GABA

 

Commonly used for anxiety relief, GABA is a natural sedative that can be found in the brain that regulates nerve impulses and sleep patterns.

Increasing the level of GABA in your brain can help to improve both your health and your mental state.

GABA supplements have been shown to calm nerves and improve sleep quality by elevating levels of the neurotransmitter without producing any undesirable or dangerous side effects.

What is GABA?

GABA is an amino acid that acts as a key inhibitory neurotransmitter in our Central Nervous System (CNS). It is made in the body from a glutamate precursor and acts as a natural tranquilizer, reducing anxiety and inducing sleep.

Low levels of GABA are linked to conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and addiction.

GABA is sold as an over-the-counter supplement in many countries, but there is debate as to whether orally ingested GABA has any effect.

The blood-brain barrier cannot easily absorb GABA molecules, which reduces the overall efficacy of oral supplements. Still, studies have indicated that high enough doses of GABA do indeed have a calming effect [1].

Its sedative effects are milder than similar medications such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, but GABA users tend to experience fewer side effects.

While GABA is most commonly used as a sedative and sleep aid, it is also known to have other health benefits.

The supplement can help to ease the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), lower blood pressure, and even reduce motion sickness in prone individuals.

Other Names

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, 4-aminobutanoic acid

Editor’s Note

GABA is vital for our day-to-day comfort and health. Without it, we would be tired, irritable and anxious on a regular basis. GABA is found naturally in the brain, but not all of us have high enough levels of the hormone.

GABA supplements are designed to help boost GABA levels within the brain, promoting sleep and relaxation, but users report mixed results when it comes to the efficacy of available supplements.

While some people report immediate improvements in mood and a reduction in anxiety, others experience no effect.

There is limited evidence suggesting that GABA supplements offer any significant benefit for users.

Medical professionals tend to agree that GABA does not cross the blood-brain barrier, which would indicate that GABA supplements don’t work on the molecular level.

While reports of positive results may just be the result of a placebo effect, studies on how GABA supplements affect Growth Hormone (GH) production indicate that at least some GABA molecules can cross into the brain after ingestion of the nootropic.

While these results are promising, I remain at least somewhat skeptical of the efficacy of GABA supplements in alleviated physical and mental health issues. Many accounts indicate that these supplements produce minimal results that are difficult to measure.

Some suggest taking GABA in conjunction with vitamins and minerals that aid in its absorption, but the supplement still offers only mild benefits.

Instead of flooding the brain w