Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid produced naturally in the brain. GABA functions as a neurotransmitter, making it easy to communicate among brain cells. GABA is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it blocks, or inhibits, certain brain signals and decreases activity in your nervous system. This in turn has a broad range of effects on the body and mind, including increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm, balanced mood, alleviation of pain, and a boost to sleep.
GABA is found naturally in varieties of green, black, and oolong tea, fermented foods including kefir, yogurt, and tempeh. Other foods that contain GABA or may boost its production are whole grains, soy, lentil, fava beans, and other beans; nuts including almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds; fish including shrimp & halibut; citrus, tomatoes, berries, broccoli, spinach, and cocoa.
Many medications interact with GABA and GABA receptors in the brain, altering their function to achieve certain effects. Barbiturates, anesthetics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications are some of the medications that target GABA.
Many natural supplements also affect GABA activity like valerian, magnesium, L-theanine as well as L-arginine, kava, passionflower and American ginseng. L-theanine is an amino acid which may reduce anxiety by blocking excitatory stimuli at glutamate receptors in the brain while stimulating production of GABA. Passionflower may help with anxiety, insomnia and certain forms of pain because it contains GABA as well as increasing its levels in the brain.
At Country Health Clinic we have combined GABA, L-theanine and passionflower to create a new and improved formula CHF #107 GABA+. These working together reduces mental and physical stress, lowers anxiety, creates a calmness of mood and facilitates sleep.