What about GABA Supplements for ADHD in Children?

Gamma-aminobutyric acid known as GABA is recommended as a good dietary supplement for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Usually the typical treatment being used for ADHD in children is a stimulant medication but today the use of dietary supplements is becoming more and more popular, that’s why many parents decide to use these natural treatments for their children, both in medical and mental health disorders. Let us know more about GABA supplements for ADHD in children.

GABA and Its Major Roles in the Body

GABA Supplements for ADHD in ChildrenGABA acts as a neurotransmitter within the nervous system, that is, it helps send messages. Because it has a calming effect on the nerves, it hinders neuronal activity that may be stimulated by different mental or physiological stressors. Benzodiazepine drugs allow the efficacy of GABA in the brain by enhancing its receptor-binding abilities. This way, it reduces both anxiety and relaxation. But GABA supplements cannot pass the blood-brain barrier that’s why they do not affect GABA levels in the brain nor influence the nervous system. GABA supplement is only beneficial to peripheral nervous system thus good in treating hypertension. In an article in “Better Nutrition” dated September 2010, Dr. Michael T. Murray indicates that there are several studies conducted which tell that enhancing GABA activity in children can help treat ADHD and at the same time will cause an improved brain function and optimal mental health.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Once a child starts with formal schooling, a diagnostic test of ADHD is usually conducted. It is during this time when symptoms of inability to concentrate, poor attention, impulse actions and hyperactive behavior become more disruptive in children rather than when they are at home. Although some of the mentioned behaviors are normal for all children, some symptoms of ADHD intervene with their ability to function. These symptoms include inability to follow directions, poor attention, shouting, difficulty while sitting still, disturbing others, losing things and inability to complete tasks.


A study which was conducted in Kyorin University Medical School in Japan used a natural form of GABA named PharmaGABA . They made use of a bacteria intended to ferment vegetables called Lactobacillus hilgardii. There were 60 participants who were given either 100mg of the GABA supplement or a placebo after which they administered a math test. Those who were given GABA have provided 20% more answers in general and got more correct answers than the placebo group. This result proved that GABA increases mental ability. Although there are no specific studies yet about GABA on ADHD, Dr. Michael Murray suggests that these results show the potential use of GABA for ADHD as it improves mental performance and brain health.

For treating hypertension, the recommended dose is 10 mg a day. For children, PharmaGABA, the natural form of GABA is recommended to be taken 3 times a day with a dosage of 100 – 200 mg each. Because there are no studies yet for the proper dosage and use of GABA supplements among children with ADHD, it is important to consult a physician for the right dosage before taking the supplement.

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