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GABA Supplements for Anxiousness

Jul 28, 2020

by Henry Emmons, MD

[adapted from The Chemistry of Calm]

p.s., You've read Part 1 of this series and the introductory article about balancing GABA and glutamate, right? If not, head to those posts first.

GABA and Anxiety | GABA Benefits

As noted in Part 1 of this series, GABA is the neurotransmitter most responsible for calming down an overactive brain... and it's available as a nutritional supplement without a prescription! It has been shown in human studies to help create a relaxed alpha-brain wave pattern, even more effectively than l-theanine (though we still like l-theanine for many reasons). It can also boost immune function in individuals subject to stress.18 

GABA Supplements 

The bad news is that when taken orally, most of it gets broken down before it gets to the brain. However, the amount that does make it can help and there are some forms more likely to be absorbed into the brain. Additionally, some of GABA’s calming effects may occur in the rest of the body (e.g., aiding in muscle relaxation).

GABA Dosage and Use

GABA may be taken in doses as small as 100 mg daily, up to 750 mg 2-3 times per day, likely at bedtime (see below).*

GABA Side Effects

Bedtime is a good time to take a GABA supplement as it may cause drowsiness or headaches.*

GABA Supplements

GABA taken orally may also be more effective as a combination product (e.g., products like Serene Sleep, Soothed Mood, and Unwind are unique blends). **

 GABA Supplements at the Natural Mental Health Store

Serene Sleep

Serene Sleep is a comprehensive formulation created for those experiencing occasional sleeplessness. It promotes a healthy sleep cycle by supporting levels of serotonin, GABA, and melatonin using bioactive cofactors and amino acids.

Serene Sleep contains amino acids, taurine, 5-HTP, and GABA, along with vitamins and minerals, to support longer and deeper sleep. Phosphatidylserine is also included as a vital ingredient for those with elevated evening cortisol levels that may be contributing to frequent waking.

 

 

Soothed Mood is a combination supplement that may reduce agitation and feelings of anxiousness, while also helping to support mood.

This product also includes key ingredients that quickly increase the production of alpha brain waves, resulting in a more relaxed and effortless state of alertness.

Unwind is an innovative powdered drink mix that supports the body’s natural synthesis of GABA, hormonal balance, and healthy glucose metabolism. It's a synergy of ingredients that aims to promote a calm, well-balanced emotional and physiological state.* Thanks to the GABA-supporting nutrients in Unwind, it's our go-to support to rebalance mood that is characterized by brain over-activity.

 

 

*Note: Some of the supplements discussed in this series can cause side effects, but many people tolerate them much better than prescription medications. They are generally considered safe, however, they should not be started without your doctor’s knowledge and supervision. If you are taking medication already, be sure to talk with your doctor before adding any of these items. If you are considering going off medication, remember never to stop your medication suddenly—always consult with your doctor about how to safely taper off any psychiatric medication.

**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  

 

 


RELATED ARTICLE

Reduce Norepinephrine

Norepinephrine (NE) raises your level of alertness and arousal. It puts the amygdala on high alert to set off all the alarms in case danger arises. That alarm system is good if you’re doing something like hunting, but not helpful if you're public speaking or have developed panic anxiety. Read more.

 


Sources:

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  2. Kim, A. H., et al. (2002). Blocking excitotoxicity. In Marcoux, F. W., & Choi, D. W. (Eds.), Neuroprotection (3-36). New York: Springer.
  3. Krimer, L. S., et al. (1998). Dopaminergic regulation of cerebral cortical microcirculation. Nature Neuroscience, 1, 286-289.
  4. Wichers, M., & Maes, M. (2002). The psychoneuroimmuno-pathophysiology of cytokine induced depression in humans. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 5, 375-438.
  5. Peled, R., et al. (2008). Breast cancer, psychological distress and life events among young women BMC Cancer, 8.
  6. Alhaj, H. A., et al. (2006). Effects of DHEA administration on episodic memory, cortisol and mood in healthy young men: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Psychopharmacology, 188(4), 541-551.
  7. Darbinyan, V., et al. (2007). Clinical trial of Rhodiola Rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 61(5), 343-348.
  8. Bystritsky, A., et al. (2008). A pilot study of Rhodiola rosea (Rhodax) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(2), 175-180.
  9. Khanum, F., et al. (2005). Rhodiola rosea: A versatile adaptogen. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 4, 55-62.
  10. Lombard, J. (2006, September). Neurobiology of mood and cognition: Strategies and protocols of neurotransmitter balance. Presented at Great Lakes Conference.
  11. Kobayashi, K., et al. (1998). Effects of L-theanine on the release of alpha-brain waves in human volunteers. Journal of the Agricultural Chemical Society of Japan, 72(2), 153-157.
  12. Lake, J. (2008). Integrative Management of Anxiety. Psychiatric Times, 25(1), 13-16.
  13. Grant, J., et al. (2007). N-acetyl cysteine, a glutamate-modulating agent, in the treatment of pathological gambling: A pilot study. Biological Psychiatry, 62(6), 652-657.
  14. Grant, J., et al. (2009). N-acetylcysteine, a glutamate modulator, in the treatment of trichotillomania. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(7), 756-763.
  15. Mori, M., et al., (2002). Beta-alanine and taurine as endogenous agonists at glycine receptors in rat hippocampus in vitro. The Journal of Physiology, 539, 191-200.
  16. Wu, H., et al. (2005). Mode of action of taurine as a neuroprotector. Brain Research, 1038(2), 123-131.
  17. Palatnik, A., et al. (2001). Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 21(3), 335-339.
  18. Abdou, A., et al. (2006). Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. BioFactors, 26, 201-208.
  19. Kinrys, G., et al. (2009). Natural remedies for anxiety disorders: Potential use and clinical applications. Depression and Anxiety, 26, 259-265.
  20. Akhondzadeh, S., et al. (2001). Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: A pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 26, 363-367.
  21. Yuan, C. S., et al. (2004). The gamma-aminobutyric acidergic effects of valerian and valerenic acid on rat brainstem neuronal activity. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 98, 353-358.
  22. Panijel, M. (1985). Therapy of symptoms of anxiety. Therapiewoche, 41, 4659-4668.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional regarding specific health questions. Individuals providing content to this website take no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. It is also essential to consult your physician or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program.