The benefits of GABA

By | May 26, 2012

GABA or Gamma Aminobutyric Acid is one of those nutrients that work well as a HGH releaser, even if taken on its own, although it is frequently combined with other nutrients in a formulation. It is technically, a non essential amino acid that is mainly concentrated in the brain and nervous system. Although the body is capable of manufacturing GABA on its own (from glutamine and vitamin B6), you are better off obtaining it from your diet or supplements, and not leaving it entirely to your body to synthesize it.

In food, GABA is found in abundance in soy beans, eggs, meat, dairy, nuts, and grains. Its main role in the body is as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. What this means is that GABA exerts a calming effect on the entire nervous system by acting as an inhibitor of excitatory neurotransmission pulses. In the brain, GABA is concentrated in the hypothalamus, and helps decrease nervous ticks, seizures, involuntary muscle spasms and many other nervous system problems. This makes it a good, natural relaxant.

In the body, GABA is converted into small amounts of GHB, a well known drug that is now under strict regulation due to its potent sedative effects. In fact, so potent is GHB’s intoxicating effects, it was taken as a recreational drug (and also used as a date rape drug) leading to a few fatal cases, and eventual ban in many countries. And just like GABA, GHB is also a potent inducer of HGH release.

human brainA few clinical studies demonstrate that GABA does promote HGH release, one of which is this. Besides stimulating growth hormone, GABA promotes sleep and relaxation too. It is sensible to purport that GABA has an important role in the neuro-endocrine system because ultimately, HGH release is controlled by the hypothalamus – with GABA likely playing an important part in this process.

Are there any side effects from taking GABA supplements?

As far is known, there are no serious side effects; the main one being induced drowsiness when taken at very high dosages, which can certainly affect whatever activity you are currently doing. Therefore, GABA supplements should only be taken at night before sleep. People with liver or kidney problems should also seek their doctor’s advice before taking it.

All that said, it is not known if taking GABA supplements pills is really effective at all, due to it being unable to cross the blood-brain barrier according to the evidence from research thus far. At the same time, there is really no indication of any untoward side effects from taking it, and there are some positive feedback reports from people who have actually gone down the route of taking GABA supplements themselves.

No safe dosage level has been established for GABA. The most common dosages cited by people range from 200 mg to 2 grams daily. It is not known if long term high dosage intake of GABA can cause any major negative side effects, so if you are taking it (or plan on taking it), it is best to err on the side of caution and start off small, and periodically go for breaks so as not to develop body tolerance to it.