Gaba benefits

GABA is the most common of the inhibitory neurotransmitters found in your central nervous system. Inhibitory neurotransmitters prevent or block chemical messages. They reduce the stimulation of nerve cells in your brain. Fors example, when we are stressed, the adrenal glands start to produce hormones that trigger so-called fight-or-flight reactions, such as speeding up the heartbeat or triggering an adrenaline rush. GABA counteracts these natural stimulants by relaxing the brain.

Nootropic GABA supplements are calming, relaxing and help you sleep better [2] . 

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that serves as the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord [1]. GABA is synthesized not only in the brain, but also in peripheral tissues and organs, such as the pancreas and the adrenal medulla. More information on what GABA is can be found here

GABA may have the following properties: Improves memory; Reduces anxiety; Lowers blood pressure; Has antidiabetic effects; Strengthens and regulates the immune system

 

The benefits of GABA

Some scientists describe GABA as a biologically active substance that may have these properties:

1. Reduces anxiety and has a nervous-calming effect [2, 3].

  • Several reports have shown that GABA might affect brain protein synthesis, improve many brain functions such as memory and study capability, lower the blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats, and may also have a relaxation effect in humans.

2. Can help to support cardiovascular health. 

  • These results suggest that GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension, and is a beneficial dietary supplement for prevention of the development of hypertension [4]. 
  • Fermented milk product containing GABA  may contribute to lowering  blood pressure in mildly hypertensive people [5]

3. Has an antidiabetic effect.

  • GABA administration to patients with type 2 diabetes improves insulin resistance in both male and female patients and their children [6]. 
  • GABA administration lowered blood glucose levels and improved glucose excursion rates [7].

4. Participates in the proper functioning of the immune system.

  • Growing evidence shows that the non-proteinogenic amino acid GABA acts as an intercellular signaling molecule in the immune system and, as an interspecies signaling molecule in host–microbe interactions.
    Several recent studies have shown that the immune system is capable of synthesizing and releasing the classical neurotransmitter GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid). GABA has a number of effects on the immune cells such as activation or suppression of cytokine secretion, modification of cell proliferation and GABA can even affect migration of the cells. The immune cells encounter GABA when released by the immune cells themselves or when the immune cells enter the brain.  GABA appears to have a role in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis and may modulate the immune response to infections [8].
  • As a well-known inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, gamma-aminobutyric acid also has critical roles in the immune system. Immune cells (e.g., lymphocytes, macrophages) express the components of GABAergic system, including GABA receptors, GABA transporters, and GABA metabolic enzymes. The functions of immune cells are highly impacted on GABA signaling. GABAergic components negatively regulate the immune responses, particularly the T cell-mediated immunity, via their effects on production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and activation of signal pathways, like mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-kappaB pathways. These results may indicate that GABAergic components provide a new therapeutic approach for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel diseases [9].

GABA is  usually  marketed as calming, relaxing, anxiety-reducing  Food Supplements that also help to improve sleep quality [3]. (However, whatever your goal in taking GABA supplements, the correct dosage is very important, which is why the following is a blog article on Gaba dosage and use.)

The amino acid L-glutamine is a precursor to the production of GABA in your body. L-Glutamine is a precursor to the synthesis of L-glutamate. Glutamate is your body's most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter. It is responsible for concentration, brain power, learning ability, memory and alertness. 

An enzyme called glutamate decarboxylase converts glutamate into GABA, which is helped by the active form of vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P)). The amino acid taurine helps to increase the communication and productivity of this enzyme. And zinc helps GABA to be released from receptors. When this process is working efficiently, you feel relaxed and free from stress and anxiety. And if you're experiencing symptoms of insomnia, you should sleep more soundly.

Health benefits of gaba

 

Health benefits of GABA

GABA is a natural relaxation factor in the brain that makes us feel good. When GABA levels are too low, it is difficult for the body to relax after the stress-induced release of neurotransmitters. Low GABA activity causes anxiety, depression, insomnia and mood disorders.

gaba and anxiety

1. Managing stress and anxiety

Different studies have been carried out to determine how GABA can be used to reduce anxiety.

  • In one clinical trial, researchers used EEG to measure participants' brain waves after taking GABA or a placebo. Just one hour after taking GABA, a significant increase in alpha waves was observed, which led to feelings of calm and relaxation.  It was concluded GABA could work effectively as a natural relaxant and its effects could be seen within 1 hour of its administration to induce relaxation and diminish anxiety. Moreover, GABA administration could enhance immunity under stress conditions [10]. 
  • In another study, subjects ingested 10 g chocolate enriched with 28 mg GABA. Those taking GABA chocolate made a quick recovery to the normal state from the stressful state. On the basis of these results GABA was considered to have a psychological stress-reducing effect [11]. 
  • Also, the stress relief effects of GABA in humans were investigated in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. 39 adult subjects were enrolled in this study and were divided into the following two groups : GABA rice or placebo whiterice; 150 g of white rice was fed daily for eight weeks. Tests revealed that the mental condition and quality of sleep tended to improve by the intake of GABA rice. In addition, blood cortisol and adiponectin levels indicated that stress load tended to be lightened by GABA rice. In conclusion, the intake of GABA rice with a 3-hours enrichment process is effective for gently lightening the stress load [12]. 
  • Another example, sixty-three adults (28 males, 35 females) participated in a randomized, single blind, placebo-controlled, crossover-designed study over two experiment days. Capsules containing 100 mg of GABA or dextrin as a placebo were used as test samples. The results showed that electroencephalography (EEG) activities including alpha band and beta band brain waves decreased depending on the mental stress task loads, and the condition of 30 min after GABA intake diminished this decrease compared with the placebo condition. That is to say, GABA might have alleviated the stress induced by the mental tasks. This effect also corresponded with the results of the POMS scores [3]. 



2. Managing fatigue 

Results of one clinical trial suggest that intake of GABA-containing beverages, especially those containing 50 mg of GABA, may help reduce both psychological and physical fatigue and improve task-solving ability [13].

 

3. Cardiovascular Health

The effects of GABA can be used to stabilize blood pressure in people with hypertension. High blood pressure is a factor affecting the risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure. That is why prophylactic Cardiovascular health is important in any age GABA can be the possible candidate for these purposes. For example:

  • In one double-blind, randomized controlled trial, 7 healthy subjects were assigned to take GABA vegetable tablets. The results suggest the possibility that single administration of vegetable tablets containing GABA suppresses the sympathetic nervous activity leading to an elevation of blood pressure [14]. 
  • Also another study looked at how GABA lowered blood pressure in adults diagnosed with hypertension. Participants took different doses of GABA and monitored their blood pressure for eight weeks. Those who took 80 milligrams of GABA a day had a significant reduction in blood pressure [15]. 

 

4. Lower risk of obesity

Obesity is a serious health problem affecting nearly 40% of Americans. It increases the risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoarthritis. 

  • In a study in Korea, researchers looked at the potential ability of GABA to reduce the likelihood of people becoming obese. Participants in the study received either GABA or a placebo and did not exercise for eight weeks. GABA supplementation reduced body fat and triglyceride levels while increasing lean muscle mass. 

Twenty-one healthy men (26 - 48 years) were randomized to receive whey protein (WP; 10 g) or whey protein + GABA (WP + GABA; 10 g + 100 mg) daily for 12 weeks. Both groups performed resistance training twice per week.  The GABA and whey protein combination was more effective for increasing whole body fat-free mass; daily GABA supplementation may help enhance exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy [16]. 

 gaba for sleep


5. Sleep disturbances

There are various causes of sleep disorders. In addition to age, stress and worries play a major role. Many of us are familiar with this - the body and mind get tired and, especially at night, thoughts go round and round. You just can't rest, you're consumed with trying to fall asleep.

Sleeping poorly or not sleeping at all is very dangerous - after all, the body needs this time to 'recharge its batteries' and function properly. Too little sleep, or even insomnia (the technical term for pathological insomnia or sleep disorders), can even lead to acute mental and physical illnesses. It is not for nothing that sleep deprivation has even been used as a method of torture.

In short, sleep is essential for our physical and mental health.

But the problem of sleep disorders is widespread. According to the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM), up to 30% of Germans occasionally have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. In addition to melatonin, the nootropic substance GABA also helps people fall asleep. It has a mild sedative effect, allowing you to calm down and fall asleep faster. 

  • A study in the German medical journal „Ärztezeitung also concluded that higher levels of GABA in the body helped the subjects sleep better. Therefore, it seems that occasional GABA supplementation is a good alternative for sleep disorders (and for starting the day with a fresh and energetic start) [17]. 
  • In on prospective, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial 40 patients who complained of insomnia symptoms were enrolled and randomly assigned to the GABA treatment group (n=30) or the placebo group (n=10).This study showed  that treatment with unpolished-rice-germ-derived GABA improved not only the subjective sleep quality but also the objective sleep efficacy without severe adverse events [18]. 
  • Also another study  investigated the effects of γ-aminobutyric acid(GABA)on the stress, sleep, and urination of elderly people. Thirty-eight elderly people were given chocolates with 100 mg of GABA or placebo chocolates for four weeks. The GABA group showed only a small rise of cortisol level after 2 and 4 weeks, on the contrary, the placebo group showed significant increase of cortisol. The questionnaire survey showed that there was an improvement in the quality of sleep from the point of view of onset and maintenance of sleep, drowsiness in the morning, and recovering from fatigue in the GABA group after 4 weeks. Furthermore, the frequency of night urination significantly decreased in the GABA group. From the observation, was confirmed that GABA has an effect of easing stress, improving quality of sleep, and decreasing frequency of night urination [19]. 

gaba brain neurotransmitter

In conclusion, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) emerges as a versatile and beneficial compound with a range of positive impacts on human health. As the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord, GABA plays a crucial role in managing stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Its calming and relaxing properties are well-documented, with various studies confirming its efficacy in improving sleep quality, reducing psychological and physical fatigue, and aiding in mental relaxation. Beyond these neurological benefits, GABA also shows promise in supporting cardiovascular health, managing blood sugar levels, and potentially aiding in weight control. Furthermore, its role in the immune system and its potential therapeutic applications in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases highlight its significance beyond just a dietary supplement. As research continues to uncover the multifaceted roles of GABA, it stands as a testament to the intricate interplay between diet, supplements, and overall health.

It is important to note that just like any other supplement, GABA supplements can also have side effects, which you can find out by reading the blog post What are the side effects of GABA?.

 

Medical Disclaimer

The information provided in our articles is solely for educational purposes and should not be considered medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Readers should consult their health care professional on any matter related to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors, but readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Please be aware that different countries may have specific regulations and that this disclaimer does not replace the need for consultation with a healthcare provider before beginning or changing a treatment or supplement regimen. The information contained in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.

 

References

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