ADHD and Autism

#143: Trudy Scott, CN- Anxiety Relief Techniques: Food and Supplements

by Mike Mutzel


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About Trudy Scott, CN

Trudy Scott is a Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist, speaker and author of the book The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood & End Cravings (published by New Harbinger).

Trudy has a nutrition practice in Northern California, with a focus on Food, Mood and Women’s Health. Trudy publishes an electronic newsletter entitled Food, Mood and Gal Stuff, available at and
Trudy’s goal for all her clients: “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Connect with Trudy

Sponsored Content

Books Discussed in this Podcast

The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

Show Notes

02:30 What is Anxiety? Anxiety helps us to avoid and escape danger. Chronic anxiety is destructive, affecting our jobs, our lives, and our sleep. Chronic stress, not sleeping well, constant worry, panic attacks and being overwhelmed by the smallest things are signs of chronic anxiety.

04:04 Underlying Causes of Panic Attacks: It takes some time to deduce the biochemical imbalances and nutritional deficiencies that are at the root of anxiety. Managing anxiety is not enough.  Addressing the root cause or causes will make the anxiety completely go away.

05:12 What is a Panic Attack? You feel as though you are out of your body, looking down on yourself. You feel as though you cannot breathe.  You’ll have a racing heart, clammy skin and think that you are dying. Many end up in the ER, but their situation is minimized. There is a strong correlation between increased risk of heart disease and stroke with chronic anxiety and panic attacks. Don’t wait until you begin having panic attacks.

07:28 Correcting Imbalances: Trudy looks at two kinds of anxiety in terms of neurotransmitter deficiencies. One is low serotonin. This is ruminating thoughts, worry, and reprocessing anxiety. The other is physical anxiety, which is low GABA. You’ll feel it in your shoulders. You’ll feel stiff and tense.  A fast acting amino acid can be taken for these deficiencies. Often there is a reaction within a minute of a trial of one of the amino acids. Major improvements can be seen over the course of the next week. A quick acting amino acid can bring hope.

09:25 Low Serotonin: With all of the neurotransmitters, there is an addiction component. With low serotonin, the cravings are late afternoon and evening. TMJ and fibromyalgia are also common with low serotonin. Trudy has her patients complete an anxiety questionnaire and rank their symptoms. The amino acids for raising low serotonin are tryptophan and 5-HTP. Trudy likes to try tryptophan first. It is closer to a food product and often gets good results. Patients open the capsule and put the powder on their tongue, holding it there for a few minutes. Within a minute or two, they should be able to report diminished symptoms. Tryptophan is taken in 500 mg doses.  5-HTP is in 50 mg doses. Tryptophan is taken mid-afternoon and evening, when our serotonin dips. Dosages are individualized based upon how you respond to them.  Some practitioners have concerns that tryptophan can go down the wrong pathway and convert into neurotoxic quinolinic acid.  Trudy, however, has not seen an issue with this with her patients.  You do need certain cofactors such as vitamin B3 (niacinamide being the optimal form) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine or p5p/pyridoxal phosphate) to ensure that tryptophan goes down the correct pathway.  Curcumin can help by dampening inflammation and help to soak up some of the quinolinic acid, should some be produced.

16:41 Food Sources of Tryptophan: A study found that there was a lower risk of anxiety and depression in Australian women who ate a whole foods traditional diet. It included quality grass fed red meat. The study found that grass fed red meat was the strongest correlant to good mental health in women. The study has been replicated in adolescents with similar results.

19:23 Low GABA: Besides the physical symptoms, you may also have panic attacks, be a stress eater or use alcohol or drugs to relax. There is a myth that since GABA does not cross the blood-brain barrier, it won’t work. If it does work, someone has a leaky blood-brain barrier. Trudy is not a fan of the phenibut form of GABA. It is a benzodiazepine drug used to help with anxiety. However, it can be addicting and withdrawal can be difficult. You may also see pharma-GABA or phenyl-GABA on a label. Avoid these. Trudy says that we should use GABA, gamma-Aminobutyric acid, and that should be what is on the label. GABA works better sublingually. We have GABA receptors throughout the body. When we use GABA and feel relaxation like having had a glass of wine, we know that it is working in the muscles. GABA also works well with children. Most often, Trudy uses a sublingual over the counter GABA by Source Naturals called GABA Calm. She starts her patients on 125 mg. Starting low and building up is important.

26:55 Copper/Zinc Balance: High copper and low zinc could be a cause of your anxiety. Taking zinc can lower copper levels. Pyroluria is a genetic condition which creates an imbalance of lower zinc levels. The Pyroluria protocol calls for a higher need for zinc, evening primrose oil and vitamin B6. Pyroluria can cause social anxiety, not wanting breakfast and morning nausea, poor sense of smell and taste, insomnia, and depression. Introverts find that when they go on the Pyroluria protocol, they are no longer introverted or have less social anxiety.  Trudy has a Pyroluria questionnaire on her website.

31:00 Turning down Our Stress Response:  Each of us should find what works for us. For some it is yoga, dancing, exercising, being in nature, or HeartMath. We need to do something constructive to destress. Watching TV is not enough. Meaning, accomplishment, purpose, and sense of community are very important and come when brain chemicals are balanced.

35:52 Oxytocin: When oxytocin is the love hormone. It is low in social anxiety and in children with autism. There seems to be a correlation between serotonin and oxytocin. Often zinc levels are low when oxytocin is low. Low cholesterol can be a factor in low oxytocin. There can be genetic mutations that raise the propensity for low oxytocin. We don’t know much about oxytocin. We can provide the raw materials to support oxytocin with appropriate neurotransmitter levels like serotonin and raising zinc levels.  Before using oxytocin, think about why levels are low.

41:28 Anxiety Summit: The Anxiety Summit includes many experts, including new faces. Dr. Drew Ramsey, an integrative psychiatrist, will be talking about brain/mental health and food. Caffeine and coffee and its impact upon adrenal function will be discussed.  Dr. Kurt Woeller will discuss oxytocin and cholesterol. New topics include the connection between leptin and anxiety and the profound dangers of fluoride-based antibiotics on mental health.

47:58 Trudy’s Favorite Nutrient for a Stay on a Desert Island: She chose lamb. It is red meat that will give her protein, zinc, iron and it is delicious.

49:27 Trudy’s Morning Routine: First thing, Trudy likes to walk or exercise. She eats protein at breakfast.

50:28 Trudy’s Elevator Pitch: Don’t tolerate not feeling your absolute best. Always continue to look for answers. Find a few things that make you feel good.

  1. So enjoyed the interview with Trudy Scott. I am familiar with her work and approach and learn more each time I hear her. Of course looking forward to her 4th summit.

    I appreciate your interview approach – ask short direct questions, bring up related topics to spur information exchange, and offer take away notes.

    • Thanks for the kind note, Diana! I really appreciate you tuning and in glad you got something out of the podcast.

      Hope you enjoy Season Four of the Anxiety Summit!

      Have a good one,


      • When I had anxiety or panic attacks during my menopausal years … deaths and abuse happened too.
        What I found for the best relief, And it took three months for it to kick in, because it is natural and doesn’t come back to bite you. I avoid drugs and chemicals.
        Was polygoni multforum root extract. It is so nice not to be miserable anymore..
        WHAT FREEDOM!!

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