Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Saturday, February 21, 2009

GABA for gentle attitude adjustment and more

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a natural calming agent. It is one of the brain’s most important regulators of proper function and neurotransmission. It appears that many people with anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, and other brain disorders do not manufacture sufficient levels of GABA. While many drugs work by increasing the effects of GABA in the brain, they may have side effects, addictive properties, or may not be suitable for long-term use, whereas natural GABA is both safe and effective–without any known side effects.

Calm and Focused

Studies with synthetic GABA have shown that it does not cross the blood-brain barrier very well, leading to the assumption that GABA found in the brain was manufactured there and that supplemental GABA would not increase levels of GABA in the brain. That appears to be the case with synthetic GABA, but not with GABA naturally manufactured from Lactobacillus hilgardii.

Research has shown that GABA increases the production of alpha brain waves (a state often achieved by meditation, characterized by being relaxed with greater mental focus and mental alertness) and reduces beta waves (associated with nervousness, scattered thoughts, and hyperactivity).

In Japan GABA is a popular ingredient in functional foods, beverages, and dietary supplements designed to produce mental and physical relaxation without drowsiness. The most popular applications of GABA are found in chocolate and coffee beverages. It is particularly helpful in counteracting the effects of caffeine.

GABA is fast acting. Generally, the effects are felt within 15 minutes and can last from four to six hours.

Read about Margot Kidder's return to wellness with GABA
and here.

We ask, why take lithium and benzodiazepines if what the brain needs is GABA?