Understanding some basics about GABA will help you choose foods and supplements that will help optimize this essential neurotransmitter so you can have better energy during the day and sleep better at night.
You remember that neurons talk to each other through chemical note-passing called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters can be excitatory or inhibitory. Most are excitatory and stimulate activity in the target neuron. A few are inhibitory decreasing activity in the target neurons.
GABA is the principle inhibitory neuron in mammals. Many neurotransmitters are amino acid based and so is GABA.
Because GABA is the principle inhibitory neurotransmitter, the brain relies on it to modulate many pathways. Lack of GABA or inefficient GABA management can lead to some pathways running somewhat out of control leading to symptoms such as anxiety or panic attacks or a racing brain when you are trying to sleep.
One interesting side note is that GABA is instrumental in the growth and development of the embryonic brain.
Why might a person have GABA issues? Inflammation of the brain can lead to a decrease in GABA production or poorer GABA management. We recommend taking the usual steps to help prevent brain inflammation. Everybody needs omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D unless proven otherwise. According to many researchers EVERYONE with any kind of brain problem should be evaluated for gluten sensitivity. I concur. Gluten can alter brain blood flow, alter some enzyme function among other things. The brain can heal on a gluten-free diet.
NeuroScience has done its homework on GABA and brings us Kavinace (rhymes with brace). Research has shown that certain compounds can help normalize GABA function. These include 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid and taurine. What is taurine?
Taurine is key to the normalizing of GABA for several reasons. Besides being an inhibitory amino acid in its own right, it also:
-acts as a GABA activity enhancer
-aids in GABA synthesis
-prevents GABA breakdown
-blocks GABA reuptake
What is 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid? This key compound is a GABA derivative that supports GABA receptors and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier.
Kavinace is our best seller for helping with natural sleep. Many people have found that taking 2-4 Kavinace capsules 1-4 hours before bedtime can have a marked impact on the quality and duration of sleep. Many people need some GABA support during the day and find that a little Kavinace throughout the day can make a big difference.
Some people prefer a product called Gabatone from Apex Energetics. Apex products have been excellent so we won't argue with that preference.
One more side note: many people who have problems with maintaining healthy levels of serotonin. Often you will want to take some NeuroScience Serene or Travacor with Kavinace to get the most benefit.
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