Those who are searching for an alternative for mood-changing drugs such as Librium and Valium should look no further than supplemental GABA for anxiety that appears to have a powerful calming effect. Research on GABA is still continuing, but the preliminary results show promising results for GABA as an anti-anxiety tool.
What is GABA?
GABA is an amino acid precursor that naturally occurs in the brain. It is crucial for the proper function of one’s brain and nervous system. It is also the body’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, which slows down one’s neural activity leading to a natural calming effect.
How GABA is made
The body is able to create GABA by metabolizing dietary protein. Under normal conditions, the body should be able to create as much GABA as it needs for healthy functioning. However, a plethora of factors can effect this. Factors such as aging, conflicting medications, and a deficiency of protein in one’s diet can disrupt GABA production in the body. GABA can also be ingested as a dietary supplement.
What does GABA do?
The primary purpose of GABA is regulation of the body’s nervous system. As the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, it regulates the nerve cell activity in the body, primarily in the brain. GABA can also control muscle tone and tightness, and as such has been called the body’s natural muscular relaxant.
How GABA can relieve anxiety
Since GABA can reduce nerve cell activity, it can also limit the parts of the brain that control anxiety and panic disorders. Benzodiazepine medications like Librium and Valium also affect the same parts of the brain, and that is why they are also frequently prescribed by doctors for treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
GABA reduces the neural activity responsible for anxiety, and a lack of GABA in the brain has been associated with a higher likelihood of developing anxiety disorders. A study conducted by Yale University indicates that the participants who suffered from anxiety attacks had a low level of GABA compared to that of the control group. An increasing amount of research are pointing to the idea that GABA is an extremely valuable tool in treating those with anxiety disorders.
Photo Credit: Jessica Christ
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