What is GABA?
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a naturally
occurring amino acid in the brain and is a major inhibitory
neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Being an
inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA blocks nerve impulses, slowing down
the activity of nerve cells and preventing them from over-firing.
Frequent over-firing of brain cells can lead to cell death, meaning
that stress can actually kill brain cells. Keeping GABA levels optimal
can help prevent this. Thus, GABA serves as a critical calming agent
for the body, helping to combat stress and anxiety.
brain synthesizes GABA from glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter.
These two neurotransmitters work together in a beautifully
orchestrated system of checks and balances. Neurotransmitters are the
brain’s basic components of communication, and when there is a
breakdown in this communication system, brain function becomes
affected. In stressful situations, GABA levels in the body can
decrease, and this delicate system becomes out of balance. In a
study on humans, prefrontal brain GABA levels decreased by 18% after
acute psychological stress, specifically threat of shock (Hasler, G, et
al, Am J Psychiatry, 2010). Thus, supplementation with PharmaGABA™, a
natural, bioidentical GABA, may be of benefit in helping to cope with
stressful situations, whether they arise from daily or extreme
GABA may be helpful for:
- Cravings and Addictions (such as drugs, alcohol)
- Cigarette smokers who are trying to quit - may help decrease addiction-associated anxiety
- Immune Function - helping to combat stress’s impact on immunosupression
- Focus, Mental Clarity, Concentration - beneficial in academics, for improving learning capacity
- Sports Performance - an increase in the ability to relax and focus
may lead to a greater level of concentration on performance and may
help reduce pre-competition nervousness
- Sleep - may help reduce stress-induced insomnia