Health benefits of GABA
- A sense of well being.
- Calms the symptoms of ADHD (attention hyperactivity disorder).
- Increased memory function.
- Improves fat burn.
- Improved mood.
- Improves sleep.
- Pain relief from muscle fatigue.
- Promotes muscle recovery.
- Promotes lean muscle.
- Promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
- Reduces PMS symptoms (premenstrual symptoms).
- Relief from anxiety.
- Stabilizes blood pressure readings.
Continued research and clinical studies pending to fully confirm the effects of GABA in the human body.
What are the symptoms of GABA deficiency?
A poor diet can lead to a GABA deficiency. Symptoms can include:
- depression and/or mood disorders
- rapid heartbeat
Possible Factors for Causing GABA Deficiency
- alcohol withdrawal
- lack of B complex vitamins
- lack of glutamine (required for making GABA)
- excessive caffeine
- lack of sleep
GABA supplements have been known to cause drowsiness. Be cautious when starting a GABA regimen and consult with your physician. Avoid handling machinery and vehicles until establishing your respective reactions to GABA.
Additional side effects when consuming large doses: queasiness and upset stomach. May cause a lowering of blood pressure.
Natural Food Sources that Help the Body Create GABA
- Brown Rice
- Whole Grains: oats and wheat
What is GABA? Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
GABA = gamma aminobutyric acid
- A non essential amino acid
- A neurotransmitter (frequently identified as the calming neurotransmitter)
- Affects the central nervous system
- Inhibits excitability by regulating neurons in the brain.
What is an amino acid? Amino acids form to create proteins. Amino acids help the body grow, repair body tissue and break down food. Amino acids together with protein are commonly identified as the building blocks of life.
There are three types of amino acids:
- Non Essential
GABA is a non essential amino acid. This means the body can produce it. The amino acid used to create GABA is glutamic acid.
What is a neurotransmitter? This is a chemical released from a nerve cell used to transmit impulses between nerves, muscles and organs. Consider the neurotransmitter as the messenger.
What is a neuron? A neuron is a brain cell.
Therefore, GABA is a neurotransmitter, which calms the neurons in the brain and reduces excitability. This is especially helpful to those who suffer anxiety, ADHD and is also helpful to some epileptic patients. GABA also regulates muscle tone.
What is a Neurotransmitter?
How does GABA work?
GABA stabilizes the firing of neurons. Without GABA the nervous system could be impaired and negatively affect mental stability and movement.
How does the body get GABA?
GABA is produced in the brain and can also be consumed pharmaceutically. The synthesis of GABA can be created with the aid of natural food sources. Glutamic acid is the precursor to GABA.
GABA Synapse Diagram
GABA, L-Theanine and Anxiety
Anxiety attacks take a toll on our mental and physical health. Being overwhelmed and stressed affects every part of our body. Learn how you can stop anxiety naturally.
GABA for ADHD: Hyperactivity Disorder
Recommended childhood doses of GABA should be monitored by a pediatrician. Accurate and effective doses are still being investigated. In one particular study, students in Japan were given 100 mg of GABA prior to a math test with promising results.
Disclaimer: Information in this hub is research based. The author is not a physician and does not diagnose or treat health issues. The information provided in this hub should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. Please consult a physician for medical and dietary advice and treatment. GABA deficiency should not be assumed or treated without the supervision of a medical professional.
© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares
Adam on November 28, 2019:
I’ve been using GABA for about three days and I feel really good. I’m very calm and relaxed throughout the day and I feel great especially when I work out. Great article
Val Karas from Canada on February 29, 2016:
A great hub indeed. Too bad that GABA is not very absorbable by body from supplements. But I am happy to mention that through my mental practices I can produce at will all these "happy neurotransmitters" (or neuropeptides), whether they are GABA, serotonin, dopamine, or endorphins - in form of blissful feelings all over my body. It's amazing what mind can do.
retief2000 on August 04, 2014:
I put your Hub in my Food bookmarks. This is an awesome Hub.
Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on August 03, 2014:
Hi Missolive Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of GABA. I sometimes suffer from panic attacks related to my heart condition. I already eat many of the foods that appear on the list but need to increase them and add some other recommended food. Your research is outstanding, and maybe you already possess the information of good foods for the body. I need to read the hub again to make sure I remember the important elements. Sharing. Blessinigs, Audrey
Amanda from Michigan, United States on May 12, 2014:
As a long-time anxiety sufferer who also experiences low-energy and depression, I found this article very inspirational! I'll try mixing some of the food suggestions into my daily diet and see if it makes a difference.
Lisa René LeClair from the ATL on May 10, 2014:
I suffer from panic attacks. Haven't had one in a long time, but I keep GABA in my car (just in case). Great information!
Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on December 09, 2013:
vespawoolf, I hope you are doing well and are feeling happy and healthy. My apologies for having missed your comment.
justateacher, wondering how things went for you, I hope you have found a steady balance in your diet, health and mood. Best wishes to you.
Aplethora, you are quite welcome. My sincerest apologies for not having seen this comment until today, something clearly happened to my notifications several months ago. I sincerely hope you are doing well.
Angie Power from North Cali on June 07, 2013:
Thank you for the info on GABA. It sounds perfect for another possibility to help my mother improve. She has Leukemia and is on Chemo Therapy, and I wonder if GABA is ok for her to take along with Chemo? I do not want to do more harm than good, but anything that can ease up some of her anxiety and depression from her current situation is what I am searching for. This supplement sounds perfect in many ways. Voted Up.
LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on February 06, 2013:
This sounds like something I need to try for a variety of reasons....maybe I could discontinue some of my medications if I tried this...
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 21, 2013:
I just bought some GABA for anxiety and after reading this, I think I made a good choice. I do tend to suffer from Vitamin B deficiencies, too. Thanks for this helpful information!
Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on December 01, 2012:
AudraLeigh, thank you for your enthusiasm and wonderful comment. It feels great to know this information and research has been useful to you. I also appreciate the votes and shares, wishing you the very best life has to offer. Cheers! MO
AudraLeigh on November 30, 2012:
I think I have found a hub that will totally benefit me! I have "mental issue" and have never crossed paths with this info. I am intrigued! You did good here! Voted up and shared!
Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on November 29, 2012:
teaches1234, thank you! Isn't great we can get GABA through easily accessible foods? I appreciate your wonderfully supportive comment.
Gypsy Lee Rose, you are quite welcome and thank you! I'm glad you have found the video and information to be useful. Thanks for sharing.
RTalloni, I've always wanted my own elliptical machine, you inspire me! The food list is rich in other nutrients too, they'd be a wonderful addition to any lifestyle. Thank you for reading and commenting.
cclitgirl, my favorite combo is almonds in cream cheese - yum! Always glad to share my findings with you.
kelleyward, great testimony! I greatly appreciate the votes and shares too.
AudreyHowitt, thank you, I'm glad to hear you enjoy these foods. You? A stress ball? With all that wonderful poetry you write? I'd never know it.
StephanieBCrosby, you are quite welcome.
BlissfulWriter, I'm not too sure about the effective absorption of the supplements. Sorry I can't really answer your question, I'll need to do a bit more research on that. I'm more for gaining GABA through the foods we eat.
Jus Ask Susan, thank you Susan, glad it was useful. It is always a pleasure to spot you on one of my hubs.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on November 10, 2012:
This is good to know. I'd never heard of GABA before either but found your hub very useful.
BlissfulWriter on November 09, 2012:
Do you know whether GABA supplements are well absorbed or not? I know that Gluthatione supplements are not well absorbed. But I don't know about GABA.
Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on November 09, 2012:
Thanks for all the useful information.
Audrey Howitt from California on November 09, 2012:
What an interesting article! I looked at the list of GABA producing foods and realized that I eat so many of those foods on a regular basis-- but I still think I am a stress ball
kelleyward on November 09, 2012:
I've taken this before for anxiety. Love the detail you provided here. Thanks for writing this! Voted up and shared! Kelley
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on November 09, 2012:
I didn't know about GABA. Thank you for the educational lesson. This is great information to know. :)
RTalloni on November 06, 2012:
So full of helpful info. Thanks much for this look at Gaba Supplement. We've recently begun using a new elliptical machine and I'll be showing this to my husband as well as taking a closer look at this supplement for our use. We consume the foods on this list, but as we increase exercise the supplement may be helpful for a while.
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on November 05, 2012:
Thanks for this interesting and informative hub. Great details and video. Glad to know food sources have it. I will tell you that I couldn't even pronounce this leave alone know what it was. A really useful share and passing it on.
Dianna Mendez on November 03, 2012:
Voted up for the educational value and health issues covered. Gaba is so important overall and glad that we can get it from natural food sources. Well done and very interesting to read.