GABA, also known as Gamma Amino Butyric Acid is an Amino Acid that acts as a very important Neurotransmitter— a chemical that sends messages in our brain and nervous system. GABA plays a central role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter providing a much needed balancing act for our nervous system. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it limits—or inhibits—certain impulses and messages.
Simply put, GABA keeps our nervous system from being over-stimulated. When GABA activates its receptors, we experience calm, relaxation and move more into a parasympathetic state where we can appropriately rest, sleep, and digest.
Studies suggest that GABA is beneficial for a wide range of conditions as GABA is so important to lower the effects of stress on our body. Without properly balanced GABA, all symptoms of stress are increased including poor sleep quality, anxiety, depression, poor focus and concentration as well as muscle aches and pain just to name a few.
When GABA levels are balanced, our body, spirit, and mind comes into more balance. For example, we feel less anxiousness and more calm. Sleep is often improved as is mood, focus and concentration and general feeling of wellness.
Gaba helps reduce overall stress and anxiety, which can improve our overall health and wellbeing.
The benefits of GABA are quite strong in relation to Sleep, Mood and Focus.
Several studies suggest that GABA helps with sleep problems. It has been shown to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and improve sleep quality with more time in the important REM sleep cycle.
GABA also has synergy with other ingredients, such as Theanine and the two together have been studied together and studies suggest that they may help you fall asleep faster and stay in a longer phase of NREM Sleep.
Studies show that people with depression have lower levels of GABA. People with low levels of GABA also have higher anxiety. This suggests that supplementing GABA may lead to an improvement of depression and anxiety symptoms.
GABA has been used in supplements for a few decades now. However, no extensive studies have been done to prove it’s effects. That’s because GABA can’t be patented since it is a naturally occurring amino acid. So, businesses and researchers have little financial incentive to perform larger studies on it. However, it’s use for years shows that it is a safe supplement to take with no abuse or addiction potential.
The Science Behind GABA
GABA inhibits neural activity via activation of the GABA Receptors. Another way to say this is that it slows down your brain, putting a break on your neural circuits. Increased levels of GABA are associated with lowered anxiety, improved sleep quality and duration, and a healthy feeling of calm and ease.
Many anti-anxiety pharmaceutical medications like benzodiazepines work by binding with your GABA receptors, mimicking the effects of the GABA you have in your brain.
Unfortunately, many of the medications that act on the GABA Receptors have harmful side effects. They lead to addiction and can cause uncomfortable withdrawals and studies show that they block you from going into the deepest stages of sleep.
Luckily, there are plenty of natural supplements that help with this too, including GABA itself. These natural supplements have fewer side effects and are not addictive. Another favorite ingredient of Be Serene, mulungu, also helps to increase GABA in the brain, leading to a more serene feeling.
The amino acid, GABA, taken in an oral or topical form has no such addiction or abuse potential as it activates the receptors differently than do the prescription meds.
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