Everything you say, think, feel, and do originates in your brain. Messages that originate there are then transmitted throughout your body via your nervous system. When your brain isn't functioning correctly, you can experience various physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. People are increasingly turning to gamma-aminobutyric acid to help support cognitive function and ease multiple concerns. Read on to learn more about GABA supplement products and how they may improve mood, nervous system activity, etc.
What Is a Neurotransmitter?
Before fully understanding what gamma-aminobutyric acid is, you need to know basic information about the brain and nervous system. Your brain acts as a command center, sending signals to the rest of the body via cells called neurons in the nervous system. Neurons can communicate with the help of chemicals called neurotransmitters by relaying messages from one cell to the next. Serotonin and dopamine are two neurotransmitters that you may have heard of before.
What Is Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. While many other neurotransmitters send along messages that cause cells to begin doing something, inhibitory neurotransmitters signal that cells should stop acting or not act in the first place. The primary job of the gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter is to reduce activity in the nervous system.
What Is GABA?
GABA is just an abbreviation for gamma-aminobutyric acid. You may also sometimes see it referred to as a GABA neurotransmitter.
What Problems Come From Low GABA Levels?
If not enough GABA is available to regulate the nervous system properly, calming messages cannot be sent, and neurons can continue firing even when they are no longer meant to. This excessive activity has been linked to various mental and physical health conditions. To treat these conditions, doctors usually prescribe medications that increase GABA. Some drugs that boost GABA levels include:
- Benzodiazepines taken for anxiety and mood disorders
- Barbiturates that are used as sedatives
- Vigabatrin used to treat seizures
- Baclofen taken as a muscle relaxant
- Valproic acid is taken for mood disorders and epilepsy
- Gabapentin, prescribed for nerve pain
Benefits of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Research shows that gamma-aminobutyric acid may benefit the mind and body in several ways.
Improving Nervous System Function
GABA may support healthy nervous system functioning by acting as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It may prevent neuron over-activity and ensure that pathways are clear for the correct messages to be sent. It may be beneficial for muscle cramping, neuropathy, seizures, and insomnia.
Supporting a Balanced Mood
Scientific studies have found a link between some mood disorders and brain chemical imbalances. When levels of neurotransmitters become out of balance, people may experience feelings of irritability and depression. This is why antidepressant medications so often work by increasing levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin. GABA may assist in mood control by calming the mind and stopping intense emotional signals.
Reducing Symptoms of Anxiety
Because of its calming effect on the nervous system, GABA may have the potential to ease anxiety symptoms. By helping to reduce nerve activity, GABA may help control rapid heartbeat and elevated blood pressure levels associated with the condition. It may also improve sleep and cut down on persistent feelings of worry.
Benefits of GABA Supplement Products
A GABA supplement is a product that usually contains a synthetic form of GABA. Its purpose is to increase levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. A supplement is not the same as a medication. GABA taken in a capsule or tablet is not intended to take the place of a treatment prescribed by a doctor, and there is no proof that a GABA supplement can treat any condition or disease.
Instead, people take GABA supplements to support better brain and nervous system function. Some supplements combine GABA with other ingredients for enhanced benefits. For example, XEED Balance Daily Chill is a GABA and l-theanine supplement. It combines GABA with an amino acid called l-theanine, which has also been shown to offer calming benefits. Taking Daily Chill may help ease stress, support a more balanced mood and enhance mental endurance.
What Is a Good GABA Supplement Dose for Anxiety and Mood?
Most research into the benefits of GABA for anxiety and mood disorders features a therapeutic dose of 100 milligrams to 200 milligrams. You likely shouldn't exceed this dosage because there is not enough evidence to know if it is safe. Talking to your doctor is the best place to start when considering any supplement. They can help you decide if a GABA supplement is right for you and recommend the best dosage for your needs. Following the dosage guidelines and directions for use printed on the label of a GABA supplement can also help to ensure the best results.