Low GABA Levels
What is GABA?
GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) is a natural occurring brain chemical or neurotransmitter that sends signals from your nerve cell to a specific target cell. The main role of GABA is to have a calming effect on you and your nervous system.
What health problems can GABA Deficiency cause?
We know that low levels of GABA and anxiety are related but a deficiency in GABA may also lead to:
- mood disorders
- excessive stress
- motion sickness
- low levels of digestive enzymes
- epileptic seizures
- panic disorders
- Tourette's syndrome
- growth hormone stimulation
and may lower elevated blood sugar levels in diabetics.
A deficiency in GABA will also reduce the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is needed to moisturise the skin and lubricate connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
GABA also inhibits the production and secretion of the potentially harmful hormone called prolactin. Excessive production of prolactin is known to be a major cause of male and female infertility as well as increasing the risk of breast and prostate cancer while suppressing immune function. Prolactin has also been found to contribute to obesity due to it's ability to increase adipose (fat) tissue formation.
For your body to correctly manufacture GABA there needs to be adequate levels of the amino acid glutamine present. Glutamine is then converted to add another amino acid called glutamic acid. From there glutamic acid is converted into GABA. For the whole process to work effectively your body needs certain nutrients (zinc, vitamin B6 and taurine) to be present for these nutrients are essential and without them the conversion from Glutamine to GABA will not take place.
There are specific nutrients and herbs such as; theanine, St john’s wort and ginkgo biloba that have a beneficial effect on increasing GABA levels within your brain. The herb valerian prevents GABA from breaking down which allows it to hang around longer in your brain. We recommend our nutritional supplement Be-Calm, which contains glutamine and the essential cofactors to increase GABA levels. Regular exercise and meditation also naturally increases the GABA levels in your brain.
Caffeine lowers brain levels of GABA and long-term excessive or chronic alcohol consumption reduces the number of receptor sites within the brain for GABA.
How does GABA help me to relax and have a good night sleep?
Your body has two sorts of neurotransmitters; one that excites you (keeps you awake) called Glutamate and one that relaxes you called GABA.
GABA is your body’s main relaxing neurotransmitter. Your body’s main excitatory neurotransmitter (Glutamate) is most active during your waking hours. So when you fall asleep your brain Glutamate levels should drop and your brain GABA levels should rise. This facilitates a great restful nights sleep.
People who have trouble sleeping, or more specifically are unable to switch their minds off, generally have lower than normal levels of GABA with elevated Glutamate levels. These people generally make the comment that their minds are always racing and that they are unable to fall asleep or when they wake up they are always thinking and are unable to get back to sleep.
Sleeping medications fall in to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines. What these drugs do is bind to the GABA receptors in your brain thus having the effect there are adequate levels of GABA present. This sounds good in theory but unfortunately this eventually leads to a decrease in your body’s production of GABA resulting in a need for higher dosages and stronger medication. Besides this they also have some terrible side effects such as:
Sleeping Pills side effects
With the right ingredients your body is designed to manufacture GABA by itself without interference from man. Unfortunately due to our modern nutrient dead diet, stress, illness, medications, drugs, alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine your body has a struggle to produce the amount of GABA you need on a daily basis.
Low GABA Test Kit
How to test my GABA levels
An easy way to test for GABA deficiency (or excess) is by the mental health test which not only measures your bodies GABA levels but also the levels of serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, adrenaline and glutamate
For more information on how to increase GABA Naturally visit our Health Blog