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GABA - Gamma-Aminobutyric AcidOverview of GABA
GABA, or gamma amino-butyric Acid, is an amino acid that is classified as a neurotransmitter. GABA plays an important role in the Central Nervous System (CNS) and is considered one of the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain, occurring in 30%-40% of all brain synapses. A strong body of clinical evidence shows that GABA's inhibitory effects play a key roll in the modulation of anxiety and depression-like behavior, and is also believed to be partially responsible for panic disorder.
GABA is manufactured in the brain by way of the amino acid glutamine, vitamin B6 and glucose. One clinical study indicates that B6 supplementation may act as a positive cofactor for GABA production and may help with anti-stress therapy.
GABA Supplements (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid)
Normally, as long as the diet is healthy, the brain manufacturers all of the GABA the body requires. However, due to a poor diet, exposure to environmental toxins, or other outside factors, levels of GABA may become depleted. Too little of this important compound may result in anxiety, irritability, depression and insomnia.
While taking GABA as a supplement may help overall mental health and well-being, this amino acid supplement does not pass directly through the blood-barrier (it can not be transported efficiently from the bloodstream to the brain). GABA supplementation, therefore, is not directly responsible for an increase in GABA neurotransmitter production. However, as stated above, Vitamin B6 cofactors, along with other natural constituents such as Hyperforin may help to boost GABA neurotransmitter levels in the brain.
GABA and Sleep
A key benefit of GABA in one's diet is its ability to significantly increase the production of Growth Hormone (GH) in the body.5 Clinical studies involving growth hormone suggest that deficient levels of this biochemical may be responsible for poor sleep quality and fragmented sleeping habits.6
As adults progress through the normal aging process, research indicates that human growth hormone levels in the body begin to decrease. By the age of 45, some adults may not be able to fall back into a deep sleep when waken in the middle of the night due to the lack of healthy growth hormone levels.
Stacy has been taking GABA in addition to 5-HTP.