. Note also that it may increase the effects of other sleep aids. It may also make depressants such as benzoidiazepines and alcohol more sedating. Make sure to check with a doctor before using this, it may interact with other medications. 

Dietary Supplements for stress: headache relief

Dietary supplements for stress such as butterbar can be taken for the prevention of migraines (before they occur) or prophylactically. It is believed that a butterbur extract of 15mg of petasin constituents can prevent one to one-half migraine attacks a month in the patient that has a range of 3-7 attacks a month. Feeling and length of attacks also seem to be lessened. A dose to start at would be 75 mg twice daily.  

Coenzyme Q10 is believed to be well tolerated at a dose of 100mg three times daily. It seems to reduce migraine attack amount, days with headaches and days with nausea. It was discovered that for every three people treated for a migraine with Coenzyme Q10, one person experienced a whooping 50% decrease in migraine. 

Caffeine is actually FDA approved in combination with a pain killer such as acetaminophen and aspirin for the acute treatment of a migraine (think Excedrin). It is effective in certain people, it also increases pain relief and onset of action by pain relievers by about forty percent. 

Reports suggest that ginger, valerian and ginko may help some patients with migraines; however, there isn't much reliable clinical research to evaluate these potential remedies. 

› Dietary supplements for stress


1. Grossman W, Schmidramsl H. An extract of Petasites hybridus is effective in the prophylaxis of migraine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 2000;38:430-5

2. Diener HC, Rahlfs VW, Danesch U. The first placebo-controlled trial of special butterbut root extract for the prevention of migraine: reanalysis of efficacy criteria. Eur Neurol 2004;51:89-97.

3. Lipton RB, Gobel H, Einhaupl KM, et al. Petasites hybridus root (butterbur) is an effective preventive treatment for migraine. Neurology 2004;63:2240-4.

4. Welch KM. Current opinions in headache pathogenesis: introduction and synthesis. Curr Opin Neurol 1998;11:193-7.

5. Rozen TD, Oshinsky Ml, Febeline CA, et al. Open label trial of coenzyme Q10 as migraine preventive. Cephalagia 2002;22:137-41.

6. Sandor PS, Di Clemente L, Coppola G, et al. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial. Neurology 2005;64:713-5.

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