Gamma-amino butyric acid or shortly known as GABA is naturally produced by the body and found abundantly in the brain. GABA serves as the neurotransmitter which sends messages to the central nervous system. It also has a calming and relaxant effect and also an anxiety-relieving result. According to Jaime M. Monti, who is the author of “GABA and Sleep: Molecular, Functional and Clinical Aspects,” GABA can also relieve insomnia. There are several nutritional supplements that can help elevate GABA levels. For better use of GABA supplements, ask your doctor about its safe use and for the supervision while using GABA supplements. Here are supplements that boost GABA and how they possibly do that.
Supplement #1: Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, together with other B complex vitamins, coordinates together for regulating mood as well as nervous system activity. It also contributes for enough production of GABA. You can get vitamin B6 from food sources like fish, lean meats, egg whites and cabbage. For a better calming effect, you can take vitamin B6 supplements up to 300 mg a day. This can also provide anti-anxiety benefits. For best results, you can add comprehensive B-complex with a dose of at least 25 mg of each of the B vitamins to B6 supplements since the B vitamins work as a team.
Supplement #2: L-Theanine
A compound found in tea is the L-theanine. It is said to increase GABA levels and decrease the stimulant effects of caffeine. It is because of this compound that tea has a milder stimulant effect than coffee. Usually the recommended dose of L-theanine supplements range from 200 mg to 800 mg a day. According to a study which was published in the journal “Child: Care, Health and Development” September 2011 issue, GABA levels in children with traumatic backgrounds are increased by the supplementation of L-theanine. For guidance and supervision of the proper use of L-theanine, you must ask your doctor.
Supplement #3: Magnesium Glycinate
You must also include magnesium glycinate to complete your GABA supplementation regimen. This is a highly absorbable form of magnesium which is also effective for its calming effects and when combined with vitamin B6, it provides a highly safe and natural approach. Magnesium is also said to support the endocrine system which influences the brain’s levels of neurotransmitters and that includes GABA. It is advised to start your magnesium intake at a low dose to avoid possible side effects like loose stools. You can increase your intake up to 400-1,000 mg. As published in the journal “Medical Hypotheses” in the 2006 issue, magnesium glycinate was useful in treating major depression.
Supplement #4: Taurine
Taurine is another kind of amino acid and it can also help increase the effectiveness of GABA. You can consume Taurine from foods like seaweeds, lean meats, nuts, onions, garlic, legumes and cabbage. Intake of taurine supplementation can boost GABA levels. Dr. Uzzi Reiss who is the author of the book “The Natural Superwoman: The Scientifically Backed Program for Feeling Great, Looking Younger, and Enjoying Amazing Energy at Any Age,” said that taurine supplementation can be taken at 1,000 to 5,000 milligrams a day. You can try and find your ideal dose. It is better to start with a high dose to gauge your response. Too much taurine can cause over calming effect and cause you feel too tired. In this case, you have to lower your dose until you won’t experience such side effect anymore.
These supplements, though work well to boost GABA levels, have their side effects. Take note of the proper dosage to avoid such and to make sure you take advantage of their benefits.