The Gift of GABA

GABA is an acronym for gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter. Unlike other neurotransmitters, GABA isn’t known for what it does. It’s known for what it inhibits, namely neuron activity in the brain and the central nervous system, a prerequisite to deep relaxation and sleep. GABA capsules are most common, but GABA is also available in chewable tablet form, softgels, powder and liquid.

The Case for GABA Supplementation

GABA is naturally occurring in plants and animals. The brain produces GABA regularly, but only under optimal conditions. Stress, lack of exercise, poor diet, dietary stimulants (coffee) and certain prescription drugs diminish GABA production in the brain and block uptake via GABA receptors.

GABA is available in foods, in fermented edibles like miso, kimchi, tempeh and yogurt as well as black, oolong and green tea. GABA capsules let you introduce GABA to your diet as needed, on your time, whenever it’s convenient. Supplementation also offers the benefit of obtaining GABA without having to consume fermented foods or drink black, oolong and green tea in abundance.

What Exactly is GABA?

GABA is the most widely distributed neurotransmitter in the brain. It specifically inhibits the effects of dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Failure to inhibit these neurotransmitters may result in insomnia, anxiety, depression and even seizures.

The brain produces GABA by catalyzing glutamic acid, an amino acid that serves as a basic building block of many of the body’s proteins. Vitamin B6 is essential to GABA formation and regulation in the brain, so supplementing with B6 may be helpful if you’re considering a GABA product.

GABA supplementation works by binding to more of the four types of GABA receptors in the brain, essentially activating more of the brain’s “off” switches. GABA and the relationship to its receptors is so powerful, experts recommend that you abstain from GABA capsules before work, driving or other activities.

Lifestyle Markets, Vancouver’s own 10,000-square-foot health food store, stocks several premium GABA products you can learn more about at our online home: LifestyleMarkets.com.

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