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Natural GABA

Natural GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid)

Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, controlling the action of epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. Inhibitory neurotransmitters reduce excitability in the brain’s neurons. The brain must balance excitatory and inhibitory influences for optimal function. GABA terminates the signals from the excitatory neurotransmitters: glutamate, and its positive modulators epinephrine, norepinephrine, and PEA.

Under normal conditions, normal levels of GABA are sufficient to maintain control of the excitatory stimuli. However, if GABA function is impaired, then higher levels will be required. Studies suggest that increased GABA may calm anxiety, support immune health, promote relaxation, and regulate sleep cycles. GABA deficiency can be linked to anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, seizure disorders like epilepsy, and numerous other conditions including addiction, headaches, Parkinson’s Syndrome, and cognitive impairment.

Find out more about the Neurotransmitter Lab Tests used to determine your GABA levels!

GABA receptor function may be reduced because of a genetic polymorphism in the GABA receptor that reduces the efficiency of GABA neurotransmission, the presence of GABA receptor inhibitors, or low serotonin levels. Serotonin is a positive regulator of GABA-GABA receptor interaction. An inadequate GABA response may lead to an extended state of excitement and electrical stimulation in the brain.

Low GABA Levels Have Been Found in:

  • Panic; Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Bipolar Disorders

Deficient GABA Levels May be Caused by:

  • Inadequate diet
  • Prolonged stress
  • Genetics

GABA Supplements

GABA is a naturally occurring, non-essential amino acid formed from glutamic acid with the help of vitamin B6. Drugs do not add GABA to the system. Instead, they rely on a sufficient supply of endogenous GABA in order to function properly by altering the GABA receptors. In many cases, a healthy supply of GABA is not available, and supplementation may be necessary.

GABA Effects:

  • May reduce symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
  • May reduce symptoms of anxiety.
  • May help some schizophrenics.
  • May help to reduce high blood pressure.
  • May increase the effect of insulin, so is useful for diabetics, but not for hypoglycemia.
  • May suppress appetite.
  • May help with premenstrual symptoms.
  • Helpful for some cases of depression.
  • Has little to no side effects.

Increasing GABA

The GABA system may be enhanced by supplementing the GABA precursors and potentiators listed below.

  • Taurine: An inhibitory amino acid that is a positive modulator of GABA; does not have any adverse side effects.
  • Glutamine: An amino acid and a common precursor for the biosynthesis of GABA and glutamate; those with high Glutamate levels should not supplement with glutamine.
  • 5-HTTP: A precursor to serotonin, a neuromodulator that is widely distributed throughout the brain and generally enhances GABA.
  • Theanine: A naturally occurring amino acid that has been found to alter glutamate transport and actually increase GABA levels.
  • Add GABA to your diet: Fish (especially mackerel), wheat and bran are sources of GABA Gamma Amino.

Check out Travacor, a GABA supplement that contains Taurine, 5-HTP, and Theanine!

Natural GABA Products

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