What is Gamma-Amniobutyric Acid (GABA)?
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid and commonly abbreviated as GABA is an essential amino acid in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory (inhibitory) neurotransmitter, meaning it blocks the effects of other excitatory neurochemicals. GABA binds to neurotransmitter receptors and prevents signaling of stress responses.
GABA is a highly regulated compound in vivo (living) and can self-balance in body tissues thanks to a multitude of factors. Because of these regulatory factors, Gamma-Amniobutyric Acid as a supplement does not have many inhibitory effects on its own. The human body is too adept at regulation, and orally ingested GABA is complex because of the difficulty in crossing the blood-brain barrier. Yet GABA is used very often. An explanation for this could be that when sufficient GABA is present peripherally, this positively influences the functioning and effectiveness of GABA in the central nervous system.
Nitric oxide (NO) appears to be able to significantly increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to GABA. NO levels can be increased by direct ingestion of nitrate. But… nitrates don’t exist as isolated dietary supplements due to regulations regarding high amounts of sodium nitrate. Instead, nitrate supplementation is usually achieved through nitrate-rich foods or drinks. Most studies provide nitrates in the form of beetroot juice or powder.
Supplements such as citrulline and arginine can also increase Nitric Oxide levels, but their overall effect is moderate to minor. Plant-based isoflavones, such as soy isoflavones, can also affect NO production.
 In 2009, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) was asked for scientific advice on the substantiation of health claims related to Gamma-Amniobutyric Acid and cognitive functioning. The EFSA panel notes that none of the references provided directly address the relationship between dietary GABA intake and cognitive function. The panel notes that these references did not provide scientific data that could be used to substantiate the claimed effect. Based on the data presented the EFSA panel concludes that no cause-and-effect relationship has been established between the consumption of Gamma-Amniobutyric Acid and its contribution to normal cognitive functioning.
Next Valley is legally prohibited from making statements about the properties and uses of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) if they have not been approved as a health claim by the European Commission.
For more information, we refer you to external sources.
- The Gamma-Aminobutyric acid monograph of Stichting Ortho Health Foundation. li>
- The analysis of GABA at Examine.com contains 12 unique references to scientific articles.
- The analysis of Nitric Oxide on Examine.com contains 31 unique references to scientific articles.
- The SupplementsWijzer App of Eigenkracht takes a closer look at 3000 ingredients . Eigenkracht is a program of the Doping Authority.
The daily recommended amount is 500 mg. The maximum daily amount is 1000 mg, divided into two times a day. It is recommended to start with a lower dose. If no effect is noticed here, this dose can be increased to the above amounts.
Because Gamma-Aminobutyric acid already occurs naturally in the body, there are few known side effects. In high doses, the brain has a self-limiting effect that ensures that the level of GABA does not become too high. If you do experience side effects from using GABA, these are probably an increased heart rate, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, an itching or tingling feeling in your neck, face or limbs and drowsiness.
GABA is an important neurotransmitter in the brain and can interact negatively with neurally active prescription medications or antidepressants.