How good are GABA supplements for anxiety, stress and relaxation?

Yoga is a natural way to increase the level of GABA in the bodyNutritionist Patrick Holford says that most people with intense or constant anxiety either self-medicate with alcohol or cannabis, or see their doctor, possibly to be given a prescription for a tranquiliser. “In one week in Britain, we pop 10 million tranquillisers, puff 10 million cannabis joints and drink 120 million alcoholic drinks”, says Holford, in his book Optimum Nutrition for the Mind. “The choice of these three drugs – alcohol, cannabis and tranquillisers – is no coincidence. They all promote the neurotransmitter GABA, which is the brain’s peacemaker, helping to turn off excess adrenalin and calm you down.”

“Supplementing 500 to 1,000mg [of GABA], once or twice a day, is a highly effective natural relaxant,” according to Holford. But what does the evidence say about how good GABA supplements are to calm people down? Although the evidence is mostly anecdotal, using a GABA supplement to boost GABA levels in people who are stressed and anxious can lead to a more relaxed and focused mind.

What is GABA and how does it work?
What are GABA supplements taken for?
What evidence is there that GABA supplements relax people?
What causes people to have low levels of GABA?
Do GABA supplements have any side effects?
What medications can GABA interact with?
Who should avoid taking GABA?
How can we test to see if we are low in GABA?

What is GABA and how does it work?

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid. It is the main inhibitory (calming) neurotransmitter in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers between neurons (nerve cells). Our bodies make GABA from glutamine – a vital amino acid in the brain. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.

GABA is a natural calming and anti-epileptic agent. It is vital for proper brain functioning. GABA also helps our bodies make endorphins – chemicals that make us feel happy.

Holford says GABA influences our mood because it reduces high levels of the hormones adrenalin, noradrenalin and dopamine, and it affects the neurotransmitter serotonin. Having enough GABA in our brain is linked to being relaxed and happy. Having too little GABA is linked to the sleeping problem insomnia, and feeling anxious, stressed, tense and depressed.

Dr. Michael Murray says when people are nervous or anxious their brains produce more beta brain waves than alpha brain waves. Taking GABA increases the amount of alpha waves. Alpha waves are linked to clear thinking, good focus and being in “the zone” or “the flow”. In these mind states, in which we are focused, calm and productive, we have high amounts of alpha brain wave activity.

GABA is popular among bodybuilders because it can increase the level of human growth hormone.

What are GABA supplements taken for?

GABA has been used as a supplement for many things such as:

  • stress
  • nervousness
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • panic attacks
  • helping us relax
  • improving focus
  • clearer thinking
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • insomnia
  • calming racing thoughts
  • pain relief
  • epilepsy
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • helping lose excess body fat
  • helping promote body building

What evidence is there that GABA supplements relax people?

According to freelance writer Laura Owens:

“The brain…has an elaborate structure designed to isolate and protect it against invading toxins, chemicals and potentially harmful substances. This mechanism of self-protection is called the blood-brain barrier.

Little is known about how well GABA actually penetrates the blood-brain barrier to produce the desired calming affect. Most positive evidence in this regard has been anecdotal. (Braverman, E. Pfeiffer, C. The Healing Nutrients Within. Keats Publishing, New Canaan, Connecticut. 1987). An alternative to supplementing with GABA is to take the amino acid L-theanine or to regularly eat GABA-boosting foods.

GABA,… often low in people who suffer with anxiety and depression, increases during yoga.”

The Denver Naturopathic Clinic (DNC) says on its website:

“A search on the term GABA on PubMed today (October 7, 2004) brings up a list of 43,859 published papers. Only a handful of these papers focus on using GABA orally as a nutritional supplement. Some nutritional writers suggest a conspiracy on the part of the drug industry to suppress GABA research so as to promote their drugs such as Valium. A more likely explanation rests in the fact that the common belief among scientists is that GABA will not cross the blood brain barrier. If GABA does not reach the brain, it will have no effect. Although I have found no direct published evidence proving that oral GABA changes brain levels of GABA, some scientists assume that with large enough doses some may cross over. This amount may vary from person to person, their nutritional status, physical conditioning and activity level.”

Owens quotes Dr. Eric Braverman, an authority on brain chemistry, as saying: “The more GABA-producing foods you eat, the more you will be able to create.”

Owens lists the following GABA-producing foods:

  • almonds
  • bananas
  • beef liver
  • broccoli
  • brown rice
  • halibut
  • lentils
  • oranges and other citrus fruits
  • rice bran
  • spinach
  • tree nuts
  • walnuts
  • whole wheat and other whole grains such as whole oats

Owens also says that fish (especially mackerel) and wheat bran have the highest concentration of naturally occurring GABA, according to a 2008 article in Supplement News.

What causes people to have low levels of GABA?

Clinical nutritionist Blake Graham says factors that reduce GABA levels in our bodies include:

  • a lack of glutamine (the precursor of GABA)
  • low levels of vitamins B1 and B6, and the minerals zinc, manganese and iron
  • chronic stress
  • chronic pain
  • not enough sleep
  • low levels of the hormone progesterone
  • exposure to mercury and lead
  • alcohol withdrawal
  • high amounts of caffeine
  • excessive electromagnetic radiation
  • too much loud noise

Do GABA supplements have any side effects?

GABA supplements are generally safe. They might increase the heart rate when first taken, and cause sleepiness or drowsiness the day after taking them.

If you use GABA, take a balanced amount because the side effects of high doses of GABA can include:

  • an increase in anxiety
  • numbness in the face
  • feeling tingly, tickly and/or itchy
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • an increase in blood pressure
  • an increase in breathing rate
  • fidgeting and not being able to sit still
  • a flushing sensation
  • an increase in plasma growth-hormone levels and prolactin

What medications can GABA interact with?

The DNC says be cautious if taking GABA with any drug that affects GABA pathways in the brain. These drugs include – but are not limited to – :

  • barbiturates
  • the anti-anxiety drugs benzodiazepine tranquillisers and
  • alcohol

Who should avoid taking GABA?

According to the DNC:

  • people with bipolar or unipolar depressive disorders should not take GABA.
  • GABA might cause sleepiness, so do not drive or use heavy machinery while taking it, until you at least know how it affects you.
  • GABA has not been tested in pregnant or breast-feeding women, children, or people with liver or kidney disease.

How can we test to see if we are low in GABA?

A doctor can give you a urine or saliva test to find out whether or not you are low in GABA.

written by Nyomi Graef

References:
GABA: Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid, n.d., Denver Naturopathic Clinic,
http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/GABA.html

GABA (GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID), 2009, WebMD,
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-464-GABA%20%28GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC%20ACID%29.aspx?activeIngredientId=464&activeIngredientName=GABA%20%28GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC%20ACID%29

Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, 2010, Wikipedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-Aminobutyric_acid

Getting On ‘the GABA Receptor Shuttle’ to Treat Anxiety Disorders, 2009, ScienceDaily,
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022101532.htm

Graham, B, n.d., GABA deficiency, Nutritional Healing,
http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/articles-content.php?heading=GABA%20deficiency

Holford, P, 2003, Optimum Nutrition for the Mind, London, UK: Piatkus

Jonessoda1996, 31 Mar 2009, GABA: Dr. Michael Murray ,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_DywKEvyjc

Natural GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), 2010, Integrative Psychiatry,
http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/natural_gaba.html

Owens, L, 2009, Do GABA Supplements Help Anxiety, Suite101,
http://suite101.com/article/do-gaba-supplements-help-anxiety-a89780

Owens, L, 2009, GABA Levels in Brain Increase During Yoga, Suite101,
http://suite101.com/article/gaba-and-yoga-decrease-depression-and-anxiety-a122213

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109 Responses to “How good are GABA supplements for anxiety, stress and relaxation?”

  1. Gaba Supplements:

    GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is a non-essential amino acid found mainly in the human brain and eyes. It is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it regulates brain and nerve cell activity by inhibiting the number of neurons firing in the brain. GABA is referred to as the “brain’s natural calming agent”. By inhibiting over-stimulation of the brain, GABA may promote enhanced relaxation and ease nervous tension. Gaba Supplements on discount at NutroVita.com.

  2. wonderful page. i mean really nice…

  3. There are so many sites that tackled this subject but this one is very informative and educational. It is nice to get the most recent information about calm supplement. We really need it as it will give the very important updates and advice from experts.

  4. Annette says:

    I have a taste disorder, a chronic sour taste in the mouth. The doctor in Washington DC said i have low gaba but he did not say how he knows that. Can a a regular Md take a blood test for that? I do not want to have the stimualation, transcranial magnetic stimulation the doctor suggested without knowing if i have a low gaba in the brain. Please let me know what you think. Annette

  5. Nyomi says:

    Hi Annette,

    Sorry, I do not know how the doctor came to that conclusion without testing your GABA level. Perhaps he believes low GABA levels is a sign of chronic sour taste in the mouth, or he has worked in the area and found that boosting GABA levels can relieve the problem – I do not know, I can only speculate. If you get a chance to find out why the doctor said that, I’d be interested in also knowing, should you wish to post another comment on this website.

    I found this interesting online article about low GABA levels causing burning mouth syndrome, but this isn’t a chronic sour taste, although it is a mouth problem, so I thought it might be of some relevance/interest to you:

    http://www.tasteandsmell.com/dec04.htm

    I found the following webpage helpful regarding testing for levels of neurotransmitters:

    http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/neurotransmitter_tests.html

    The website says the neurotransmitters they test the levels of are GABA, serotonin, glutamate, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, PEA and histamine. The company says they post test kits out to people. The lab says it uses urine tests to find out the level of neurotransmitters in their clients. The office is situated in Sarasota, Florida, USA. If don’t live in USA, there might be a naturopathic clinic in your country that tests for GABA levels. You might want to Google it to find out.

    I spoke to a general practitioner (GP) recently about getting neurotransmitter tests. She claimed that testing neurotransmitter levels using blood tests is not a good indication of neurotransmitter levels in the brain. The GP used serotonin as an example. She said a low serotonin level in the brain might not show up via a blood test, and a blood test might indicate a low level of serotonin, yet a person might not have depression.

    All the best with treating your mouth problem.

    Thanks for reading my article and vising my website. I hope you found it helpful.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  6. Gabba is a gamma-aminobutyric acid.it helps to treat anxiety,stress and depression.gabba is a natural supplement which helps to improve brain function.

  7. Frank says:

    GABA works very well, I have been on it for 3 months with great results.

  8. Susan says:

    I have read articles stating that GABA supplements are useful in treating ADHD, but the same articles don’t reccommend giving these supplements to children. Is their a safe dosage for a child?

  9. Nyomi says:

    Hi Susan,

    From what I’ve read, and written in the above blog post, GABA hasn’t been tested in children. This means the safe dosage of GABA for children isn’t known.

    Livestrong.com has an informative article about GABA for children with ADHD. It’s called Children’s Dosage of GABA Supplements for ADHD. To read this article visit http://www.livestrong.com/article/517318-childrens-dosage-of-gaba-supplements-for-adhd/. Scroll down to the end of the article for information about GABA dosage for children.

    Thanks for visiting my website and for your comment.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  10. John C. says:

    If there are side effects from taking too much (anxiety,numbness is the face etc.), then that must mean that it does pass the blood brain barrier? I don’t understand it. Anybody else agree?

  11. Nyomi says:

    Hi John,

    I found an interesting article on GABA by Livestrong. It says GABA may pass through the blood-brain barrier via the pituitary gland, and also through tiny holes in the blood-brain barrier. Read Livestrong’s article to find out more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/492571-gaba-supplements-that-pass-the-blood-brain-barrier/.

    Thanks for visiting my website and for your comment.

    Best wishes,

    Nyomi

  12. Thinas O says:

    Goos article and inf. since GABA has a hormon growth effect, what side effects it has on men diagnosed eith early prostate cancer? Is it safe to use it? Thanks

  13. R says:

    Informative page. I wonder if its more effective to take l-theanine? Is one better then another?
    Also wondering if this supplement is safe for a child with autism?

  14. Carolyn K Cornish says:

    What effect does human growth hormone have on women? Does it have a tendency to put on unwanted weight?

  15. Nyomi says:

    Hello Thinas,

    Thanks for your comment. A 2008 journal article in PubMed claims, “In prostate cancer, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) has been previously reported to increase cellular proliferation.” The URL for the abstract of this article is: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18607852.

    Prostate Cancer Victory has an article about GABA and prostate cancer that may be helpful for you. Visit http://prostatecancervictory.com/prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-news-prostate-cancer-2/the-role-of-gaba-gamma-amino-butyric-acid-in-prostate-cancer-causal-or-curative/.

    From what I’ve read about GABA, it appears that not enough studies have been done on GABA supplements to determine their safety. Studies that have been done on GABA, however, have found that, generally, GABA is safe, but it can have side effects, as mentioned in my article above.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  16. SugarMags says:

    Thanks, this is really the most helpful article I have read on GABA to date. Thanks also for the follow up comments. So many authors do not reply to comments on their articles, and that always makes me wonder if the author cares …. or even exists. You obviously care and exist. :)

  17. Nyomi says:

    Hi R,

    Thanks for your question about whether L-theanine is more effective than GABA supplements. Apparently L-theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase the body’s GABA levels, so make people feel more relaxed and focused.

    I found an interesting article in the Los Angeles Times about L-theanine, which was published in 2009. The article says, “What intrigues researchers thus far is evidence that L-theanine is readily absorbed in large quantities, crosses the blood-brain barrier and gets into the brain fast.” To read more about this and, for example, the results of several studies of L-theanine’s effectiveness, visit http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/04/health/he-theanine4.

    Integrative Psychiatry has an informative article about GABA, and supplements that can increase GABA levels, including theanine. Visit http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/natural_gaba.html to read this article.

    Regarding your question about gaba’s safety for children with autism, WebMD claims, “There isn’t enough information available to know if GABA is safe for use.”

    In case you’re interested, I’ve done some web searches to find the effectiveness of gaba supplements in autistic children. I’ve mostly found anecdotal evidence from the parents of children with autism who have taken GABA supplements. Some parental feedback about GABA supplements was positive, others was negative.

    Integrative Psychology discusses possible treatments for autism, including amino acid supplements. Visit http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/autism.html, and scroll down to the heading Autism Supplements.

    Thanks for commenting and all the best,

    Nyomi

  18. dave says:

    I have heard about L-theanine being used to help anxiety for some time now, but I am still skeptical about the safety of it.

  19. Steve says:

    Afternoon all,

    just a quick one, i am looking to purchase some GABA in powder form but i am, unsure the legality of it in the UK.

    Am i correct in thinking that it is legal to purchase in america?

  20. Summer says:

    Hello,
    A friend of mine who is a therapist suggested GABA for me, as I do have an antisocial anxiety disorder and I do not like taking valium, xanax, and other anti anxiety drugs. I am leaving for Ireland in a couple of weeks and am experiencing a lot of anxiety already. If I get to the airport and cannot get on that plane, my husband will probably file for a divorce. My question is , I am currently on Gabapentin,is this part of the GABA ? I am also taking methylphenidate for adult ADD. However, I do have a severe problem with fatigue and cannot take anything else that is going to make it worsen. If the GABA can do all I am hearing it can, this would be a wonderful option for me in more ways then one. I truly hope you can help me out with this soon, as I am really needing some relief. Thank you ahead of time, and thank you for this website, I have gotten so much helpful information from here!

  21. Nyomi says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    Thanks for your comment. There’s lots of information about human growth hormone (HGH) on the Internet. In regards to your questions, articles I’ve found particularly informative, from doing a Google search, include Bethany Harris’s article on eHow about HGH’s effects on women. Visit http://www.ehow.com/about_5057739_effects-hgh-women.html to read this, which includes some benefits and side effects of HGH.

    WebMD has published various articles about HGH. One that helps answer your questions is: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/human-growth-hormone-hgh.

    Here are two other articles that might be helpful for you:

    1) Human Growth Hormone (HGH) for Women: http://www.bodylogicmd.com/hormones-for-women/growth-hormone.

    Below is an excerpt cut and pasted from the BodyLogicMD’s article (above):

    “Although the use of Human Growth Hormone is more common among men trying to build lean muscle mass, many women are now turning to HGH for its weight loss benefits. While some women may require growth hormone therapy to correct an underlying HGH deficiency, studies have proven that otherwise healthy women can achieve the same results with some basic lifestyle changes, such as eating better and exercising more often.”

    2) The Truth About HGH for Weight Loss: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-hgh-for-weight-loss

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes and thanks for visiting my website,

    Nyomi

  22. Nyomi says:

    Hi SugarMags,

    Thank you for your very kind comment and feedback; I really appreciate it.

    Take care and all the best,
    Nyomi

  23. Nyomi says:

    Hi Summer,

    I’m sorry to hear that you feel anxious; anxiety is not pleasant to live with. According to Wikipedia, Gabapentin is a pharmaceutical drug that’s a GABA analogue. This means Gabapentin is similar in chemical structure to GABA, yet Gabapentin differs in respect to a certain component. Read more on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabapentin and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogue_%28chemistry%29. The Wikipedia article about Gabapentin warns that people taking this drug should NOT stop suddenly stop taking it, because stopping it abruptly can cause health problems.

    Sorry, but for various reasons, for example I am not a medical doctor, I cannot prescribe you medication for your health concerns. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend that you contact your therapist again soon to tell him/her:
    * all the prescription and non-prescription drugs you’re taking (and any you’ve taken recently, but have now stopped taking)
    * the side effects you’re experiencing
    * any health problems you have and
    * any supplements, e.g. herbal supplements, you may be taking and/or have recently taken

    Also, get a second (or third…) opinion, should you feel the need.

    There are lots of precautions for methylphenidate. Visit MedlinePlus’s article on this medication: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682188.html, should you wish to read about it. Click on the underlined heading What special precautions should I follow?

    Gabapentin also has a lot of precautions. Again, MedlinePlus has a list of precautions. Visit http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a694007.html#precautions, and click on the underlined heading What special precautions should I follow?, should you want to read these.

    There’s a lot of helpful and free information on the net about anxiety. Here are a few articles that might be useful to you:
    http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/anxiety_disorders.html
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/401839-herbal-remedies-for-treating-social-anxiety-disorders/

    All the best, Summer. I hope your flight goes well, and you overcome your anxiety. I have had anxiety on-and-off throughout my life. Over many years, and after lots of research, I’ve found various safe and legal ways to overcome my anxiety, so that I can have more inner peace.

    Thanks for visiting my website and taking the time to comment. I hope you find inner peace soon.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  24. Nyomi says:

    Hi Steve,

    Regarding your question about the legality of GABA supplements in the US, I’ve done some Internet searches and found that people in USA can purchase GABA supplements from various places e.g. Amazon.

    Thanks for visiting my website and all the best.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  25. Jan says:

    I had my Neurotransmitters tested last year and my numbers was 0 and normal on this test was day is 100 -540 normal 65-360 … and I’ve had Burning Mouth issues for 14 months and chronic Anxiety and depression most my life!! I’m starting GABBA tomorrow and will be seeing my Naturopath NP next week!! This gives me hope like I haven’t had in a long time!!

  26. Nyomi says:

    Hi Jan,

    All the best with taking GABA. I hope it works well for you, and your health improves shortly. I’m interested to hear how well GABA works for you. You’re welcome to write another comment about it on this website soon, if you like.

    Thanks for commenting on my website.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  27. Chris says:

    I read that you should not take GABA supplements if you are bi-polar. Why is that?

  28. Nyomi says:

    Hi Chris,

    The Denver Naturopathic Clinic (DNC) is one of several websites I’ve found that doesn’t recommend GABA for helping treat bi-polar disorder. The DNC says: “Research no longer supports using GABA for …bipolar disease…” Read more at: http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/GABA.html. The above quote is under the heading Suggested Dosages, about 60% down from the top of the page.

    To answer your question about why people with bipolar disorder should not take GABA supplements, Julie A. Fast and John Preston, Psy. D. claim: “Anything that reduces depression can potentially provoke a manic episode in people with bipolar disorder.” This quote is from their book Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder: A 4-Step Plan for You and Your Loved Ones to Manage the Illness and Create Lasting Stability. Visit http://www.enotalone.com/health/9551.html to read more.

    The above information is in contrast to two other online articles about GABA, which I’ve read since I wrote the above blog post on GABA. These articles claim GABA is a possible treatment for bipolar disorder, and are published on:

    * Wellsphere: http://www.wellsphere.com/digestive-health-article/gaba-for-natural-anxiety-relief/370757. Refer, in particular, to the bolded part in the third paragraph.

    * Ehow Health: http://www.ehow.com/how_2088527_treat-bipolar-disorder-naturally.html. See point five.

    So some people say GABA is a possible treatment for bipolar disorder, while others claim it isn’t recommended for this health problem. I recommend that people considering taking GABA talk with one or more relevant healthcare professionals before they start taking this supplement. GABA can interfere with some supplements and medications, and it may worsen some health problems. This means GABA isn’t for everyone. Also, the effects of GABA on many people aren’t known, such as pregnant and breast-feeding women.

    Thanks for commenting and all the best.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  29. meow says:

    Does different chronic stress level affect the effectiveness of GABA supplements? like it has more pronounced effect in highly stressed people?

  30. Nick says:

    Dear Nyomi, I am sorry to hear you say that you have been suffering from stress for years but i’m glad that you have found ways to overcome it. “I have had anxiety on-and-off throughout my life. Over many years, and after lots of research, I’ve found various safe and legal ways to overcome my anxiety, so that I can have more inner peace.”

    Could you please shine light on some of the most effect ways to overcome anxiety? Thank you, Nick

  31. Nyomi says:

    Hi Meow,

    That’s a good question. I’ve had a search for the answer and I’m unsure. Perhaps other readers can answer your question which, to save people hunting for it above, is: Do different chronic stress levels affect the effectiveness of GABA supplements, like it has a more pronounced effect in highly stressed people?

    Thanks for your question and for commenting on my website.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  32. Nyomi says:

    Hi Nick,

    I’ve found that a variety of things have helped treat my anxiety. The best ones I’ve found, for me personally, include:
    * Eating a more balanced diet. Getting enough good quality omega-3 fish oil really helped me, as did getting enough vitamin B, C, D, magnesium, calcium and other vitamins and minerals. I used to be low in various nutrients, and now that I’m not I feel much happier and I’m not anxious anymore. I also avoid foods, drinks and food additives that make me feel awful.
    * Continuing to do regular exercise. I’ve always made an effort to exercise ever since I was young, no matter how tired etc I feel. Physical activity has made a big difference to my mental health. I find walking in pretty parks and bushland especially calming, i.e. getting out into nature.
    * Meditating regularly. After starting my 40-odd minute approx. 4 day a week meditation sessions, I now crave meditation, if I don’t meditate for a few days. I have a few meditation/anti-anxiety CDs that I use over and over again. I love them.
    * Changing my thinking. I’ve changed my thinking heaps since I had chronic anxiety. One thing I do now is hardly ever worry about the future. I believe in God/the Universe, and I have a saying: “If I do my best, God does the rest.” I do my best and then “let it go” rather than worrying about what may or may not happen. I have other positive philosophies too, such as “Everything works out for the best for me.”
    * Visualizing how I want my future to be, so successful, peaceful and happy outcomes, rather than imagining fearful things happening. As we think, so we create and feel, become….

    A blog post about the best ways to beat anxiety has been on my list of blog posts to write for a while now. Thanks for your comment, which is a good reminder for me to write it.

    Thanks for visiting my website.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  33. Nick says:

    Thank you Nyomi!!!! I do appreciate your time & willingness to help others. I’m looking forward to reading any new blogs you post!

  34. Jean Hegyi says:

    How soon does GABA take effect? My boyfriend is trying it for anxiety/depression.

  35. Nyomi says:

    Hi Jean,

    After reading, for example, posts in forums by people who’ve taken GABA, it appears that people vary in regards to how long after taking GABA they believe it has an effect — at least one person said they felt GABA’s effects as little as 5 minutes after taking it, and another noticed after 20 minutes. One person said it was 3 weeks before he/she received a regular positive effect.

    Like other things people can take, I gather how long GABA takes to work depends on various things, such as the individual, the dose taken, how often GABA’s taken and what it’s taken with.

    Thanks for commenting and visiting my website. I hope your boyfriend feels better soon.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  36. Rachel finas says:

    I have recently started taking Gaba and found it too be effective. It’s early days at the moment so we will see.

  37. CJ says:

    Hi Nyomi,

    Great and informative website. Thank you. I take a .5 dose of Xanax for sleep at night, and occasionally use a smaller dose (i.e. .25) during the day in certain situations – all acute work stress related. In other words, I never run out of my rx early! The Xanax helps me sleep pretty good to counter my anxiety, but I know have moderate depression, and was thinking I could add GABA as a supplement to counteract the depression based on it addressing anxiety and depression as stated above. Can you go into more detail why it is not advisable to take GABA while taking a benzo?

  38. Gina says:

    Hi, I wondered if it’s safe to take GABA and l-theanine if you are coming off of Xanax? I didn’t take any Xanax last night because I decided to get off of it but I didn’t sleep a wink last night! My brain is so wired and running so fast and I need to feel calmer. I can’t relax any. I feel like I’m wound up. This is only when I’m coming off of Xanax. I feel like I’m going to bust. So, being in such need to feel calmer, I want to know if I can take something natural like these and it be safe while coming off of Xanax? I know NOT to take Xanax with those supplements at the same time and I wouldn’t be. I know you are not a doctor but I would appreciate an answer if you know for sure. Thanks for your time.

    Gina

  39. Nyomi says:

    Hi Gina,

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience getting off Xanax; it sounds awful.

    I would speak to your doctor about whether GABA or l-theanine is suitable for you when coming off Xanax. Your doctor should know a lot more than me about your medical history, health status, the medications/supplements etc you’re on/have previously been on etc.

    People on Xanax can suffer from all sorts of bad side effects if they stop this medication cold turkey. To avoid bad side effects, experts recommend slowly weaning off Xanax by reducing the dosage over a period of months, while under a doctor’s supervision. In fact, it is recommended that people stop taking Xanax only under a doctor’s supervision.

    I’ve found two articles about getting off Xanax that I found interesting and helpful, so I thought I’d share them with you:

    1) Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms – How to Get off Xanax by John Lee, Editor of Choosehelp.com: http://www.choosehelp.com/detox/xanax-withdrawal-symptoms-how-to-get-off-xanax.html

    Please note: Lee points out under the heading Cold Turkey? that: “A drastic detox should never be attempted without medical supervision! In extreme cases, a Xanax withdrawal can induce potentially fatal convulsions.”

    2) For the Layperson – Dr. Steve’s Guidelines for Discontinuing Xanax (Alprazolam) by Stephen Cox MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UKMC: http://www.lexington-on-line.com/naf_xanax.htm

    Note in particular that Cox says in the above article that: “Sudden or rapid stopping Xanax at daily doses of 4 mg or more can cause moderate to severe withdrawal and, in very rare instances, a convulsion could occur.”

    Thanks for your comment. I hope this helps, and you feel better soon.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  40. Gina says:

    Thank you so much, Nyomi!

  41. Matt says:

    I’ve always been a worry-wart. But as of four days ago, I’ve been having extreme panic attacks that came out of nowhere! I’ve lost my job because of my fear of leaving my house. It’s taking over my life! I’m seeing a Naturopathic doctor who has givin me Glycine Powder, a lavender sleep aide and today is coming by to do acupuncture and a Mag drip. I’ve recently quit smoking pot after 7 years of constant use, have changed my diet and am drinking a lot more water then I used to. But I seem to keep waking up super anxious with a rapid heart beat and sweaty palms. Any advice? Thanks!

  42. Nyomi says:

    Hi CJ,

    Alcohol, benzodiazepines and valerian (a calming herb) are just three of many things that all enhance GABA in the body. I’ve read that valerian taken with benzos or alcohol can heighten the effect of the benzos or alcohol.

    GABA supplements can possibly boost the body’s GABA levels. So, to answer your question, “Can you go into more detail why it is not advisable to take GABA while taking a benzo?”, I gather the answer is likely to be because GABA supplements taken with benzos heighten the effect of the benzos.

    I’m interested in hearing your and other readers’ thoughts on this.

    Thanks for your kind comments on my website, and all the best. I hope your depression eases soon, and you feel happy.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  43. Nyomi says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your comment on my website.

    I really hope your panic attacks and other health problems ease soon.

    Well done for improving your lifestyle, getting help and more. Lots of people wouldn’t. It’s great to hear that you’re doing various things to improve your lifestyle, rather than only taking medication that may (or may not) ease your symptoms, but don’t tackle the underlying causes of your problems.

    I recommend that you visit a medical doctor to get some health tests done on yourself, if you haven’t already done so recently. This is, for example, in case there are any health problems that you and/or your Naturopathic Doctor are unaware of that might be causing your health problems, which medical tests can detect.

    Ask your doctor to test your body’s vitamin and mineral levels, including vitamins B, C, D and E, and magnesium and zinc. Low levels of these, among other nutrients, are linked to mental health problems. Do you get enough sunlight? It sounds like you might not be. You are likely to be low in vitamin D if you, for example, stay indoors a lot, rarely go outside and don’t take a vitamin D supplement.

    Here are some topics I’ve written about on my website, which might be of help to you:
    Vitamin B: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=2031
    Vitamin C: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=4415
    Vitamin D: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=3456
    Vitamin E: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=4662
    Magnesium: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=468
    Zinc: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=1877#18773
    Omega-3 fat: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=286 and
    http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=2847

    Nutrition expert Patrick Holford has written a book to help people end their addictions. The book’s called How to QUIT Without Feeling S**T. I gather from your comment on my website that you’re interested in making positive lifestyle changes, so I thought that because Holford is too, this book may be of interest to you.

    The book’s description on Amazon says: “This groundbreaking book from the UK’s leading spokesman on nutrition looks at why millions of people have cravings for substances such as coffee, sugar and alcohol, as well to drugs such as sleeping pills, antidepressants, marijuana and cocaine. It uncovers how the brain becomes addicted and how it can be ‘unaddicted’ through a combination of diet, supplements and lifestyle factors. The book is written in association with Dr David Miller, who has worked in the addiction field for 25 years and is an expert in relapse prevention. It looks at each of the most common substances that people become addicted to and offers specific advice on how to tackle that particular substance safely and effectively yourself.….”

    Visit Amazon to read more: http://www.amazon.com/Quit-Without-Feeling-Patrick-Holford/dp/0749909943/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1343889173&sr=1-1&keywords=Patrick+holford+How+to+quit+without

    Read about the book on Holford’s website too: https://www.patrickholford.com/books/how-to-quit-without-feeling-s–t

    Remember, “A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step,” said the Chinese philosopher Laozi. I’m proud of you for taking positive steps on your journey to improve your life.

    All the best Matt. Hang in there; things can improve.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  44. Matt says:

    Thanks Nyomi! I was pointed towards GABA and other natural remedies. I worked outside everyday up until these symptoms began. I saw an MD today and was put on Generic Zolof and Lorazepam…we will see how this works out. I also gave blood to test for Thyroid problems and other things. It’s nice to find a website with someone putting in the effort to help others with their problems. All the best to you.

    Matt

  45. yalonda says:

    I am currently on 3 diff antibiotics and taking susinex probiotic because I am on so many antibiotics. I am obviously awake right now cause one of the antibiotics makes me anxious not horrible anxiety but can’t sleep. I bought GABA 500mg and I’m not sure if its safe with all the other meds but would really like to sleep. Do u know if this is safe

  46. Nyomi says:

    Hi Yalonda,

    It’s best to talk to your doctor about whether GABA’s safe for you as he or she should know more than me about the various medications you’re taking, your health etc. Sorry I can’t be of more help to you.

    I hope you feel better soon and your sleep patterns improve.

    Best wishes and thanks for commenting on my blog post.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  47. Hi,

    I have suffered severe clinical depression twice, the first time I took anti-depressants (which nearly finished me off) the second time I went down the natural route, which has been far more effective. I have tried Gaba and it helped, but I also found taking 5-htp, Calcium & Magnesium at bedtime really effective, especially for anxiety type depression. I wrote about my experiences at cure depression without medication dot com, especially regarding 5-htp. I would also highly recommend Patrick Holfords book ‘optimum nutrition for the mind’ and a good multi B vitamin, after years of studying this I am of the impression that some of us just need a lot more vitamins than others! Maybe stress uses them up much quicker?

    Thanks for the great article, very interesting, especially with the responses! :)

  48. Sharon says:

    “What causes people to have low levels of GABA?”

    Perhaps the low levels of GABA are causing some of the symptoms not the other way around

  49. Martin says:

    For all of you suffering from anxiety, depression, etc, consider looking up “adrenal fatigue”. After feeling anxious for no clear reason for years I suddenly bumped into a post somewhere about adrenal fatigue. Apparently most people suffer from thing unknowingly, and it causes constant adrenal release (in my case I believe it was caused by drinking massive amounts of coca cola when i was younger, all the sugar wreaked havoc on my kidneys). If you truly think you may be suffering from this consider reading the book “Adrenal Fatigue: 21st century stress syndrome” by James. L. Wilson. I’ll be trying out gaba too just to as an aid to chill out, but thought it would be helpful to mention adrenal fatigue. Wish you all the best :)

  50. Nyomi says:

    Hi Martin,

    Thank you for your comment and ideas. Good idea stopping the fizzy drink. :-)

    I am also interested in adrenal fatigue. I bookmarked some websites about it a few months ago, including http://www.adrenalfatigue.org, which sells Dr. Wilson’s book.

    Earlier this year I did the short checklist under the heading “How can I tell if my adrenals are fatigued?” at http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/what-is-adrenal-fatigue#how-can-i-tell. I had over half of the symptoms listed. I started taking a herbal tea to help my adrenal glands. I also continued to do regular exercise and meditation, and tried to manage my stress better. I think I’m getting better. Soon I’ll do the longer stress test at http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/take-the-adrenal-fatigue-quiz.

    I wish more medical doctors were familiar with adrenal fatigue, and tested more of their patients for it.

    Thanks again and all the best to you too.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  51. Amanda says:

    I just started taking this yesterday and so far its helping :). Thank you for this it helps because i did not know much about it.It really helps calm me down and helps me fall asleep. I have Aspergers and i was diagnosed with GED and many other things that make me anxious and have panic attacks. But since i started taking Gaba Calm it just helped my mind relax.

  52. Nyomi says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I’m glad GABA’s helpful. I hope things continue to improve for you.

    Thanks for commenting and all the best.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  53. Jean says:

    Olympic Labs makes a supplement
    called “Pedia Calm”.

    It is formulated specifically for children, although it works
    well for adults also, and GABA is one of the main ingredients.

    I would recommend checking it out.

  54. Kathleen says:

    Would love to know the names of the music CD’s you like for your meditation/relaxation as I don’t have a clue what to buy & thanks for sharing what you have found to be the best help – its makes sense. Diagnosed 3yrs ago with depression & finally 2 months ago weened of the antidepressants (horrible withdrawls). Looking for a more natural supplement & working on changing my life with better thinking etc as you have done. Seeing my first naturopath dr. in a few days. If I try gaba or the l-theanine will let you know how it goes. Love your site; very helpful & informative!!
    Warm regards,
    Kathleen

  55. Jesus says:

    Is GABA safe to take with Xoloft?

  56. Nyomi says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you like my website.

    I’m sorry to hear about your depression. Well done for making lifestyle changes to help feel better. A holistic approach to helping treat problems can, obviously, be more effective than just treating the symptoms.

    I have a range of meditation/hypnosis/relaxation CDs. My favorites, that I still regularly listen to, are:
    * Warrior Woman, in the Woman Spirit Hypnosis series, by Jan Duncan
    * Inner Alchemy: Connecting to the Inner Healer, by Mary Rodwell
    * Letting Go of Anxiety, by Sarah Edelman

    I hope GABA or l-theanine works well for you. Yes, feel free to write another comment on my website to say how things are going; I’m interested to find out.

    I hope you feel happier soon.

    All the best Kathleen

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  57. Nyomi says:

    Hi Jesus,

    Thanks for commenting on my website. In regards to your question about whether GABA is safe to take with Zoloft, according to Livestrong, “…GABA supplements may interact with anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs…” Read more at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/334641-gaba-supplements-anxiety/

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  58. Rod says:

    Hi There. Will GABA interact with St. John’s Wort? I have read SJW have a problem if you take it with other drugs and supplement.

  59. Nyomi says:

    Hi Rod,

    Thank you for your comment. In regards to your question: “Will GABA interact with St. John’s Wort?”, the answer appears to be yes, if the following doctor’s advice is correct. A similar question was asked on Health Care Magic (www.healthcaremagic.com). Apparently a person asked if they could take St. John’s wort, a GABA pill, multivitamins, glutamine and omega-3 fat daily. According to the website, Dr. Tayal responded by saying: “…You can start with all these except for St. John’s wort at the same time…”

    See the full response to the question at: http://www.healthcaremagic.com/premiumquestions/Can-I-take-St-Johns-wort-gaba-pill-multivitamins-omega-3-in-one-day/14166.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  60. Interesting post. Just wanted to share some of my findings for GABA deficiency.

  61. Matheo says:

    Do you know any herbs ,supplement ,foods etc. to relieve the described (posssible)side effects of taking GABA before going to sleep?
    Thank you in advance!

  62. Nyomi says:

    Hi Sergey,

    Thanks for sharing your findings on GABA and for posting a comment.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  63. Nyomi says:

    Hi Matheo,

    I did a search for you and, sorry, I couldn’t find any foods etc to ease the bad side effects. Are you taking too much GABA? High doses of GABA are more likely to cause bad side effects compared to taking small doses. If so, try cutting down on the amount that you’re taking. This might relieve your side effects.

    Are you taking any other supplements and/or medication that might be interacting with your GABA supplement, so give you unpleasant side effects?

    Thanks for your comment.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  64. Joe says:

    Is it possible to develop tolerance to GABA tablets thus requiring an increase in dosage??? Also how soon should I feel relief??? I have 750 mg tablets that I am going to begin taking 1 per day starting tonight. I am a 35 y/o male and I never had anxiety/panic attacks before however 3 weeks ago prior to a sinus surgery I was scheduled for I had a major cancer scare regarding a totally different medical issue fortuantely Thank the Lord everything worked out, however I have not been able to shake the anxiety. I thought it would just subside right after and I would feel like a new man but no luck. My family Dr. prescribed Zoloft and Ativan however I prefer to try the GABA first to avoid possible dependence with the Zoloft and Ativan. Please help…

  65. Nyomi says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thank you for your comment and questions. I’m glad the health scare turned out okay. I’m sorry to hear you’ve developed anxiety. I hope you feel better soon. I’ve recently written a blog post called Natural ways to help treat anxiety without taking medication. If you’re interested in having a look, visit http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=5802.

    To answer your question about developing a tolerance to GABA, the Denver Naturopathic Clinic says: “Looking at the brain’s capacity to change GABA receptor response and its tendency to build up tolerance to drugs which modify GABA, it is possible that a tolerance to oral GABA might develop and withdrawal symptoms might occur. None are reported in the literature to my knowledge.” Read more at: http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/GABA.html.

    Like I’ve responded to Jean’s similar question above, after reading, for example, posts in forums by people who’ve taken GABA, it appears that people vary in regards to how long after taking GABA they believe this supplement has an effect. At least one person has said that they felt GABA’s effects as little as 5 minutes after taking it. Someone else said they noticed GABA’s effects after 20 minutes; and a different person said it took 3 weeks before he/she received a regular positive effect.

    Like other supplements people can take, I gather how long GABA takes to work depends on various things, such as the individual, the amount of GABA taken, and how often and when it’s taken.

    All the best Joe, and take care.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  66. sarah says:

    it always good to learn new ways to manage anxiety. it can be a complex illness to treat. your article on gaba is an eye opener for me, and very informative. thank you.

  67. Nyomi says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your kind comment. I’m glad you like my GABA article.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  68. Norman says:

    this is a very good information about GABA. ive just to buy 500mg GABA by Solgar after reading the reviews in amazon.

  69. Nyomi says:

    Hi Norman,

    Thanks for your kind comment. I’m glad you like my blog post.

    I hope GABA works well for you.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  70. Redfox says:

    I’ve just started to use GABA to help relax me and within 5 minutes of the first dose it worked!

  71. Samantha says:

    Where can I find GABA calm?

  72. Patti says:

    Some of the studies regarding the l-theanine were funded by Unilever which would benefit from a successful report. My reason for stating this is that when we read studies we need to know hOw they are funded so that we are aware of possible bias or agenda. I take GABA and have for quite some time as a stress reliever. I also use pantothenic acid (must be purchased as such not in a B vitamin supplement) for anxiety and focus. It will help with panic attacks and a host of other issues. Dr. Atkins (not into his diet) however he wrote a great book on vitamin supplements with lots of info.

  73. Nyomi says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Thanks for your question. I Googled where to buy Gaba Calm and there are plenty of places people can buy it from, for example Amazon. I recommend that you do a Google search, for example, in order to compare prices and to find an outlet that suits you. Your local health food store and/or chemist might also sell it.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  74. Sylvia says:

    I am always confused when the side effects listed are the same symptoms as the symptoms desired to cure. nervousness, blood pressure, weight, heart rate, anxious, etc

  75. Adriana says:

    Dear Nyomi
    It was such a pleasure reading your comments. This happens rarely, most authors don’t answer people’s questions. I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for the past 16 years, been on antidepressant for many years and while they helped somewhat with the anxiety they did nothing for my depression. I live in a country in eastern Europe and dont have access to high quality vitamins and supplements, but I did find a web site that sells GABA. I’ve tried so many things (EFT, going gluten and casein free, colon cleanse etc.), I don’t know what else to try. I’m currently taking niacin 1500 a day, but it doesn’t seem to help. Should I try Gaba?
    Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  76. Nyomi says:

    Hi Adriana,

    Thank you for your kind comment. I’m sorry to hear about your anxiety and depression.

    Sorry, but because I am not a medical doctor, I cannot say whether or not you should try GABA. I recommend that you talk to your doctor about whether GABA might be suitable for you. It’s a good idea to tell your doctor, if you haven’t already done so,:
    * any medications (e.g. anti-anxiety drugs)/supplements etc that you might be taking
    * any side effects that you’re having/have had from them
    * any illnesses you may currently have/previously had that GABA might affect

    I’m sorry I can’t help you more.

    Don’t give up Adriana. Keep searching for the answers. In time you can feel better.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  77. Trish says:

    This was a good, factual article.

  78. Kaitlin says:

    Hi nyomi -
    What time is best to take gaba? In the morning, mid day or night? With food or on an empty stomache? Thank you for all your help!

  79. Jenny says:

    I have started taking Gaba today – was recommended by fellow T2 diabetics to reduce my stress levels – V stressed due to work issues – and hopefully improve my bg levels.
    Your website convinced me that I had nothing to lose by trying it – thank you

  80. Nyomi says:

    Hi Trish,

    Thank you for commenting. I’m glad you like my article.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  81. Nyomi says:

    Hi Kaitlin,

    Thanks for your comment and questions. Nutritionist Patrick Holford says, on page 43 in his book Optimum Nutrition for the Mind,: “Supplementing individual amino acids, away from food or with fruit, is best done as and when you need it.”

    Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., says: “If you plan to use this natural neurotransmitter supplement [GABA], take it on an empty stomach.” Read more at: http://www.raysahelian.com/gaba.html

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  82. Nyomi says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for commenting. I recommend that you talk to your doctor about taking GABA, if you haven’t already done so, to see if GABA is suitable for you.

    Here’s a link to an article on Livestrong, with information about how GABA affects blood sugar and insulin production: http://www.livestrong.com/article/504017-the-side-effects-of-gaba-plus-dietary-supplements/. Scroll down to the information under the heading Effect on Blood Sugar and Insulin Production, if you’re interested.

    ScienceDaily has an article about GABA and Type 2 diabetes that may also be of interest to you: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110922180022.htm

    I hope you feel less stressed soon, things improve at work, and your blood glucose levels improve.

    All the best,
    Nyomi

  83. Rob says:

    Wow. What an excellent place to learn.
    As previously stated by others, Nyomi’s replies to each and every question offer a great reassurance here.
    You’re doing a great service.
    I recently have found myself under severe anxiety and panic attacks.
    I’ve been using Valeria and rescue remedy and they seem to help.
    My local natural remedy shop suggested GABA, and I have started doing some homework on it and it seems promising.
    I took two this morning and they seemed to help fairly quickly, within 15 mins. I am impressed so far.
    I found tho, that by supper time, I was feeling that anxiety again.
    I took two more after supper, and again it seems to be helping.
    I am a pot smoker and recent have cut back as it seems to make me more anxious for some reason.
    I am assuming that GABA is ok to use with weed by what people are saying here, tho I am being cautious.
    Really, I just wanted to say thanks for your advice and attention to this thread. Keep up the good work.

    :)

  84. Nyomi says:

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for your compliments and comment. I’m glad you like my blog.

    I’m sorry to hear about your anxiety and panic attacks. That’s great news that GABA and the other things you’re taking appear to be helping.

    Like I recommended to another person who commented on my blog, the book “How to Quit Without Feeling S**t”, by Patrick Holford, may be of interest to you:
    https://www.patrickholford.com/books/how-to-quit-without-feeling-s–t

    For more ideas for help for your anxiety, check out my blog posts under the tag “anxiety”: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?tag=anxiety

    I recommend speaking to at least one relevant health professional before taking any supplements, medication, etc for your anxiety and panic attacks. This is to prevent bad side effects, possible interactions with medications you might be taking, and so on.

    Take care Rob, and thanks again for your comment.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  85. Megan says:

    Hi,

    I have had bouts of anxiety for the past few years however they seem to be felt more and more. I am told as I age they will get worse (fabulous!) For the most part I have been able to handle them however as they increase in severity I am feeling more and more out of control and my emotions are heightened. For all of the information here on GABA I have not seen whether this has to be taken every single day or just when the anxiety starts? Can you please clarify that? I am reluctant to take anything but think I may have to start.

  86. Nyomi says:

    Hi Megan,

    Thanks for your comment and questions. All the best managing your anxiety. I hope you feel better soon.

    For longer lasting effects, taking GABA regularly, such as daily, would be better than just taking this supplement occasionally.

    If you haven’t already done so, before you start taking GABA, I recommend that you talk to a relevant health professional about it, to see if it’s suitable for you, and, if so, how long to take it for, how much to take, and so on.

    Look after yourself and all the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  87. Robert Morgen says:

    As a Bipolar II I’m extremely annoyed by the use of the Denver Naturopathic Clinics (DNC) incomplete information;

    “Research no longer supports using GABA for depression, bipolar disease or PMS: if it looks like they need a cup of coffee, don’t use GABA”

    That is the entire quote and it’s all they have to say about Gaba and Bipolar.

    They give no references or other information and this 1 quote is popping up all over the internet.

    What research, and don’t quote the almost 40 year old Braverman/Pfeiffer “Gaba doesn’t cross the blood/brain barrier” comments as it may not be true and doesn’t support or refute DNC.

    You have a great site with very helpful information, but quoting the DNC in this case is actually harmful as it spreads an incomplete, unreferenced piece of misinformation.

  88. Nyomi says:

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for commenting. The Denver Naturopathic Clinic discusses GABA and bipolar disorder more than just stating the brief quote you wrote in your comment above. Visit http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/GABA.html#sthash.CillUP0u.dpuf and read the information under the heading “Depression:”, if you’re interested. There are many references listed at the end of the article.

    Since writing the above article on GABA, I have mentioned, in response to a comment from Chris, that some people say GABA can help bipolar disorder. I wrote the response on May 22, 2012, if you want to read my comment above.

    I will most likely update my GABA article, with e.g. information from Wellsphere and Ehow Health, to say that GABA might help bipolar disorder.

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  89. Susanna says:

    Is the RX Gabapentin the something as taking a GABA supplement?

  90. Nyomi says:

    Hi Susanna,

    Thanks for your comment. I did a search for you, and I found that a similar question was posted on HealthCentral in 2011. View the question and response at http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/question/987741/143743.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  91. Judith says:

    I’m trying to find out if GABA is legal and/or available in Brazil. Does anyone know or have an idea of how to find out?

  92. Nyomi says:

    Hi Judith,

    Thanks for your comment. I suggest that you do a Google search and/or if you live in Brazil that you visit your local health food store/chemist and ask if you can buy GABA in Brazil. If you don’t live there, do you know anyone who does, and you can ask him or her if you can buy GABA over there?

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  93. Bill says:

    Sorry if this question was already addressed above and I missed it.

    But I want to ask if it’s safe to take GABA and Zoloft at the same time?

    Or even if it’s safe to take GABA and Trazodone at the same time?

    Thank you!

  94. Paul Koppel says:

    GABA is a neurotransmitter which was highly helpful in reducing the anxiety. Vitamin B6 contains most of the GABA supplements. But be careful in using the GABA, like limit the dosage of GABA and don’t exceed the intake beyond the limit because it can cause some unexpected side effects, and consult the doctor if you are a pregnant women or new mother.

  95. Nyomi says:

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your comment and questions. To help answer your questions, according to Livestrong, “…GABA supplements may interact with anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs…” Read more at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/334641-gaba-supplements-anxiety/ if you’re interested.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  96. Annabel says:

    Hi
    For those who are suffering from stress and anxiety, Adrenal Fatigue can become a real possibility. This happens when a prolonged period of stress ‘wears out’ the adrenal glands (also affecting other parts of the endocrine system like the hypothalamus, pituitary and thyroid). Here is more info – http://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/what-is-adrenal-fatigue/. GABA is actually one of the supplements that is often recommended to alleviate the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
    Best
    Annabel

  97. Liz says:

    Hi Nyomi,
    I just started taking a combination of magnesium and GABA for chronic anxiety and muscle tension. The results have been…well, I can hardly believe the difference and am honestly a little afraid to trust it. It’s so night and day, and to say that I am calmer than I have been in YEARS, feels like a severe understatement.

    So now what I’m wondering is if it’s going to last. Do you have any information in regards to whether or not I should cycle the GABA in order to not build up a tolerance to it, or whether or not (and this is what I’m most concerned about) there are any negative long term effects of taking it? Is GABA something that builds up in the system – like vitamins do…by that I mean…would I take a certain amount for a certain amount of time to get my “level’s” up, and then do more of a maintenance thing or is it something that, in your experience, needs to be continually taken to reap benefits?

  98. Nyomi says:

    Hi Annabel,

    Thanks for commenting and for the information about adrenal fatigue. I hope the website you mentioned helps a lot of people — it’s certainly useful information.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  99. Nyomi says:

    Hi Liz,

    That’s great news that you feel calmer, and GABA and magnesium work well for you.

    To help answer your questions, Linda Tarr Kent from Livestrong.com reports that Julia Ross in “The Mood Cure” says that: “…If you are taking GABA to reduce stress or anxiety you should quit using it once symptoms ease. Otherwise, it will make you more tired than relaxed.”

    Kent then writes that: “Christopher Hobbs and Kathi Keville, authors of “Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health,” discourage ongoing supplementation with GABA until more is learned about possible long-term effects.” Read more at http://www.livestrong.com/article/175782-gaba-supplement-side-effects/

    Ray Sahelian, M.D. and the Denver Naturopathic Clinic both report that the long term risks of high doses of GABA supplements are unknown. Read more at http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/GABA.html and http://www.raysahelian.com/gaba.html, if you’re interested.

    To help keep your GABA levels up if you ever stop taking GABA supplements in the future, consider doing yoga, if you aren’t already doing this. Yoga naturally boosts the level of GABA in the body.

    You could also eat more foods that boost GABA levels (see the list of foods in my blog post above).

    Another idea is to look at the factors under the above blog post heading “What causes people to have low levels of GABA?”, then see which factors apply to you and go from there.

    Thanks for your comment and questions.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  100. Louie says:

    What should GABA be taken with, there are formulas that have B6 or Inositol or Manganese, some have calcium and phosphorus, what is the recommended combo with GABA, or is it better to take GABA alone?

  101. Nyomi says:

    Hi Louie,

    Thanks for your comment. According to an article in Life Extension Magazine called The Chemistry of Calm How to Support Your Brain with Safe Nutritional Supplements:

    “The balancing supplements for glutamate and GABA include the amino acids taurine, GABA, and L-theanine; the antioxidants NAC and green tea; vitamins B6 and D; the minerals magnesium and zinc; omega-3 fatty acids; and several herbal therapies.”

    The above quote is under the heading Calm Yourself: Glutamate and GABA.

    For more information, check-out the article at http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/mar2011_The-Chemistry-of-Calm_01.htm

    The following article about GABA, from the website Overcoming Your Anxiety, also has information about what to take with GABA:
    http://overcomingyouranxiety.net/naturalanxietyremedies/gaba-for-anxiety/

    Scroll down to the information under the heading How can I boost GABA naturally?. Here you’ll find information about GABA taken with magnesium, Theanine and vitamin B6.

    All the best

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  102. Caraballo says:

    Good tips for and all people to know, because I have problem with stress and anxiety nearly everyday. I’m so happy to get these tips to solve my problem. I hope I get better soon. Thanks!

  103. Nyomi says:

    Hi Caraballo,

    Thank you for commenting.

    I’m glad you like my blog post.

    I hope you feel better soon too.

    Best wishes,
    Nyomi

  104. Caraballo says:

    Hello Nyomi, Now i get better. I’m very happy to say many thanks for your tips.

  105. Nyomi says:

    Hi Caraballo,

    That’s great news! Thanks for sharing. I hope you continue to feel good.

    Thanks for your kind words too.

    All the best to you,

    Nyomi

  106. Leans says:

    Hi nyomi,

    I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, since a
    Year ago, my anxiety with panic has rised up to a
    Level where i cant work because i get panic all the time
    And cant have calm, i try to say to my self that its just anxiety
    And nothings going to happen but my body stays nervess and shaky
    And it gets hard to concentrate and cant find calm.
    Will GABBA work well for me?? I feel my brain kinda foggy or like
    cant think well.. Im currently taking ativan 1mg

  107. Leans says:

    Can you take gabba while taking ativan??.. I have been on
    Ativan only for a week. I took the last pill earlier and in not going ro
    Take them anymore.. When can i start using gabba?

  108. Nyomi says:

    Hi Leans,

    Thanks for your comments and questions. I really hope that your anxiety and panic attacks go soon. This is a hard time for you.

    For various reasons, for example I am not a medical doctor, I am unable to say whether or not GABA would be suitable for you.

    I recommend that you talk to your doctor to see if GABA might be a good option for you and, if so, when you might be able to take it now that you’re off Ativan. Be careful, if you restart the benzos and start taking GABA, the two could interact to produce bad side effects.

    All the best Leans

    Kind regards,
    Nyomi

  109. Tessa says:

    I took 2500 mg of this gaba, Ithought it was just a vitamin so I took 2 prescription gabas, and an over the counter gaba. I’ve been taking too 1000mg.a day for two weeks now because I was told by my mother it was natural and ok. Will Ibe ok??

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