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γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is chemically an amino acid. It is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammalian nervous system. We are well aware that anxiety is nearly an epidemic as thousands of people feel chronically anxious, irritable and unfocused on a daily basis. And for some people, chronic anxiety seriously interferes with their ability to function in social or workplace settings. Low levels of GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid, may be a contributing factor because GABA deficiencies can negatively affect an individual's ability to manage even the most low level stressful situations. A calming or "peacemaker" chemical in the brain, GABA induces relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and increases focus. One of the four key neurotransmitters, GABA also serves to keep all the other neurotransmitters in check. A deficiency can lead to:

arw Anxiety symptoms

arw Irritability

arw Headaches

arw Hypertension

arw Palpitations

arw Seizures

arw Lower sex drive

arw Disorders of the heart

arw Depression

What is GABA?
4-aminobutanoic acid

GABA is the most important and abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain (it is actually an amino acid classified as neurotransmitter.) It helps induce relaxation and sleep. It acts as a “balancer” for the brain where excitation of the brain is balanced with the inhibition.

How is it Made?
GABA is synthesized in situ. It is synthesized from glutamate using the enzyme L-glutamic acid decarboxylase and pyridoxal phosphate (which is the active form of vitamin B6) as a cofactor via a metabolic pathway called the GABA shunt. This process converts glutamate, the principal excitatory neurotransmitter, into the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter (GABA).

Where is it Found?
In nature the following foods are high in glutamic acid/glutamate (forms glutamine, precursor to GABA):

arw Almonds, tree nuts

arw Bananas

arw Beef Liver

arw Broccoli

arw Brown Rice

arw Halibut

arw Lentils

arw Oats, whole grain

arw Oranges, citrus fruits

arw Rice bran

arw Spinach

arw Walnuts

arw Whole wheat, whole grains.

See GABA related videos:
video icon Pharma GABA  (video module - 7.42 minutes)
video icon Pharma & Synthetic GABA (video module - 2.28 minutes)
Product related PDF file

Benefits / Uses
GABA is an important chemical within the human brain. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and as such it serves the brain by regulating the firing of neurons. Without gamma-aminobutyric acid, your muscles would be constantly tense, your mind would never stop racing, and your overall ability to function would be severely impaired. Gaba supplements can be taken to increase this valuable resource in your body.

arw Increase in the level of Human Growth Hormones (HGH)

arw Induces relaxation and sleep

arw Reduces muscle tension

arw Reduces stress, anxiety and depression

arw Promotes well being

GABA is produced in the human brain and functions as a balancer, maintains balance between the body and the mind in states of excitation. GABA aids several complications including Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, hypertension or HBP, obesity, insomnia, alcoholism and many more. It is also a great help in treating mental blocks.

GABA is helpful for any active individuals, bodybuilders and athletes. They help in enhancing the body’s muscle mass, which is GABA’s conductive anabolic property and its lipotropic property helps in fat reduction and weight loss programs, simultaneously.

GABA For Anxiety
This key brain chemical is critically important to maintaining an overall sense of mental well-being. GABA is also involved in the production of endorphins, brain chemicals that create a feeling of well-being known as ‘runners high’. Endorphins are produced in the brain during physical movement, such as stretching or even sexual intercourse.” As endorphins are released people begin to feel a sense of calm, often referred to as the Endorphin Effect. Although experiencing occasional anxiety is common, chronic anxiety can be debilitating and can dramatically decrease an individual's quality of life, as well as negatively impact their immune system.

GABA controls the brain’s rhythmic theta waves, the normal brainwave in the encephalogram of a person who is awake but relaxed and drowsy. Theta waves help the brain maintain physical and mental balance. GABA is the most important and widespread inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Excitation in the brain must be balanced with inhibition. Too much excitation can lead to restlessness, irritability, insomnia, and even seizures. GABA is able to induce relaxation, analgesia, and sleep.

2 grams of GABA should be taken for it to be effective. 5g is shown to be more effective, and the effectiveness of GABA is maxed out at 18 grams. There are studies done on GABA where it's administered either orally or intravenously. Taking GABA orally is not as effective as taking it intravenously; however it's more reflective of expected real world results, as most GABA supplements are designed to be taken orally. Despite this, GABA is effective even when taken orally.

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions
There are few if any side effects of GABA. Some users have experienced some mild tingling sensations around the face and neck area after supplementing GABA. Some users also notice a brief and mild change in heart rate or breathing patterns. These GABA side effects quickly disappear and are not harmful. Not everyone experiences these side effects, so you may, or may not experience these GABA side effects.

GABA also has a slightly sedative effect, which makes it ideal to take before going to bed.

Research Studies / References

arw Dawson, R.M.C., et al., Data for Biochemical Research, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1959.

arw Watanabe M, Maemura K, Kanbara K, Tamayama T, Hayasaki H (2002). "GABA and GABA receptors in the central nervous system and other organs". Int. Rev. Cytol. 213: 1-47. doi:10.1016/S0074-7696(02)13011-7. PMID 11837891.

arw Ffrench-Constant RH, Rocheleau TA, Steichen JC, Chalmers AE (1993). "A point mutation in a Drosophila GABA receptor confers insecticide resistance.". Nature 363 (6428): 449-51. doi:10.1038/363449a0. PMID 8389005.

arw Szabadics J, Varga C, Molnár G, Oláh S, Barzó P, Tamás G (January 2006). "Excitatory effect of GABAergic axo-axonic cells in cortical microcircuits". Science 311 (5758): 233-5. doi:10.1126/science.1121325. PMID 16410524.

arw Li K, Xu E (June 2008). "The role and the mechanism of gamma-aminobutyric acid during central nervous system development". Neurosci Bull 24 (3): 195-200. doi:10.1007/s12264-008-0109-3. PMID 18500393.

arw Ben-Ari Y, Gaiarsa JL, Tyzio R, Khazipov R (October 2007). "GABA: a pioneer transmitter that excites immature neurons and generates primitive oscillations". Physiol. Rev. 87 (4): 1215-84. doi:10.1152/physrev.00017.2006. PMID 17928584.

arw Purves D, Fitzpatrick D, Hall WC, Augustine GJ, Lamantia A-S (2007). Neuroscience (4th ed.). Sunderland, Mass: Sinauer. pp. 135, box 6D. ISBN 0-87893-697-1.

arw Jelitai M, Madarasz E (2005). "The role of GABA in the early neuronal development". Int. Rev. Neurobiol. 71: 27-62. doi:10.1016/S0074-7742(05)71002-3. PMID 16512345.[dead link]

arw LoTurco JJ, Owens DF, Heath MJ, Davis MB, Kriegstein AR (December 1995). "GABA and glutamate depolarize cortical progenitor cells and inhibit DNA synthesis". Neuron 15 (6): 1287-98. doi:10.1016/0896-6273(95)90008-X. PMID 8845153.

arw Haydar TF, Wang F, Schwartz ML, Rakic P (August 2000). "Differential modulation of proliferation in the neocortical ventricular and subventricular zones". J. Neurosci. 20 (15): 5764-74. PMID 10908617.

arw Behar TN, Schaffner AE, Scott CA, O'Connell C, Barker JL (August 1998). "Differential response of cortical plate and ventricular zone cells to GABA as a migration stimulus". J. Neurosci. 18 (16): 6378-87. PMID 9698329.

arw Barbin G, Pollard H, Gaïarsa JL, Ben-Ari Y (April 1993). "Involvement of GABAA receptors in the outgrowth of cultured hippocampal neurons". Neurosci. Lett. 152 (1-2): 150-4. doi:10.1016/0304-3940(93)90505-F. PMID 8390627.

arw Ganguly K, Schinder AF, Wong ST, Poo M (May 2001). "GABA itself promotes the developmental switch of neuronal GABAergic responses from excitation to inhibition". Cell 105 (4): 521-32. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(01)00341-5. PMID 11371348.

arw Maric D, Liu QY, Maric I, Chaudry S, Chang YH, Smith SV, Sieghart W, Fritschy JM, Barker JL (April 2001). "GABA expression dominates neuronal lineage progression in the embryonic rat neocortex and facilitates neurite outgrowth via GABA(A) autoreceptor/Cl- channels". J. Neurosci. 21 (7): 2343-60. PMID 11264309.

arw Ben-Ari Y (September 2002). "Excitatory actions of gaba during development: the nature of the nurture". Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 3 (9): 728-39. doi:10.1038/nrn920. PMID 12209121.

arw Obrietan K, Gao XB, Van Den Pol AN (August 2002). "Excitatory actions of GABA increase BDNF expression via a MAPK-CREB-dependent mechanism--a positive feedback circuit in developing neurons". J. Neurophysiol. 88 (2): 1005-15. PMID 12163549.

arw Wang DD, Kriegstein AR, Ben-Ari Y (2008). "GABA Regulates Stem Cell Proliferation before Nervous System Formation". Epilepsy currents / American Epilepsy Society 8 (5): 137-9. doi:10.1111/j.1535-7511.2008.00270.x. PMID 18852839.

arw Popp A, Urbach A, Witte OW, Frahm C (2009). "Adult and embryonic GAD transcripts are spatiotemporally regulated during postnatal development in the rat brain". PLoS ONE 4 (2): e4371. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004371. PMID 19190758. PMC 2629816.

arw Erdö SL, Wolff JR (1990). "gamma-Aminobutyric acid outside the mammalian brain". J. Neurochem. 54 (2): 363-72. doi:10.1111/j.1471-4159.1990.tb01882.x. PMID 2405103.

arw Xiang, Y.; Wang, S.; Liu, M.; Hirota, J.; Li, J.; Ju, W.; Fan, Y.; Kelly, M. et al. (2007). "A GABAergic system in airway epithelium is essential for mucus overproduction in asthma". Nature medicine 13 (7): 862-867. doi:10.1038/nm1604. PMID 17589520. edit