Gamma -Aminobutyric Acid : The powerful amino acid that function as the most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

Vegetables and fruitsGABA, or Gamma-Aminobutryic Acid, is a powerful amino acid that was first discovered in 1883 in Berlin. It is actually classified as a nearuotransmitter, which means it helps nerve impulses cross the synapses (gaps) and communicate better. GABA has a great number of positive effects on the nervous system. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It is essential for brain metabolism, aiding in proper brain function. GABA is formed in the body from another amino acid, glutamic acid.

Its function is to decrease neuron activity and inhibit nerve cells from over firing. Together with niacinamide and inositol, it prevents anxiety and stress related messages from reaching the motor centers of the brain by occupying their receptor sites.  GABA works by lowering brain activity and helps you feel calm. People who lost their job can be a great factor to be stressed, or people who are overly anxious or easily overwhelmed may suffer from the reduced production of GABA in the brain. If the production of GABA is sufficient or healthy, this can aid you in sleep, blood pressure, and relieve pain. To test your GABA levels, a simple urine or saliva test can determine the levels. This test will also determine whether an increased GABA production is needed.

page 214 Nervous System
page 214 Nervous System (Photo credit: perpetualplum)

Uses and Benefits of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

  • GABA can be taken to calm the body in much the same way as diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), and other tranquilizers, but without the fear of addiction.
  • GABA has been used in the treatment of epilepsy and hypertension. It is good for depressed sex drive because of its ability as a relaxant.
  •  It is also useful for enlarged prostate, probably because it plays a role in the mechanism regulating the release of sex hormones.
  • GABA is effective in treating attention deficit disorder and may reduce cravings for alcohol. It is also thought to promote growth hormone secretion.
  •  GABA may also be effective in treating PMS in women.
  • GABA is an excellent substitute for growth hormone and several clinical studies have found that ingestion of GABA, especially after exercise, stimulates the pituitary to secrete growth hormone.
  •  As GABA stimulates the secretion of growth hormone from the pituitary, it can help to increase lean body mass.
  • GABA is found in large amounts in the hypothalamus, this implies that the amino acid has a fundamental role in hypothalamic-pituitary function, and thus neuroendocrine metabolism. The hypothalamus is a region of the brain, which regulates the autonomous functions, such as sleep, body temperature and the activity of the pituitary gland

Deficiency Symptoms of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

Deficiency symptoms of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) may cause panic attacks, since an intake of tranquilizers can increase the level of GABA in the body. A deficiency of GABA has also been linked to depression.

Main pathway in growth regulation by the endoc...
Main pathway in growth regulation by the endocrine system, mediated by growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). (See Wikipedia:Growth hormone#Functions of GH). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rich Food Sources of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

  • Food sources of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) are fish (especially mackerel),  wheat bran,eans, brewer’s yeast, dairy products, eggs, fish, legumes, meat, nuts, seafood, seeds, soy and whey.
  •  Foods that are high in glutamine acid can assist in GABA production. Some very helpful foods are beef liver, citrus, broccoli, halibut and lentils. As much as possible, include this in your daily diet with at least one to two servings every time you eat.
  •  Foods rich in L-theanine such as oats, spinach, whole grains can also assist in the production of GABA
  • Food sources such as beef, beans, chicken, fish that contain high levels of glutamine are also good ways to increase GABA. Foods like bell peppers, tuna, garlic, mustard greens and turkey are all high in vitamin B6 that can help improve your GABA levels.
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