Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Powder (By zymotechnics)
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Name:Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
STORAGE:Store in a cool and dry place. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Powder Base Information
|Name||Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Powder|
|Chemical name||4-Aminobutyric acid|
|Synonyms||GABA; df468; gamma; (2D2); (3B7); Gammar; Immu-G; Reanal; DF 468; Gamarex|
|Melting Point||195 °C (dec.)(lit.)|
|Appearance||White or light Yellow|
|Solubility||H2O: 1 M at 20 °C, clear, colorless|
|Storage Condition||Store at RT.|
|Application||An important inhibitory neurotransmitter.|
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Supplements and Why We Need Them
Stress levels and anxiety levels are constantly increasing amongst the world population, mostly due to the rise in unhealthy lifestyle choices as a result of living a fast-paced life. This anxiety and stress can lead to medical issues that can produce long-term health complications.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA supplements are potent sources of GABA, an amino acid found naturally in the body. These supplements are believed to reduce the levels of anxiety and stress, while also promoting a feeling of calmness.
What is GABA?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA is a neurotransmitter produced naturally by the body and is responsible for the proper functioning of the neural pathways. It is an amino acid by structure but is rarely ever referred to as such because of its more potent role as the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.
GABA is an inhibitor of anxiety and stress, as it produces a calm and relaxed feeling. This feeling is the reason for the recent fame of GABA supplements as they are believed to increase the levels of GABA in the brain. The main benefit of these supplements, according to the manufacturers, is a euphoric feeling that can help tackle the day-to-day feelings of anxiety that many consumers feel. Moreover, people choose to take GABA supplements to achieve this benefit because there is no food or natural substitute that can increase GABA levels with the same efficiency.
GABA supplements are also helpful in increasing GABA levels of patients suffering from medical disorders that decrease GABA levels in the body. It is important to maintain normal levels of GABA as this chemical messenger performs several functions in the brain, all of which are crucial for the normal functioning of the human body.
Function of GABA
GABA is a neurotransmitter in the human brain which means that it acts as a chemical messenger, that after binding to a protein in the brain, namely GABA Receptor, promotes different functions in the brain. Its inhibitory effects aim to reduce the level of neuronal activity, which when increased can cause seizures, anxiety, and stress. As the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter, it works along with the chief excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, to keep the brain function physiologically balanced.
However, it is worth noting that GABA isn’t always inhibitory but rather has an excitatory function during the neonatal period. In the immature or developing brain, GABA functions as a promoter and regulator of neural and embryonic stem cells. It also stimulates the brain development by regulating the growth and maturation of neural cells. GABA plays an important role in the differentiation of these stem cells and then, in the formation of synapses.
Neurologically, GABA plays an important role since the neonatal period, starting as an excitatory neurotransmitter and then developing into an inhibitory neurotransmitter by the time the human brain matures.
Outside of the brain, GABA plays an important role in the pancreas by helping with the management of blood sugar levels. Similar to the brain, beta cells in the pancreas produce copious amounts of GABA along with insulin, in response to high blood glucose levels. This secretion of GABA is believed to have two important functions; the first is to inhibit the secretion of glucagon by the alpha cells in the pancreas and the second is to regulate beta-cell proliferation and maturation. The second function helps manage the population of the beta cells in the pancreas, which is why many researchers are currently studying GABA and its potential use as a diabetes treating compound.
GABA has several functions but GABA dietary supplements are mostly used to reduce anxiety and increase calm and relaxed feelings.
Who should Take GABA Supplements
The use of GABA supplements is on the rise, especially since it has been heavily studied and found to produce great benefits. While most people take it to manage their anxiety and stress levels, it can also be used by people with the following disorders:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD
- Depression and other mood disorders
- Parkinsons disorder
Patients suffering from these disorders may benefit from taking GABA supplements as the main pathophysiology of these disorders is low levels of GABA. However, there is no concrete evidence promoting the use of supplements in the treatment or management of these disorders. This is mostly because it is yet not known clearly if exogenous GABA can cross the blood-brain barrier and alter the physiology of the brain or not. While new studies show that exogenous glutamate and GABA can both cross the blood-brain barrier and have an inhibitory effect on neuronal activity, there is a need for further evidence supporting this hypothesis before it is widely accepted.
In general, if anyone is suffering from high stress levels, regardless of the cause, they may benefit from taking GABA supplements as stress can result in mood disorders like depression and even affect the immune system, altering its ability to function properly.
Benefits of Using Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Supplements
GABA supplements are associated with several benefits but as it is not exactly known how much of the supplement crosses the blood-brain barrier if any, it is hard to assess the effectiveness of these supplements.
However, several pieces of research and studies have been performed recently to analyze and back the hypothesis that GABA supplements are associated with several benefits. These studies focus on the role of GABA supplements in managing sleep disorders, anxiety stress, and even hypertension.
A study performed in 2018 studied the effects of GABA supplements on patients with insomnia to study their effect on sleep initiation, maintenance, and overall sleep quality. The randomized clinical trial found that the interventional group that was given 300mg of GABA, in comparison with the placebo group, had an easier time initiating and maintaining sleep. Moreover, the participants in the interventional group also claimed to experience a significantly improved sleep quality, four weeks after taking the supplement.
Another study performed in 2019, however, this time on animal models, showed that GABA and l-theanine supplements together are not only able to improve the quality of sleep but also reduce sleep latency. The same study also found that this amino acid combination is also beneficial in managing stress and anxiety symptoms.
A systemic review study performed and published in 2020 found that oral administration of GABA in patients suffering from anxiety and stress resulted in marked improvement of their symptoms. The main researcher and his team, however, have asked for further studies to be performed to have an in-depth analysis of the effect of these supplements.
A 2009 study, performed in Japan, found that supplementation with chlorella that is rich in GABA, for 12 weeks, had the potential to reduce high blood pressure levels when compared to the placebo group. Many small studies have been performed that show a strong association between GABA intake and lowered blood pressure, however, none of them are strong enough or meet the criteria necessary to promote the use of GABA supplements as treatment of hypertension.
An important thing to note here is that most of these studies have a small sample size and other discrepancies that challenge the information and analyses obtained through these studies. Customer reviews online on different GABA supplements of different brands, however, show that customers are mostly happy with this product and see the advertised benefits and claims. Users online especially rave about the positive effects of the supplements with regards to their ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Side Effects of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA is a naturally found compound in the human body and alteration of its levels in the body, especially in the brain can result in several medical disorders. Exogenous GABA can help improve these levels, however, this exogenous GABA itself is associated with certain side effects and complications that one should be careful of before taking these supplements.
These side effects include:
- Gastric disturbances
- Muscle ache and weakness
People taking GABA supplements are recommended to refrain from driving or operating any heavy machinery, especially when starting the supplement for the first time.
GABA also has the potential to produce severe complications if it interacts with certain medications and herbs, however, it is not yet known exactly which medications and herbs can interact with GABA. Generally, it is best to avoid mixing GABA supplements with other medications and to discuss with medical personnel before starting GABA if already taking other medications or herbal supplements.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid Powder Manufacturers
GABA is widely produced and is readily available in most online and local pharmacies, health stores, and stores like Walmart or Walgreens. GABA supplements are available in pill, capsule, or powder form and the best manufacturers are those that produce the supplements in GMP or Good MAnufacturing Practices-certified facilities with at least third-party testing. This is to ensure the potency and safety of the supplements and prevent any toxin or contaminants from micing in with the supplement.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Powder 56-12-2 Reference
- Inhibition and excitation due to gamma-aminobutyric acid in the central nervous system.T. Hayashi, Nature 1958, 182, 1076
- Excitatory actions of GABA during development: the nature of the nurture (a review)Y. Ben-Ari, Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 2002, 3, 728
- GABA and GABA receptors in the central nervous system and other organs (a review)M. Watanabe, K. Maemura, K. Kanbara, T. Tamayama, H. Hayasaki, Int. Rev. Cytol. 2002, 213, 1
- Abdou AM, Higashiguchi S, Horie K, et al. Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. Biofactors. 2006;26(3):201-8.