Have you considered Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) supplements? Fun Fact: Chemist Eugene Roberts first reported in 1950 that the brain contained GABA amino acids. It’s now considered one of the 20 amino acids in the human body and brain neurotransmitter that blocks certain signals. As with considering other amino acids, it’s important to learn the basics about GABA including its uses, benefits, and risks/side-effects. This can help to determine whether or not it’s a good option for you. As always it’s important to maximize the health benefits you get from your food and supplements. There’s also a close link between aminos and neurotransmitters.
People take GABA supplements for different reasons. It’s believed to treat various conditions like high blood pressure, stress, and lack of sleep. It might even help with other conditions like ADHD and PMS. It’s critical to know the facts about using the amino acid for these purposes. It also might cause certain side effects like headaches, upset stomach, and weak muscles. It’s important to consider possible risks and side-effects so you won’t be surprised by any side-effects you might experience when taking dietary supplements. The good news is you can avoid harsh side-effects that result from strong chemicals in prescription drugs.
What Exactly Is GABA?
This is an acronym that stands for “Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid.” It’s an amino acid in the brain that also functions as a neurotransmitter. These are signal-senders that allow the brain and body to communicate with each other.
GABA is one of the 11 non-essential amino acids in the human body. This doesn’t mean the body doesn’t need the substance.
The “essential” part shows that the human body produces the amino acid. This differs from “essential” aminos like the trending branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that people must get from food and supplements.
The way GABA works is also interesting. The function of neurotransmitters is often to boost the connection between the brain and body. However, GABA is different because it blocks the link between the brain and nerve cells in the central nervous system (CNS).
Researchers continue to learn more about GABA works. They think that GABA seems to cause a calming effect on the CNS. This might help with different conditions including:
- Mood disorders
- Severe pain
However, more research is needed. It’s only been about 70 years since GABA aminos were discovered in the brain. Scientists are studying how effective GABA supplements are.
For example, they’re not sure how much gets to the brain when people boost GABA levels from food/supplements. However, some studies show it seems to be a small amount.
Sometimes it’s important to reduce brain activity. For example, it can help people to feel less restless/anxious.
The way GABA works is very complex. The key though is that it works like a “bridge” between nerve cells. Up to 40% of these bridges contain GABA.
It can help in boosting relaxation and blocking excitement. Some drugs, boost GABA function to treat various psychological conditions like anxiety disorders to help patients stay calm.
GABA Amino Acid: Uses and Benefits
If you have insomnia, then the calming effects of the amino acid might help you to get more shut-eye. A recent study showed that taking GAB one hour before bedtime helped people fall asleep faster than those who took a fake pill. They even slept better up to one month after beginning the treatment.
Some small studies show that GABA might help to lower blood pressure. One 2003 study showed that drinking fermented milk with GABA lowered blood pressure in people with slightly high blood pressure better than a fake pill. This took place within a month.
Some studies show that GABA might help to treat anxiety disorders. These conditions are different from just worrying about whether it will rain after you left your umbrella at home. It involves constant anxiety that can affect your physical/mental health and even affect your daily life. Due to its calming effect, GABA has the potential to help these disorders.
Studies show that GABA might have antioxidant properties that can help to fight off “free radical” molecules and help to treat/prevent various health conditions including diabetes. Type-2 diabetes is the more common type and makes up 95% of all diabetes cases.
This condition results due to high blood sugar levels. This can cause issues including insulin resistance. Within time this can lead to prediabetes/diabetes. There are several treatments, but as always, “prevention is better than cure.” A low-sugar diet and GABA might help to fight off the disease from the get-go.
A 2001 study showed that a beverage with more GABA worked better than the other with less of the amino acid. The study’s participants were able to solve problem-solving puzzles better. Another study showed that taking GABA helped reduce stress when doing mental tasks.
GABA Amino Acid: Risks and Side-Effects
There’s one of the possible symptoms of taking this dietary supplement. It’s normal for muscles to feel sore/tired and especially after workouts. However, if a physical activity doesn’t seem to be the cause, then it could be related to other issues like dietary supplements.
You might not necessarily feel depressed but the amino acid might not only relax you but also cause you to have the blues. This is based on various factors but mostly how your body reacts to the supplement. If you notice drops in your mood, then it’s critical to consider if you should stop taking GABA.
Here’s another common side-effect of taking the amino. This is a common symptom but also one that could be triggered by this particular supplement. If you experience it then contact your doctor. He/She can order tests to help determine if the supplement is the cause of the problem.
It’s normal for the skin to be flush in certain situations like after a gym workout or getting embarrassed. However, it also might be caused by the amino acid supplement.
This is one of the common symptoms of taking dietary supplements. Headaches are quite common. However, it’s quite another story if you have it after taking GABA. In that case, you should find out whether it’s the supplement or another cause. Headaches can be caused by a wide range of reasons, including not enough water or sleep.
This is a common condition that happens for various reasons. Sometimes it’s something we ate or being anxious about something. However, it’s also one of the possible side-effects of GABA aminos.
Since it’s such a common health condition you should find out whether or not it’s caused by the supplement or another cause. This can help to give you peace of mind about taking GABA amino acid.