What Is GABA & Its Functions
Gamma aminobutyric acid or GABA is an amino acid that occurs naturally in our body. It acts as a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger to our brain. GABA specifically works towards blocking or inhibiting brain signals that decrease the activity in your nervous system.
What does gamma aminobutyric acid GABA do?
Gamma aminobutyric acid attaches to the GABA receptors in your brain and gives your mind and body a calming effect. This helps in eliminating the feeling of anxiety, stress, and fear, and may also further help in preventing seizures.
Due to these soothing effects that it has on your body, GABA has lately become a very popular supplement. GABA is only available in a few foods like kimchi, tempeh, and miso.
What is GABA used for?
Too much stress is the leading cause of poor sleep and immune system. It is also linked with depression among other mental and physical health ailments. GABA’s calming effects on the brain help in reducing stress. GABA supplements help with the management of various conditions and their symptoms, such as follows:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Panic attacks and disorders
- Depression, and
Benefits of GABA
There is some research that corroborates the benefits of GABA supplements. Let’s take a look at it below.
GABA attaches to a protein called GABA receptor in your brain and produces a calming effect on your body. It helps in relieving stress, anxiety, and fatigue. In certain cases, it is also shown to be helpful in preventing seizures. Due to all of these amazing effects that GABA has on the body, it has become one of the most widely sold and consumed supplements in recent years. GABA supplements also help in relieving the symptoms of insomnia by improving sleep quality and inducing sleep.
According to certain studies, GABA may help in lowering blood pressure levels in the body. Its therapeutic effects on the body also help in slowing down the heart rate, thereby preventing the risk of cardiovascular ailments and hypertension related problems.
GABA, thus, plays an important role in our body. It helps regulate stress, anxiety, insomnia, and blood pressure for us and thereby keeps us healthy and fit. Having said that, we advise you to consult with a doctor or medical practitioner before you add any GABA supplements to your diet - especially if you suffer from any chronic conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Plante DT, Jensen JE, Winkelman JW. The role of GABA in primary insomnia. Sleep. 2012;35(6):741-742. Published 2012 Jun 1. doi:10.5665/sleep.1854 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3353037/)
- Ma P, Li T, Ji F, Wang H, Pang J. Effect of GABA on blood pressure and blood dynamics of anesthetic rats. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015;8(8):14296-14302. Published 2015 Aug 15. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4613098/)
- Nuss P. Anxiety disorders and GABA neurotransmission: a disturbance of modulation. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015;11:165-175. Published 2015 Jan 17. doi:10.2147/NDT.S58841 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303399/)
- Ngo DH, Vo TS. An Updated Review on Pharmaceutical Properties of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. Molecules. 2019;24(15):2678. Published 2019 Jul 24. doi:10.3390/molecules24152678 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6696076/)
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