The body is a well oiled machine capable of keeping everything about us on track. However, sometimes we need to give the body a little help.
GABA is naturally occurring within the brain, but when we take more of it into our bodies, we can experience some significant benefits to our mental and physical health.
What Is GABA?
As previously mentioned, GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a chemical naturally produced within the brain. It's a non-essential amino acid, to be exact. Amino acids are considered non-essential when they doesn't need to be taken into the body through food.
GABA for Mental Health
GABA impacts our mental help by serving as interference for certain neurotransmitters within the brain, blocking specific signals that can trigger different emotions or feelings. What it's best at blocking are feelings of anxiety, nervousness and stress, which can impact productivity, concentration and impact physical health in more ways than one. Suffering from chronic anxiety or stress causes the blood pressure to rise, taxing the heart and triggers the release of cortisol, the "stress hormone" that can cause weight gain, among other unpleasant symptoms. Lastly, by reducing these feelings, GABA can help you sleep better through the night, which is also key to sustained health.
A 2006 study published in the medical journal Biofactors found GABA to be a potentially promising treatment for reducing stress and emphasized its ability to promote a healthy immune response in relation to stressors. Unmanaged stress or anxiety can also weaken the immune system, which brings us to our next point about GABA.
GABA for the Immune System
The immune system is the body's first line of defense against pathogens and other toxins (germs, bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.) that can cause infection and illness. Without the immune system, the body isn't able to combat illnesses as familiar as the common cold.
First of all, going back to the previous point, GABA helps you reduce stress and anxiety, which are shown to weaken the immune system. That lack of sleep that's common when under stress also impairs the immune system. Secondly, GABA has also shown the ability to inhibit inflammation associated with autoimmune disorders, as demonstrated in an animal study conducted in 2010 and published in the medical journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Further research will be needed to verify GABA's ability to prevent inflammation in relation to autoimmune disorders, but it's an exciting development.
Using GABA Supplements
We carry a variety of GABA supplements, including pills and powders at varying doses. Start with a low dose and work your way up after assessing your tolerance -- a commonly recommended dose is 200 mg four times a day on an empty stomach for up to 12 weeks. However, there is no established recommended dietary allowance (RDA) by any medical association.
Speak with your doctor before adding GABA to your daily routine if you're being treated for a medical condition like chronic stress or anxiety. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn't take GABA supplements until more research has been done in regard to its safety.
Shop for GABA and more at eVitamins' Canada and have a wonderful weekend!