B6 and iron may ease panic attacks

The body naturally produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and mental stability. Low levels of serotonin may be one of the causes of panic and hyperventilation attacks and, in order to make serotonin, the body needs good levels of vitamin B6 and iron, doctors said.

To test the theory, researchers compared 21 people with chronic panic and hyperventilation attacks to 20 other similar people who did not experience these events. Measuring circulating levels of vitamin B6 and iron, doctors found concentrations of both these nutrients were twice as high in the non-panic attack group as they were in the panic attack group.

The B vitamins are essential for healthy body function, doctors said, and low levels of vitamin B12, for example, can cause the same classic symptoms of panic and hyperventilation attacks. Vitamins B6, B12, and iron are part of most multivitamin formulas.

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