All of us tolerate some stress. It’s a natural and healthy reaction to demanding situations. When stress rises to the level of a chronic disorder, it can cause illness, injury, and ruin the quality of our lives.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is also one of our nervous system’s main inhibitory neurotransmitters. This means that a GABA supplement can stimulate receptors that inhibit brain activity. GABA works in opposition to agonists, the excitatory neurotransmitters that stimulate the brain. These two types of neurotransmitters need to be balanced. Taking GABA when you’re anxious, restless, or irritable can help restore equilibrium. GABA supplements are safe, nontoxic, and non-addictive, as well as being effective.
It’s well known that low GABA levels can cause anxiety. Many people find that buffering their GABA levels with a GABA supplement relieves anxiety, despite the fact that the current medical consensus holds that GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier.
What the medical establishment doesn’t seem to realize is that when GABA is combined with taurine or theanine, they can carry GABA across the blood-brain barrier with them. These results have been found in independent studies not yet recognized by the FDA, as well as the experience of thousands of individual users.
GABA carries an FDA GRAS designation (Generally Recognized As Safe). There have been no reports of any dangerous toxic effects from taking GABA, but there are certain situations that warrant caution.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should take care or avoid GABA as the effects it can have on the development of a fetus are not yet known.
It’s best not to exceed recommended doses. With drugs that have the GRAS designation, it’s common for people to consume liberal amounts- especially when it comes to relieving anxiety or pain.
A serotonin booster is preferable for those who are suffering from depression. People who suffer from depression can experience a dangerous spike in feelings of despair if they take GABA. Therefore, it is not recommended for them.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with a cyclic psychiatric disorder, such as bipolar disorder and those who are prone to experience seizures, should be particularly careful when considering taking any agonist or antagonist neurotransmitter like GABA supplements. Likewise, those with low energy, or mood, or trouble holding concentration- common symptoms related to depression- would be ill-advised to use GABA. Again, in these instances, serotonin would be a more fitting solution.
Some professionals recommend GABA supplements for persons suffering from acute anxiety. This will necessarily be a self-administered regimen, as doctors do not yet recognize the ability of GABA to aid with anxiety related problems.
While taking GABA will tend to enhance and boost the serotonin produced by the brain, it will at the same time counteract some of the excitatory effects that we enjoy from the serotonin. That means that when used for depression or low energy, GABA goes some distance to counteract itself. So, while we hate to beleaguer the point- it’s very important to remember that GABA is good to reduce anxiety- but can be dangerous for those suffering from depression.
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