Saturday, March 13, 2010

GABA, The Relaxation and Stress Busting Amino Acid

Some amino acids can be manufactured in the body from other amino acids and are thus called non-essential. GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid, is one of these amino acids. GABA is a neurotransmitter, a brain chemical that regulates the electrical conduction of the brain. It stops brain cells from overfiring by binding to receptor sites and blocking the activity of stimulating neurochemicals. This leads to relaxation of the mind and body. It can be used as an alternative to the herb kava kava.

GABA works in the same way as prescription tranquilizers, like valium, but without the chance of addiction. In times of stress, anxiety or hyperactivity GABA binds in the motor centers in the brain. It can treat low sex drive if it is caused by stress, hypertension due to tension in the vessel walls and epilepsy from errant brain signals. Natural health practitioners for stress, hyperactivity, anxiety, hypertension, epilepsy, low libido and BPH recommend GABA. GABA is found in capsules, tablets or as a powder. It is best absorbed when taken between meals.

If you take an individual amino acid supplement for longer than one month, take it with an amino acid complex to prevent the deficiency of other amino acids. GABA should come in an opaque bottle and be kept away from heat and moisture.GABA can interact with other sedative medications, anti-anxiety agents, antidepressants, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, alcohol and anti-seizure medication.

GABA can cause drowsiness and should not be used if activities requiring alertness are being performed. GABA has not been tested in pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, or people with liver or kidney disease. Excess GABA can cause anxiety, seizures, shortness of breath, numbness around the mouth and tingling in the extremities.

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