How to increase GABA?
Gamma-amino-butyric acid ( GABA for short) is an important neurotransmitter that performs various functions in the body. For this to succeed, a sufficient amount of GABA must be present. If the GABA level is too low, malaise and other complaints can occur that can significantly impair the quality of life.
Increase GABA level
There are various ways to increase GABA levels and thereby achieve positive effects on health and well-being. Unfortunately, a direct supply via food is hardly possible, because on the one hand there are no foods that contain the neurotransmitter itself and on the other hand it could not cross the blood-brain barrier, so that it would be absorbed in the bloodstream but would not reach the brain.
One way to increase GABA is to eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains those ingredients the body needs to produce GABA. These include certain vegetables (e.g., tomatoes, peas), nuts, cheeses such as Parmesan, and other dairy products that containglutamate, from which GABA is formed.
Alternatively, there are dietary supplements that can increase GABA. Their mechanism of action is not yet clear, but there are some scientific studies that report positive effects. For example, Japanese researchers showed that oral intake of GABA has a relaxing effect and can reduce anxiety, and may also support the immune system in stressful conditions . In another study, researchers observed that GABA ingestion was able to reduce blood pressure in individuals with mild hypertension . There is also evidence that taking GABA can improve objective and subjective sleep quality . However, whether and how exactly the supplements work varies greatly from individual to individual.
In certain diseases, such as epilepsy or anxiety disorders, drugs containing GABA derivatives are sometimes used. They have the same structure as gamma-amino-butyric acid, but have the advantage that they can pass through the blood-brain barrier. This allows them to have the same effect in the brain as if GABA were increased directly there. Some of these drugs require a prescription and, because of their direct effect, must be dosed very precisely and after consultation with the treating physician.
Conclusion on increasing the GABA level
In order for the neurotransmitter GABA to exert its positive effect on body and mind, it must be present in the brain in sufficient quantities. In order to increase the GABA level, various dietary supplements are available and, in the case of more severe diseases, also corresponding medications. The body's own GABA production can be supported by eating foods that contain important building blocks of the neurotransmitter, such as glutamate.