If you’ve ever felt anxious about an upcoming event or situation, you’re not alone. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the world and end up affecting nearly 40 million people above the age of 18 in the United States alone each year.
While anxiety is nothing new to our society, there’s a growing amount of confusion around what anxiety is, how it’s related to stress and depression, what we can do to treat it, and what methylfolate has to do with any of this mess.
Hopefully, we can clear some of this up for you today and discuss why methylfolate could be considered for anyone suffering from anxiety disorders regularly.
Where Does Anxiety Come From?
Anxiety, stress, and depression are often linked together and many people believe they all hold the same meaning. A lot of this confusion is due to the fact that the symptoms and warning signs are extremely similar for all three.
While that’s true, these three mental illnesses are far from the same thing. But to recognize the differences, you’ll first have to understand all three of them if you want to fully breakdown the effects of methylfolate on anxiety.
What is stress?
Stress, for starters, is the body’s physical, mental, and emotional reaction to any life event, situation, hardship, or anything else that requires an immediate response. We experience stress when the body releases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as the body’s natural reaction to stress. Think of it this way -- where stress is the reaction to an external pressure, anxiety is the internal pressure we build up through excessive worrying. It sounds weird and it’s an extremely small difference, but it’s a difference nonetheless.
Here’s another way to look at it. When we stress out about something, we generally know why we’re stressing out. Anxiety works a little differently because you’ll experience the symptoms of stress without really knowing why.
What is depression?
On the other hand, depression -- in a short answer -- is a feeling of sadness, inadequacy or guilt we experience in varying lengths of time. The truth is, we experience stress and anxiety often and some of us will deal with it daily. While this is a normal aspect of life, problems start to arise when these emotions become excessive and overstay their welcome, resulting in symptoms of depression.
For this reason, it’s always essential to know how to cope with stress and anxiety anytime they appear in your life. By neglecting these emotions, you won’t give your body and brain an opportunity to work through it. Before you know it, depression will be knocking at your door.
What Does Anxiety Do to the Body?
To summarize what we learned above, the body will naturally release hormones when we are faced with a stressful or difficult situation. Two examples of these hormones are cortisol and adrenaline. This is a necessary function that is related to the “fight or flight” response and is essential to survival.
With that being said, these hormones aren’t necessarily needed in low-stressful situations or when pressure isn’t present. Since hormone levels work a lot like dominoes in the body, when one hormone gets out of whack, they all do.
Anxiety is known to cause headaches, panic attacks, irritability, depression, and a loss of excitement about the future; however, the effects go far beyond the brain. Anxiety disorders are often frequented by breathing problems and a fast heartbeat, upset stomach, loss of libido, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, and muscle pain.
Linking Anxiety to Methylfolate
When trying to figure out the source of these irregular hormones, doctors will typically point to one of four things -- genetics, stress, hyperactivity in the body, or irregular reactions in the body.
Many scientists believe these hormonal imbalances can be caused by mutations in certain genes -- one of which being the MTHFR gene. The MTHFR gene plays an essential role in helping the body convert folic acid or folate into its active form of L-methylfolate. The MTHFR gene is also involved in the methylation of other compounds in the body.
When a mutation occurs in the MTHFR gene, the body is unable to properly make this conversion -- or at least make it at a reasonable rate. Without the necessary amount of methylfolate, your body may struggle to synthesize certain mood-regulating hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
An imbalance in these hormones can start to cause stress and anxiety in the body, which will push the body to release cortisol and eventually place you in a depressional state. That’s why many people are starting to confirm their MTHFR gene is working properly.
Should You Take Methylfolate for Anxiety?
A lot of people will recommend upping your daily intake of folate, also known as Vitamin B9, when you’re suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression. While this will theoretically lead to higher levels of methylfolate, it simply won’t be true in people suffering from an MTHFR gene mutation.
For those that struggle to convert folate into methylfolate, supplementing with methylfolate will give your body the active form of folate it needs to function properly. Combining this with other natural ways of reducing anxiety (yoga, meditation, healthy diet, therapy) can help you get back to a higher quality life.
If your anxiety and stress worsen, more severe treatment may be needed. For those that suffer from depression and are put on antidepressants, methylfolate can help your body make better use of the antidepressants. This is because antidepressants make neurotransmitters more available to the body, but they don’t result in better neurotransmitter production.
At Methyl-Life, we offer supplements designed for those struggling with anxiety, stress, and depression. We understand how powerful methylfolate is and it’s a large reason why we recommend methylfolate for anxiety.
Head over to our shop to view our product line filled with methylfolate products. We also combine methylfolate with other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to maximize your experience with it. Feel free to contact us with any questions; we’d be glad to help!
Anderson, Shanna, et al. “Anxiety and Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Mutation Treated With S-Adenosyl Methionine and Methylated B Vitamins.” Integrative Medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), InnoVision Professional Media, 15 Apr. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4898281/.