Oral Vitamin C reduces anxiety in high school students

We see children in clinic for many different health conditions, but anxiety it seems, is increasingly affecting school aged children. From bullying to NAPLAN tests, there can be a variety of reasons children feel anxious at school and this affects them, not only academically, but socially as well.

Studies have shown anxiety in students can be associated with secondary issues such as lack of confidence, or academic difficulties resulting in poor academic performance.1 High levels of anxiety have been shown to cause memory problems, increase distraction and contribute to a racing heart.1

Furthermore, oxidative stress can contribute to the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders and there has been an association between oxidant levels and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.1

The aim of the study was to assess whether Vitamin C supplementation could exert an anti-anxiolytic effect in high school students. Forty-two Brazilian high school students participated in the study. They were all in good health with no physical or mental illness. They were broken into two groups: a placebo group and another group taking 500mg Vitamin C daily for 14 days.

Prior to supplementation, the students were assessed by a team of health professionals, and anxiety levels were evaluated using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). They also measured heart rate and blood pressure. The tests were repeated on day 15 after the trial had completed.

The study concluded there were statistically significant lower anxiety scores in the Vitamin C group compared to placebo. There was also a significant difference in the mean heart rate of the Vitamin C group compared to the placebo group, but no difference in blood pressure.

The authors concluded that Vitamin C plays an important therapeutic role and helps reduce anxiety levels and improve academic performance among anxious students.1

Reference

  1. Oliveira IJL de, de Souza VV, Motta V, Da-Silva SL. Effects of Oral Vitamin C Supplementation on Anxiety in Students: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Pakistan J Biol Sci. 2015;18(1):11-18. doi:10.3923/pjbs.2015.11.18

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