- Stock #1823-6 (60 capsules)
1-4(gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a non-essential amino acid, formed from glutamic acid, that maintains healthy brain function and helps balance brain chemistry. Called “the anxiety amino acid,” GABA acts as a major inhibitory neurotransmitter to induce relaxation and produce a sense of tranquility and calmness. Neurotransmitters are responsible for the transmission of electrical signals among neurons (individual nerve cells in the brain). Forty to fifty percent of all brain synapses contain GABA, making it the most widely distributed neurotransmitter. GABA also regulates nerve cell activity throughout the central nervous system.
GABA has been shown to play a crucial role in the regulation of anxiety, through neuronal and behavioral inhibition. Researchers believe that GABA influences brain function by inhibiting or slowing the activity of neurons associated with acute agitation and manic behavior. For example, continual nerve transmission of anxiety-related messages to the cortex, the decision-making center of the brain, leads to feelings of anxiety, panic, pain, or even cravings. Likewise, stimulation of the locus ceruleus, the area of the brain believed to be directly linked to panic attacks, results in fear responses such as increased blood pressure, rapid breathing and excessive perspiration. GABA’s primary function is to inhibit these nerve transmissions and prevent neurons from overstimulating and exhausting the brain and nervous system.1-3
A deficiency of GABA and its inhibitory effect on the brain can generate states of anxiety in an individual, causing the person to feel that their mind is “racing” or “out of control.” Since GABA receptor sites are located throughout the brain and body, a GABA deficiency can also lead to bodily symptoms of nervous stomach, restlessness and increased muscle tension and pain. In addition, lower GABA levels are often diagnosed in patients suffering from depression related to anxiety. Unfortunately, prolonged anxiety decreases GABA’s ability to block incoming messages. Left unchecked, the constant bombardment of message signals overwhelms the cortex and results in irrational fear and behavior. Interestingly, researchers suspect a connection between disorders in the processing of GABA and certain neurological conditions, including Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders, and even schizophrenia.2,4,5
The use of prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Prozac, Halcion, Valium, etc.) for anxiety has reached staggering proportions—in 1997, more than 80 million prescriptions were filled in the United States alone. Fortunately, GABA can be taken in much the same way as these and other tranquilizers, without the fear of addiction and side effects. GABA has been used to effectively manage anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD), epilepsy, hyperactivity, hypertension, and even menopausal-related anxiety and panic. GABA is also used in the treatment of addictions, Parkinson’s symptoms, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.2,5,6
1,3,6produces the neurotransmitter GABA and is the dominant amino acid in both blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Glutamine is also the only amino acid capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once inside the brain, glutamine is readily converted into glutamic acid where it functions, along with glucose, as fuel for the brain, enhancing mood, mental alertness and clarity of thinking. Glutamic acid also acts as a detoxifier of ammonia buildup (a by-product of brain metabolism) in the brain. Consequently, a shortage of dietary glutamine—or glutamic acid in the brain—can lead to tremors, hallucinations, brain damage and ultimately death from excess ammonia. Even small increases in ammonia levels in the brain can result in confusion, fatigue, inability to concentrate and mood swings. Glutamine supplementation has been shown to be helpful for behavioral problems and autism in children. Glutamine is also useful for IQ improvement in mentally-deficient children and in the treatment of alcoholism, depression, epilepsy, sugar cravings, schizophrenia and senility.
2,7,8is commonly used for its sedative properties to promote relaxation. Passion flower is also approved by the German Commission E for the treatment of nervousness. Chrysin, one of the herb’s active constituents, has been shown to provide GABA/benzodiazepine receptor activity. Passion flower is also a rich source of magnesium. Passion flower is not recommended for children under two or for pregnant or nursing women.
6, which enables the body to metabolize GABA properly. Spirulina has been used to help sharpen and restore normal brain function and regulate mood.7,9is a highly nutritious blue-green algae that provides essential elements for healthy brain function: glutamic acid, which functions as fuel for the brain; magnesium, which enhances the effects of GABA, an important neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation; and vitamin B
1,2,6functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, in conjunction with GABA, to calm the overstimulation of nerve transmissions in the brain and central nervous system. Research indicates that developing brains have a concentration of taurine that is up to four times that found in adult brains. It is thought that since taurine suppresses nerve activity in the developing brain, a taurine deficiency during this stage of development may predispose an individual to epilepsy. This school of thought has been supported by human trials that confirm taurine’s anticonvulsive effect. A taurine deficiency is also associated with anxiety, hyperactivity and poor brain function.
Each capsule of GABA Plus provides 100mg of GABA.
1Chaitow, L. Thorsons Guide To Amino Acids. London, England: Thorsons, 1991.
2Sahley PhD, B.J. GABA: The Anxiety Amino Acid. San Antonio, TX: Pain & Stress Publications, 1998.
3Potter, B. & Orfali, S. Brain Boosters. Berkeley, CA: Ronin Publishing, 1993.
4Sahelian MD, R. 5-HTP: Nature’s Serotonin Solution. Garden City Park, NY: Avery, 1998.
5Kilham, C. “Kava For Anxiety and Insomnia.” Nutrition Science News; May, 1997.
6Balch, J. & Balch, P. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Garden City Park, NY: Avery, 1990.
7Fetrow PharmD, C. & Avila Pharm D, J. Professional’s Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
8Miller, L. & Murray, W. Herbal Medicinals. Binghampton, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1998. 9Challem, J. Spirulina. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1981.