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GABA: Understanding its Role in Promoting Relaxation and Reducing Anxiety

Gamma-aminobutyric acid, commonly known as GABA, is a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in the central nervous system. It’s a chemical messenger that helps to regulate neuronal activity in the brain and spinal cord.

GABA is involved in a wide range of functions, such as reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation, and regulating sleep patterns. It’s also essential for proper muscle control and has been implicated in the development of certain neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

Let’s dive into the world of GABA.

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How do we get GABA?

The most significant source of GABA is produced naturally by the brain, and we can get a tiny amount through our diet. Small amounts of GABA can be found in fermented products such as kimchi, miso, and tempeh, and it’s also present in certain types of tea, such as green tea and oolong tea. The amount of GABA found in these foods is pretty low, so it’s actually pretty unclear how much of the GABA found in these items is actually absorbed into the body.

As with everything to do with the body, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management, can all help to promote healthy levels of GABA. For those of us who run busy lives, then supplementation is the key to making sure you have your bases covered.

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How does it work in the body?

GABA works as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, meaning that it has a calming effect on the brain and helps to reduce neuronal activity.

When GABA is released by neurons in the brain, it binds to specific receptors on other neurons, causing the opening of chloride channels and the influx of negatively charged chloride ions. This influx of negative charge causes the cell to become more negative and less likely to fire an action potential, which ultimately leads to the suppression of neuronal activity and the promotion of relaxation.

GABA has also been implicated in other physiological processes, such as the regulation of blood pressure and insulin secretion. It is also believed to play a role in the development of certain neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and anxiety disorders.

All the research is just scraping the surface of GABA and just how important it is in our bodies. This is one of the supplements that you are going to be hearing a lot about in the next few years as the research expands into just how powerful it is.

As always, we have you covered for your daily GABA needs! Check out our Alpha, Beyond Limits Focus, Slumber & Restore and our Pain and Inflammation.

References:

Möhler, H. (2012). The GABA system in anxiety and depression and its therapeutic potential.

Sieghart, W. (2015). Allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors via multiple drug-binding sites. Advances in Pharmacology

Effect of GABA on blood pressure and blood dynamics of anesthetic rats

GABAA Receptors in Normal Development and Seizures: Friends or Foes?

Dietary Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Induces Satiation by Enhancing the Postprandial Activation of Vagal Afferent Nerves

Alpha, GABA, Pain and Inflammation, relaxation, Sleep, Slumber & Restore

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