GABA provides tranquillity and relaxation naturally and it is advised for those who suffer stress, nervousness or anxiety.
- 1. What is GABA?
- 2. Benefits of GABA for health
- 3. GABA against stress and anxiety
- 4. GABA against depression
- 5. Epilepsy
- 6. Premenstrual syndrome
- 7. Growth hormone increase
- 8. Who can benefit from GABA?
- 9. GABA to sleep
- 10. Natural GABA
- 11. GABA and food
- 12. Side effects of GABA
- 13. GABA intake
- 14. Buy GABA Supplements
- 15. Bibliography
- 16. Related Entries:
What is GABA?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a amino acid that plays an important role as a neurotransmitter. In fact, it inhibits the transmission of nerve impulses, specially when we are nervous. Therefore, GABA «soothes our brain naturally».
Also known as γ-aminobutyric acid, it is the most abundant inhibitory chemical messenger inside our central nervous system. In fact, a 30% or 40% of the brain cells use GABA as neurotransmitter.
Its presence in the nervous tissue ensures the balance between excitation and neuronal inhibition. Actually, this is vital in order to preserve a proper sensitive, cognitive and motor function.
According to what we said, a GABA imbalance can trigger the development of several neurological and psychiatric disorders such as: anxiety, depression, insomnia and drug addiction.
The clinical studies have proven that GABA dietary supplements contribute to our relaxation, calming the nerves. This is specially useful against excitation, anxiety or stress. Moreover, it reduces our worries and obsessive thoughts, improving our quality of sleep.
Currently, there is research focused on testing the relation between low GABA levels and depression, neuronal problems and convulsive disorders.
Unlike prescribed calming medicines, GABA does not create addiction nor causes the harmful side effects of this medicines.
Benefits of GABA for health
The brain GABA levels drop as we grow old. Therefore, it has a lower activity.
Apart from other factors, this can be a trigger for the onset of several age-related disorders and diseases. For example, we are more vulnerable against stress, depressions, sleep problems and even loss of cognitive abilities (memory, coordination, etc).
Among other things, the growth hormone is vital when it comes to gaining muscle mass. Moreover, it has other important anti-aging properties in order to prevent several diseases.
This amino acid is available as a natural dietary supplement with calming effects. In fact, it can be a great alternative to calming medicines (anxiolytics, sedatives).
- Reducing the anxiety
- Calming the nerves
- Fighting against insomnia
- Decreasing the irritability
- Improving the release of the growth hormone
- Stimulating the functioning of the immune system
GABA against stress and anxiety
The benefits of this amino acid for our health are the result of a synergistic process:
- It blocks the nerve transmission of motor neurons in tense situations. In fact, it works as a receptor that inhibits and reduces the anxiety. Therefore, it will help us feel more relaxed and we will be able to sleep better.
- Nervousness and a lack of sleep can weaken the immune system because it can trigger the onset of all kinds of diseases and health problems. Moreover, it also helps to keep the immune system on point.
Usually, the most common symptoms of stress are:
- Difficulty to sleep
- More susceptibility to becoming sick and suffering more health problems
GABA against depression
Depressive states seem to be connected to low GABA levels. Clinical research has found other benefits of this neurotransmitter in order to improve several health problems like: depression, epilepsy, seizures and motor neuron disorders, like Tourette and Parkinson.
A 2006 study found out that women who suffered postpartum depression had low GABA levels.
A similar study showed how patients who suffer chronic depression also had low levels of this neurotransmitter. However, there are still no studies to assess the real effects of GABA dietary supplements on depression.
Currently, there are more clinical studies to assess its properties on convulsions. This is due to the fact that those who suffer seizures or epilepsy have low levels of these receptors.
The latest research has shown how its low levels are connected to motor neuron disorders, like Tourette and Parkinson’s disease. A 2014 study suggests that increasing said levels improves the movement control and reduces the seizures in those who suffer Tourette syndrome.
Several studies have proven that people with mood disorders have low GABA levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid. Moreover, women who are prone to suffering premenstrual syndrome have lower levels as well.
That is why taking a GABA product during this stage can help to cope with this disorders and improve the mood.
Growth hormone increase
Several scientific studies have proven that taking GABA supplements increases the GH release. Consequently, they also improve the growth of muscle mass while shortening the recovery processes.
Combining this amino acid with physical exercise can increase the muscle mass, lose fat and improve the recovery. We can start experiencing the effects of taking this amino acid after taking a supplement for 8 weeks.
Another advantage of this supplementation for athletes is that it works as a pain inhibitor.
Who can benefit from GABA?
This type of supplements help those who feel weak, have a low mood, feel depressed or experience any of these symptoms:
Studies about GABA
Dietary GABA supplements have proven to significantly reduce the anxiety in a clinical study. During this study, the 13 subjects who took this amino acid had less anxiety and they showed a more relaxed state after an hour.
In another clinical study, the researchers assessed the effects of GABA in situations of nervousness. In fact, it does not only help to deal with the fear, but it also contributes to increase the immunoglobulin levels. This proves that this amino acid also supports the immune system.
Several studies have shown how taking GABA can be key when it comes to treating addiction to cocaine, heroine, alcohol and nicotine.
Moreover, this amino acid is highly beneficial for women with pre-menstrual syndrome because they tend to suffer episodic depression.
GABA for athletes
Athletes can also benefit from taking this amino acid. Mainly because its stimulates the release of the growth hormone. Consequently, our body will recover sooner from the workouts, apart from gaining muscle mass and losing fat more easily.
GABA to sleep
Those who cannot take this amino acid can use plant extracts and dietary supplements that also increase the gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain. For instance:
- Lemon balm and valerian extract
- Magnesium. Magnesium binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors and activates them.
- Taurine. According to a 2008 clinical study, taurine can increase the GABA levels
- Passionflower. Its flower extract also has a calming effect because it helps to increase the its levels in the brain
GABA and food
Even though food does not have this amino aicd as such, it does have glutamate. After taking it, our body transforms this element into GABA. That is why it is advisable to eat products like:
Side effects of GABA
An excessive intake can cause fatigue, tiredness and somnolence. In this case, we have to reduce the dose and the side effects will disappear immediately. Those who feel more tired during the day should take this supplement preferably before sleeping.
Possible interactions of GABA
It can interact with some antidepressants or other psychotropic drugs meant to treat bipolar disorder. Therefore, we should not take GABA in this case.
To this date, GABA has not shown serious side effects. However, there are some isolated instances of people who have experienced itchiness and breathing problems.
On the one hand, if you want to stimulate the release of the growth hormone, take GABA immediately before sleeping. This is mainly due to the fact that our body starts to release the growth hormone two hours after falling asleep.
The sedative effect of GABA results in a very restful sleep. It is also fundamental to take GABA 45 minutes after the last meal at most.
On the other hand, if you want a soothing effect, you will have to take it during the meals. GABA can be a great product for children with symptoms of hyperactivity and/or concentration problems.
However, we suggest consulting your doctor before taking GABA supplementation.
Recommended dose of GABA
The dose of GABA has to be adapted to each individual. Usually, the recommended dose is between 100 and 200mg a day distributed in three servings before sleeping if we want to treat anxiety. It is advisable to start with the smaller dose and increase it depending on the results.
Buy GABA Supplements
You can purchase GABA supplements at the best price in the HSN online store. It will help you relax your body and mind while improving your rest.
- Hernández-Martínez D, Rocha L, Martínez-Quiroz J, Morgado-Valle C, Manzo J, López-Meraz ML. Time course of the effect of status epilepticus induced in the developing rat on γ-amino butyric acid and glutamate cerebellar concentration. Neurologia. 2016 Oct 25. pii: S0213-4853(16)30175-X. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2016.07.010.
- Liu J, Zhang J, Wang LN. Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor agonists for acute stroke. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Oct 30;10:CD009622. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009622.pub5.
- Sado T, Nakata S, Tsuno T, Sato M, Misawa Y, Yamauchi S, Inaba Y, Kobayashi D, Wada K. Concentrations of various forms of vitamin B6 in ginkgo seed poisoning. Brain Dev. 2018 Oct 23. pii: S0387-7604(18)30213-4. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2018.10.007.