Gamma-aminobutyric acid, more commonly referred to as GABA, is a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are chemicals the brain’s cells use to communicate amongst one another. It is one of the primary inhibitory substances in the brain, which means its job is to send signals throughout the nerve synapses to balance and calm overactive or overstimulated nerves. In other words, GABA is critical to keep stress levels and anxiety low. If for one reason or another you have a GABA deficiency, it is possible you could be experiencing an abnormal amount of anxiety, stress, insomnia, and general uneasiness. When there is a deficiency, the nerves will be overstimulated by excessive signals, which causes those negative feelings. This deficiency is often linked to disorders including depression, migraines, and anxiety.
If you have a GABA deficiency, you can do a few things to combat it. The traditional prescription medications for anxiety, such as Xanax or Valium help GABA connect and bind to specific receptors in the brain. If you are not a fan of heavy medications, you can also take a supplement to help support GABA function. Here is a review of different GABA supplements that target stress and anxiety, and which ones are most effective.
You can find synthetic GABA that works to increase your GABA levels directly. There are a plethora of options on the market, so do your research to find the one that seems the best fit for you.
Though it sounds incredibly synthetic, picamilon is actually one of the more bioavailable GABA supplements. One of the issues with cognitive drugs is many substances cannot get through the barrier of the brain, which renders them much less effective. However, this supplement combines GABA with another nutrient called niacin. This combination allows the substance to pass the blood/brain barrier. In other countries, picamilon is a prescription drug used to treat migraines and depression, but it is available in the United States as a supplement.
Magnesium has a good reputation for being a natural stress and anxiety reliever. One way it does this is through stimulating and binding to your GABA receptors.
L-theanine is an amino acid naturally found in green and black tea. It is known for helping increase GABA, dopamine, and serotonin.
This ancient herbal supplement has been around for centuries as a way to relax people. It is known for increasing GABA levels and can be very useful for anxiety.
Psychobiotics are probiotic supplements that specifically help cognitive function by producing GABA. Lactobacillus is one of the bacteria that can do this.
There are more supplements on the market that support GABA function, but these listed above have shown some of the best results. Taking these supplements is an excellent way to combat the issue without taking prescription medication. If you want an even more natural way of supporting your GABA function, you can add foods high in GABA into your diet, such as apples, onions, oatmeal, carrots, yams, brown rice, barley, kale, and sprouted grains. There is a variety of ways to increase your levels of GABA and improve GABA function in your brain naturally.