GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid) is an amino acid that acts as a major calming neurotransmitter in the brain. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it inhibits over-activity of nerve cells in the brain. Many people with anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, and other brain disorders do not manufacture sufficient levels of GABA.
GABA plays a critical role in normalizing the nervous system. In fact, it is estimated that 40% of the synapses in the human brain utilize GABA. Proper levels of this amino acid in the brain contribute to motor control and vision and calm the mind, reducing anxiety, fear, hyperactivity and stress-related sleep disorders. This also increases mental clarity.
Valium, Xanax and other benzodiazepene drugs have a calming effect, but are addicting, while GABA is not. Caffeine inhibits GABA, a reason why some coffee drinkers get the “jitters”. Taking GABA will counteract the effects of caffeine.
Research has shown that GABA increases the production of alpha brain waves (a state often achieved by meditation, characterized by being relaxed with greater mental focus and mental alertness) and reduces beta waves (associated with nervousness, scattered thoughts and hyperactivity). GABA also helps to increase output of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which reduces fat storage, helps to build muscle mass and tends to provide increased energy and vigor.
The GABA Plus formula is used to help control seizures, reduce anxiety and hyperactivity, promote greater mental clarity and calmness. It contains other ingredients that work with GABA to promote calm and clear brain function. Here are the other ingredients and what they do.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is converted in the brain into glutamic acid and then further into GABA. Glutamic acid also has a calming effect on the central nervous system by reducing the number of neurons firing. This can be helpful for those who are over-stimulated or find it difficult to focus. Glutamic acid is also used as fuel by the brain and production is enhanced by glutamine. L-glutamine helps to regulate glucose metabolism in the brain.
Taurine is an amino acid that is also essential for proper brain function. Anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity, poor brain function and seizures can be related to taurine deficiency. Recent studies have also shown that taurine can influence (and possibly reverse) defects in nerve blood flow, motor nerve conduction velocity and nerve sensory thresholds. Taurine has proven helpful as a supplement for children with Down’s syndrome and muscular dystrophy. It has also helped people with epilepsy in controlling seizures.
Besides acting on the brain and nerves, taurine is vitally important to heart function. High concentrations are found in the heart muscle, white blood cells and skeletal muscle. Taurine also regulates adipose tissue, calcium homeostasis and reduces blood pressure in adults. Premature infants tend to be deficient in taurine as they lack the enzymes necessary to synthesize taurine. It is now added to most infant formulas to support the central nervous system. Taurine can also be significantly lower in vegans.
Spirulina is a micro-algae recognized around the world as an excellent food source, rich in many nutrients. It contains 65 to 70 percent complete protein (including all eight essential amino acids), high amounts of vitamin A, carotenoids, including 17 different beta carotenoids, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12, folic acid, biotin, inositol, chelated minerals, including phosphorus, calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, over 200 enzymes and other trace nutrients.
Spirulina has various amino acids which are necessary for the production of neurotransmitters and its high protein content helps stabilize blood sugar. Spirulina will help increase mineral uptake, reduce cholesterol and protect the immune system while improving alertness and increasing energy.
Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) has historically been used as a nervous system calmative and “trophorestorative,” that is, a substance that restores the nervous system by nourishing it. It contains alkaloids that have a calming effect on nerves and is rich in flavonoids. The flavonoids are the primary constituents responsible for its relaxing and anti-anxiety effects as well as its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory activities. It is used for nervous restlessness and gastrointestinal spasms. While its short-term effect is sedative, it also works long-term to rebuild and replenish.
To calm brain activity, take 1-2 GABA Plus capsules with a meal two times daily. Do not exceed directed amount. Consult your health care practitioner before using if you are pregnant, nursing or suffer from any medical condition, or are taking any prescription drug. GABA is fast acting. Generally, the effects are felt within 15 minutes and can last from four to six hours.
The Comprehensive Guide To Nature’s Sunshine Products by Tree of Light.
GABA by Michael T. Murray, Bastyr University.
A Modern Herbal by M. Grieve.
The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey, Michael McIntyre, Pamela Michael, Gail Duff and John Stevens The Wild Rose Scientific Herbal by Terry Willard.