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

GABA: Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid, n.d., Denver Naturopathic Clinic,


Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, 2010, Wikipedia,

Getting On ‘the GABA Receptor Shuttle’ to Treat Anxiety Disorders, 2009, ScienceDaily,

Graham, B, n.d., GABA deficiency, Nutritional Healing,

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

Jonessoda1996, 31 Mar 2009, GABA: Dr. Michael Murray ,

Natural GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), 2010, Integrative Psychiatry,

Owens, L, 2009, Do GABA Supplements Help Anxiety, Suite101,

Owens, L, 2009, GABA Levels in Brain Increase During Yoga, Suite101,

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178 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

  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:

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

    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,

  6. Gabba is a gamma-aminobutyric 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. 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 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,

  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:

    Thanks for visiting my website and for your comment.

    Best wishes,


  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:

    Prostate Cancer Victory has an article about GABA and prostate cancer that may be helpful for you. Visit

    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,

  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

    Integrative Psychiatry has an informative article about GABA, and supplements that can increase GABA levels, including theanine. Visit 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, and scroll down to the heading Autism Supplements.

    Thanks for commenting and all the best,


  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:

    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 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:

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

    1) Human Growth Hormone (HGH) for Women:

    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:

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes and thanks for visiting my website,


  22. Nyomi says:

    Hi SugarMags,

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

    Take care and all the best,

  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: and 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:, 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, 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:

    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,

  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,

  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,

  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: 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 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: Refer, in particular, to the bolded part in the third paragraph.

    * Ehow Health: 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,

  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,

  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,

  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,

  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.


  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

    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:

    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,

  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,

  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:
    Vitamin C:
    Vitamin D:
    Vitamin E:
    Omega-3 fat: and

    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:

    Read about the book on Holford’s website too:–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,

  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.


  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,

  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, 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 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

    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,

  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,

  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,

  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,

  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:

    Kind regards,

  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 ( 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:

    All the best

    Kind regards,

  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,

  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,

  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

    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:

    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,

  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,

  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,

  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,

  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,

  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,

  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:

    All the best

    Kind regards,

  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: 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:

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

    All the best,

  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:–t

    For more ideas for help for your anxiety, check out my blog posts under the 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,

  85. Megan says:


    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,

  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 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,

  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

    All the best

    Kind regards,

  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,

  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: if you’re interested.

    Best wishes,

  96. Annabel says:

    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 – GABA is actually one of the supplements that is often recommended to alleviate the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

  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,

  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 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

    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 and, 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,

  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

    The following article about GABA, from the website Overcoming Your Anxiety, also has information about what to take with GABA:

    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,

  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,

  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,


  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,

  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??

  110. Nyomi says:

    Hi Tessa,

    Thanks for your comment and question. You might have experienced one or more side effects (see my blog post above for a list of possible side effects) from taking the two prescripton GABA supplements and the over-the-counter GABA.

    If you are worried about the dosage that’s best for you, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.

    Best wishes,

  111. Lois says:

    why would anyone recommend GABA. It cannot cross the blood
    brain barrier so no matter how much you take it is not going to affect anything in the brains. At least, that is the way
    I understand it.

  112. Nyomi says:

    Hi Lois,

    Thanks for your comment. Here’s an article on Livestrong that might help answer your question:

    Kind regards,

  113. Susan says:

    I suffer from extreme anxiety and essential tremors. The anxiety makes the tremors worse. Any information on how GABA can help with this or any other suggestions would be appreciated. Your article is obviously helping people!

  114. Nyomi says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I’m sorry to hear that you have anxiety and essential tremors. This must be very distressing for you.

    I did an online search for you. Here are some articles about GABA and essential tremors that I found that you might be interested in:

    All the best Susan. I hope things improve for you soon.

    Best wishes,

  115. joe says:

    I was just reading about GABA and Q&A FEB 11 2011 Annette,
    Stated that she had a sour taste symptom your response was reference to an article that fails me at the moment but it spoke to a burning sensation in the mouth which is a new symptom which started with me recently it is a horrible feeling,I am a very anxious person to begin with,to the point where I cannot drink or eat ANYTHINGthat contains caffeine or anything similar, I can eat a little chocolate or have a hot chocolate but that’s about it.I guess I’m just rambling at this point I was just wondering what or where would you suggest for me to look for the most reliable information regarding GABA,thank you in advance.joe

  116. joe says:

    I just left one question and statement but I wanted to add that in my life one important factor I have noticed in society as a whole we are very stressed,our fight or flight instincts are working overtime,I didn’t mention this in my first response but I am a combat Vet and I suffer from SEVERE PTSD having also been molested by a family priest and a few very severe crush accidents also,so in my case I know that my mind is working overtime I do not drink or smoke pot but I am on (benzos) as they call them,even with these I don’t sleep I believe it has probably been a couple yrs since I have slept for more than A continuous hour,and that is not an exaggeration. I am tired angry,alone and in desperate need of answers and have yet to find any Dr…or clinic who is willing to come on board and help me without referring me to 15 other people who do the same.
    And please do not suggest the V.A. I have intentionally stayed away from them due to experiences I have personally witnessed with friends,I have gotten to the point that I am very seriously considering joining up with some other vets to help go combat with the problems in the middle east.I should add that I am 54 and if I cannot find serenity of some form than the first is my only option. Thank you again desperate and scared and no I am have not thought of hurting anyone or doing anything more stupid than re entering the world at war…joe

  117. Nyomi says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thank you for sharing information about your life on my website. You’re obviously going through very tough times, and you’ve experienced a lot of trauma. Good on you for not turning to alcohol and drugs — it takes a lot of strength not to, and many people would.

    Maybe other combat vets can help you with your trauma, if you haven’t already spoken with them about your PTSD? They have experienced similar situations to yours, so understand what you’re going through, and are likely to be able to help you more than people who can’t relate to your situation.

    To answer your question about where to get reliable information about GABA, here are some suggestions of websites to visit: (at the end of this article there is a long list of references)

    All the best in finding peace and happiness, Joe. Hang in there; things can improve for you. Supportive friends, family, helplines, support groups, and counselors trained in techniques to overcome PTSD might be helpful. It can take time to find a counselor that you can relate to, and you might need to see a few counselors before you find one that ‘gels’ with you, but the search can be worth the effort.

    There are many good, honest and caring people who are willing to help people, such as yourself, through tough times. I’ve found that at times, even having just one person who you trust, and you can relate to each other, can make a huge positive difference.

    Look after yourself. You’re a valuable person, Joe, and you deserve to find peace and happiness.

    Best wishes,

  118. Bob says:

    Hi Nyomi
    From my point, This is the best website I have been searching for many years. I thought I never saw any websites which owner replied the questions herself. You are really really awesome.

    All the posts earlier seem like we all discussed about GABA with anxiety or depression. But, really, my symptom is different in some cases. i tried to make my post shortest as much as I can and make you understand my problem step by step.

    1st, i have a problem with severe anxiety since I was young. At the age of 7-10 years old. I was left at a school, waiting mother to pick me up. Mostly, I had to waited and stayed until the last person although my school has the levels of high school. That was really made me feel getting so much higher anxiety than other people and cause me severely anxiety disorder which not match the situation.

    2nd, I saw you post about STATE OF FLOW according to Dr.Murray and Dr. Csikszentmihalyi. My problem is about this.

    After I got my hair loss many years ago. As I told you earlier, My brain has got too much anxiety much more than others. it ran without stop severely. Very very very stressful. 🙁 I knew it crazy, but I just could not stop it.
    That has been making me to the problem which others people in my country have faced before. I asked my M.D. Prof. in my country already. He said he never found case like this. but you should know that my country does not treat patient that well.
    We, even, do not have Brain Institute here.

    3rd, My symptom
    After that severely stressful. My mind, normally, can not SINK into the STATE OF FLOW, even in easy activities in daily life. Sometimes, it SINKS already, just like I tried to find stuff in my bag. But then the STATE OF FLOW stop !!!! My mind becomes error. Mind which is supposed to run automatically stuck at my head. It can not work.

    Sometimes, I can not even read a newspaper because my mind does not SINK into although I was in the 2nd Place of The Barrister at Law and also 5th place in the university before (My mind used to SINK with task at hand very well and in that STATE, I would lost self-awareness just like Michael Angelo painted the church wall).

    But for now, no need to mention about hard activities.
    Even in concerts of Mariah Carey or Michael Buble’.
    For Michael, he said “LET YOUR MIND BLOW AWAY” since he started his show, I still can not sink my mind on his show. Mind was stuck and I always aware myself which not like definition of FLOW.

    And, really, even i have anything to do, I still lost mind’s ability to DAYDREAM which I think it is in the same STATE as FLOW. (in case I do not think negative that will be burned my brain 🙂 )

    4th Treatment
    After this happened, I spent 5 years with many medicines of Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Dopamine which never work.
    My mind has just started sinking in the STATE OF FLOW and come back to DAYDREAM, only sometimes, after Doctor gave me GABA medicine which the trademark is Rivortil and Glutamate, but it only works in some days.

    In conclusion, My symptom does not match any mental disorder. The closest theory is the STATE OF FLOW which I already lost. So sorry Nyomi for a long message I wrote. I,now, just 30 but I still can not see the light to live. I still live in the 3rd and small world for Mental Medical Researching.

    Warmest Regards
    28 FEB 2015

  119. Bob says:

    Hi Nyomi
    This is my research of STATE OF FLOW which may relevant to GABA neurotransmitter.
    I can not remember which website I found this article.
    All I want to show you is to make you more understand my weird disorder which I’m sure it must match with GABA. Its a pity, GABA medicine named RIVOTRIL does not help me every day, but at least it is much better than SSRIs for my symptom.
    I lost this STATE after getting too much anxiety as I mentioned in earlier post.

    Warmest Regards

    Ah flow. . . What a wonderful thing.
    That powerful feeling of complete engagement with the task at hand.
    Those moments of pure creativity where you do your very best work.
    You glance at the clock. 90 minutes have passed. It only feels like 10 minutes.
    All those other thoughts in your head stop. You only have your work on your mind.
    This, my friend, is flow. . .
    I struggle to think of anything else that gives me such a feeling of fulfilment, contentment and happiness- and it helps me to do my very best work.
    Flow is the mental state when a person is fully engaged and immersed in an activity. You’ve experienced flow before. . . Many times in fact. Perhaps you just didn’t know the name.
    The biggest indicator of a flow state is that time flies by. Two hours feel like two minutes as work flows out of you.
    Being in a flow state is like meditation. The goal of meditation is to focus all your thoughts on one thing- usually the breath. When in a flow state, your full concentration is on the task at hand.
    It is in these times of flow, that not only do we ENJOY our work or the most, but we also do our very best work.
    During a creative flow, whether it be writing a report, programming, speaking or any form of work for that matter, everything clicks and the work ‘flows’ out of us easily and naturally. It’s during these exceptional moments that we work at our peak capabilities.
    And to add icing to the cake, flow state activities make us happy. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Mee-Hi see-CENT-mee-hi), the pioneer of flow, ran an experiment in the early days of his research to try and figure out this phenomenon.
    He gave a number of students a pager, and each time the pager went off, the students were asked to record what they were doing at the time as well as how they felt.
    Csikszentmihalyi (see-CENT-mee-hi) then paged the students at 8 random intervals throughout the day.
    The results were too obvious to ignore. Invariably, the students described being happiest not while relaxing or socialising, but when in the midst of deep work and full engagement with their work.
    Doesn’t this sound like something you’d like a lot more of?

  120. Nyomi says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you for your comments and kind words about me and my website. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and open-up about your life.

    You have insightful ideas about the state of flow. Thank you for sharing these ideas, and that article about this state of mind.

    You mentioned, among other things, that you have anxiety and you can’t see the light to live. You also wrote that you’ve taken SSRIs and other things to try to feel better. I highly recommend that you keep hunting for suitable solutions and you visit one or more health professionals. A support group and/or helpline could also be helpful. There are trained professionals who can help you, although you might have to see a few before you find one or more who you trust and feel comfortable with. I am not a medical doctor so, sorry, I am unable to provide medical advice.

    Similar to what I’ve mentioned to others on this blog who are going through hard times, things can pick up for you, Bob. Circumstances can change. Tough times can pass.

    While you’re going through hard times it can be hard to see the light. The will to live is very important to survive, and so is having something to live for. The positive goals you set in life, the people who love you and care about you (and you love them)…, whatever and/or whoever helps inspire you to live, think about them.

    Everyone is valuable and we all have something worthwhile to give to the world to improve it in some way, including you Bob. You have a reason to be here. We are all needed.

    Take care and all the best.

    Kind regards,

  121. Ms L says:

    I would like to download / print this article….but for some reason, I am unable to do so.

    Please advise,

    Lavonne Freeman

  122. Victor says:

    Hi I have been using Holy Basil (tulsi) for 2 months for treating Anxiety. It seams to remove the edge, but I still dealing with free floating GAD. can I use GABA and tulsi together? if not, how long do I have to wait.



  123. Nyomi says:

    Hi Lavonne,

    Thank you for commenting. You mentioned that you can’t download my article. One option is that you could copy my GABA article into a Microsoft Word document and save the document. You then print it when your printer’s working.

    There are many possible reasons that might be causing the printing problem. If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you have a look at the printer and see if there’s anything obvious stopping it from printing, such as the printer is turned off or there’s a paper jam. Perhaps ask someone to have a look at your printer, if you’re unsure. The printer’s instruction manual might be helpful. If you don’t have it, and you need it, you might be able to get a copy off the internet.

    Here’s an article from PC Advisor about how to solve 5 common printing problems, if you’re interested:

    There are plenty of other articles on the internet about how to solve printing issues, if this article doesn’t help and/or you’d like to read more on the subject.

    All the best

    Kind regards,


  124. Nyomi says:

    Hi Victor,

    Thanks for your comment. I did an online search for you, and I found that this dietary supplement has GABA, Holy Basil and some other ingredients:

    So it appears that Holy Basil and GABA might be able to be safely taken together. Research the short and long-term side effects of them being taken together, if you’re unsure.

    I hope your anxiety eases more soon. I have more articles about anxiety under the tag “anxiety” in the far right column of this website, if you’re interested.

    Best wishes,


  125. Astrid says:

    Hello, thank you very much for this very informative article! I get periods of severe anxiety (along with panic attacks) mostly due to having PTSD. I also tend to have endless loops of anxious thoughts most days.

    I recently started taking an herbal supplement that enhances/produces GABA after doing extensive research (my GP has already encouraged me to to take St John;s Wort which I have been taking for years but I find it doesn’t help with anxiety just keeps me from being weepy) and I feel GREAT. Incredibly relieved. My question is do you have any knowledge of how long you can take a supplement for it to be still effective? I mean can I take it for months? Or do you think I should only take it until my trigger goes away? I realize it may not be a long term solution but I am willing to rely on it if it helps me cope.

    Thank you very much I hope to hear a response from you!

  126. Nyomi says:

    Hi Astrid,

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

    You’re going through a very tough time. I hope you feel better soon. That’s good that the St John’s Wort is helping.

    Sorry, I would like to help you more, but because I am not a medical doctor, for example, I am not able to say how long you should take the supplement for. I recommend that you talk to a relevant health care professional about it. He or she can discuss with you your medical history, other supplements you’re taking, and so on. Also, supplements vary in how long you can take each of them for.

    Check out my posts tagged ‘anxiety’ ( for ideas about how to help ease anxiety, if you’re interested.

    All the best Astrid, and thanks for visiting my website.

    Best wishes,

  127. Taylor says:

    I have moderate to severe ADHD and my doctor recommended Gabba but i’m worried about the side affects. Do you know how long the side effects last?

  128. Nyomi says:

    Hi Taylor,

    Thanks for your comment. Sorry, I am unsure how long the side effects of GABA last. A Google search might be helpful. I did a brief one for you, but I didn’t find anything specific, sorry.

    All the best. I hope your ADHD symptoms improve. Here’s an article about ADHD, if you’re interested: . I think it has many great ideas for how to help people with ADHD.

    Take care and all the best Taylor,


  129. ralph in aus says:

    Hi all, just wanted to relay my experience with oral gaba. In a two words, life changeing. Have used it daily at night now for a week, and my severe anxiety and recent panick attacks have completely vanished, after a decade of huge anxiety and periodic depression. I can highly reccomend that people give gaba a go, way better than anything else i have been prescribed or tried. More calming than even intense exercise, which is the next best option. Certainly a dramatic positive change in my case, all the best, ralph in aus

  130. Michael says:

    Hi, Just want to say thanks for all the info. I have been having panic attacks since age 25 and 49 now. Been on Xanax and Clonazepam and currently getting away from the benzos.

    My withdraw from Clonazepam is shaky was at 7mg daily down to 3.5mg now at 1.5mg. I have 17 days worth of meds left at 1.5mg so will decrease again by half, a normal schedule would take longer to wean off but I only have the 25.5mg pills and no way to refill. I’ve been on it for 2 years and with the Xanax was only 3 months but at 6/7mg a day and quit cold turkey with a week of hell then started feeling better. So I will try it as slow as I have the amount of pills for no other way. However I purchased Gaba from GNC 750mg and at 1.5 for a week now and feeling icky. I took 1 750mg gaba and about 5/10 minutes felt better. A lot better. so I intend to use this Gaba to help with my withdraw (fingers crossed). I don’t think it will cause seizure’s coming off 1.5mg clonazepam but I will try to start halving them to try to get down to .75 or .5 daily at the end with the help of Gaba and Valerian.

    Also have Melatonin that I may try.

    Been on a good diet and vitamins like krill oil and magnesium and potassium and have eliminated myself from some of the stress that was bringing on P.V.C.’s which led me to emergency and tests which came back fine including stress test and halter monitor. They prescribed metoprolol and Prozac at first which was bad my high BP was due to stress and no way on the Prozac.

    I have to say this I so far think the Gaba is working been 4 hrs and normally I would be feeling icky again and I am fine, kinda like night and day. so I really hope this is an aid to stay off benzos and just use as needed for my anxiety.

    Thanks to all comments on here this was probly the best read on this I’ve had.

    At noon I took my .5mg Clonazepam and was still icky (from a 2mg drop from 3.5) and took the Gaba and within minutes felt better and still feel ok and it would be time for my next .5mg so I will do the math and come off it as slowly as I have the pills for, but my confidence is better after reading this page and of course the almost immediate reaction from the Gaba.

    Really thanks to everyone here. I will post in a few weeks to let anyone know how it went. Also BP is fine, don’t like the beta blocker. working out a little helps with the BP and Heart rate and a good diet.

    Thanks to all,

  131. Michael says:

    Just an update, I was completely wrong in previous comment. The Gaba didn’t work out. And went from I thought I felt better to really bad. So I did effectively reduce my amount by.5mg of the K-pin. was at 3.5mg went to 1.5 mg then about 5 days later figured out the afterlife of this drug and had to go back to to feel normal. Bad withdrawal symptoms for 2 days (BP high, heart rate high, hyper sensitive etc.) then went back up and fortunately found a way to receive enough of the k-pin to do a proper taper down plus the valium switch at the final stages.

    I am blessed as I think I could have been in real trouble. I learned that .5mg k-pin is considered safe to cold turkey without risk of seizure but probly still have significant withdraw just not life threatening in most cases, so I was very wrong thinking I could make it off the 1.5mg C/T.

    The Gaba seems like it may work but don’t think it’s a supplement that will pass the blood brain block but good for lots of things along with vitamin b1, b6, A,D,E, also B12 and magnesium/potassium, krill oil among exercise and hydration and proper organic nutrition.

    Had an awful day today but now that it’s evening and my dose is back to -.5mg what it was it’s better and a successful drop down by .5mg. So disregard my previous comment as I had only thought the Gaba helped then the next minute the withrawal came on fast and hard, when I found out I could do it the right way I was very relieved after a day and a half of suffering.

    I am definitely no expert but have enjoyed this page and the links to other information, thanks a lot


  132. Nyomi says:

    Hi Ralph,

    Thanks for sharing the great news! That’s fantastic that your anxiety and panic attacks have gone. I’m very happy for you, and I hope you continue to feel better.

    Best wishes,


  133. Michael says:

    Also going to be taking Gabapentin to aid with the withdrawal of the benzo.

  134. Nyomi says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for commenting and for your kind words about my website.

    You’re going through time times. I hope it all works out for the best for you.

    Good idea using a holistic approach – with the krill oil, magnesium, vitamins, exercise, healthier eating habits, and more – as well as medication. I think a holistic approach will more likely get to the root cause of your problems instead of just treating the symptoms.

    I recommend that you keep in regular contact with one or more relevant health professionals to help with and get advice about your medications and supplements.

    Look after yourself and thanks again for sharing, Michael.

    Best wishes,

  135. Cheryl says:

    I recently watched DR. Daniel Amen who was discussing A.D.D children and how many of them NEED GABA. I have been researching it all day….which brought me here to your article. I am hopeful that this could be a miracle for my sons who have been on daytrana for add and Zoloft for anxiety. QUESTION! hopefully you will know: Can I give GABA to them along with these medications or do I need to slowly take them off prescriptions? My doctors have never EVER mentioned anything in the form of supplements. I know if I ask them they will be not so willing to let me add them! It is only through my own digging prior to this that I discovered vit. b, D and Magnesium as well as L Theanine which has been showing good results. PLEASE let me know if you know of any drug interactions with daytrana (a stimulant) and Zoloft (antidepressant). THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!

  136. BJ Anderson says:

    Did I miss something?

    What are GABA supplements that are available and where can you get them?

  137. Heidi says:

    I just bought a new formulation of GABA from Swanson (online plus the also have a catalog and their prices are great!) that says it DOES cross the blood-brain barrier. Have been taking 1/2 of the chewable pill regularly at night for a couple of weeks, and believe it does help me sleep, BUT suddenly I have developed a severe case of constipation. I just read on another website that one of the side effects of taking GABA is constipation. Anyone else have that??? Not sure what I’m going to do now. I was so happy to find a Gaba supplement that said it does cross the b/b barrier and now this . . .

  138. Nyomi says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for commenting. That’s great news that magnesium, vitamins B and D, and L-Theanine are helping your sons.

    I recommend that you talk to one or more relevant health professionals about weaning your sons off their medication. I am not a medical doctor so, sorry, I cannot advise you on this.

    To answer your question about Daytrana interacting with GABA, I found some information about this topic on eHealthMe:

    To answer 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, as well as some muscle relaxants and prescription painkillers.” Read more at:

    I hope your sons’ ADHD and anxiety symptoms improve. Here’s an article about ADHD, if you’re interested: . I think it has lots of good ideas for how to help people with ADHD.

    All the best Cheryl,

    Kind regards,

  139. Nyomi says:

    Hi BJ,

    There are a number types of GABA supplements available to purchase, and many places to buy them from.

    Here are just a few places that sell GABA supplements:



    Your local health food store or pharmacy, if you have these, might also sell GABA.

    Where you live, the place where you buy GABA from, and the postage and handling charges (if you buy GABA online) can, among other things, obviously, influence the price.

    Type “buy GABA” into Google to see many places that sell it.

    Best wishes,


  140. Nyomi says:

    Hi Heidi,

    Thanks for your comments. I’m sorry to hear about GABA causing constipation. Here’s some information on WebMD that might be helpful: There’s plenty of information on the web, in books, articles and more on constipation, if you’re interested in reading more about it.

    A good way to remember three top ways to help prevent and treat constipation is FEW, which stands for:

    * Fibre: get enough dietary fibre from foods containing fibre, such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains

    * Exercise: do enough exercise

    * Water: drink plenty of water

    I hope you feel better soon. If your problem persists, is bothering you and/or worsens, see a relevant health professional.

    Best wishes,


  141. Crystal says:


    I have been reading a bout GABA for years. I tried it on my son that has Asperger’s Syndrome years ago, did nothing, he said. That was when he was in Jr. High. He is now 29.

    Nevertheless, I continue to read more and more about GABA because I am a Highly Sensitive Person and have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I have been on medication most of my life because of my sensitivities. Eventho, I have done a lot of yoga, meditation, always trying to eat the healthiest foods, working on my anxieties with positive thinking and being closer to God, to try to make the anxieties GO AWAY but that is usually only momentary, just for it to return which is very frustrating and exhausting. And now, that I have been through menopause, I have acquired more issues with anxiety, and now depression. The snowball effect is getting bigger and bigger.

    Nevertheless, some people, it is believed that there’s a chemical imbalance in their make up that causes these issues with anxiety. So supplementing is something that is necessary for them, just like food. They need to fill the inborn void so they can survive. If a person was diabetic, nobody would deny them insulin, right? That is the same as us. But so many want to jump on the ban wagon to just make their lives easier, not for daily survival.

    I believe that GABA could very well be the key that is lacking in some of us, especially Highly Sensitive People. But because it supposedly doesn’t cross the brain barrier, we still suffer.

    I also read that vitamin B6 and L-Theanine helps administer the GABA across the brain barrier. Not sure if this is true or not but the problem I see with this is that these are stimulants and causes more anxiety for people that are prone to excitability. I have taken these before and it is true, at least it was for me. I heard that L-theanine was great for anxiety but really never knew what kind of anxiety. It seems the kind of anxiety for people with ADHD. I have no trouble with focusing. If anything, I over focus, which most Highly Sensitive People do. We tend to be like sponges and soak up all subtles and become overwhelmed without even realizing it.

    I did buy some micro lingual GABA, 100 mgs to begin with. I have just started taking them and feel a tiny bit better. Not sure if it’s the placebo effect or not. But I will continue to try taking them and increasing the dose soon.

    I would like to know if magnesium helps with GABA cross the brain barrier. And if GABA really helps with IBS? I have heard some great results with that but not if it really suppose to work. I appreciate any feedback.

    Thank you so much,

  142. Nyomi says:

    Hi Crystal,

    Thanks for commenting. Having IBS, sensitivities, depression, anxiety and a son with Asperger’s Syndrome can be difficult and overwhelming for you. That’s great that you’re trying yoga, meditation and other effective, and relatively safe, ways to help reduce your anxiety. I hope things improve a lot for you soon.

    To help answer your questions, according to the Vitality and Wellness Centre: “Magnesium deficiency is common in western society with up to 80% of women and 70% of men having some form of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium binds to and activates GABA receptors. Anxiety, panic disorders, apathy, poor attention span, depression, insomnia, irritability and nervousness may all result from magnesium deficiency.” For more information visit

    Overcoming Your Anxiety says: “Magnesium is also essential for GABA activity, enhancing GABA sensitivity on nerve receptors (just one of the many essential functions of magnesium in your body). Magnesium is great as a muscle relaxant, and also has a calming effect … Low levels of magnesium are associated with a whole range of disorders, including high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid imbalances as well as anxiety, so a magnesium supplement makes sense if you have any of these conditions.” Read more at:

    Dr. Julian Whitaker says: “If anxiety is contributing to your IBS symptoms, give gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) a try. This amino acid binds to receptor sites in the brain, blocking “excitatory” neurotransmitters and keeping you on an even keel.” Visit for more information. claims that: “Using serotonin boosting nutrients and amino acids like 5-HTP, tryptophan, St. John’s wort, SAME and the like can help calm and tone an irritated belly. Next to consider are GABA-boosting nutrients and compounds such as glycine, l-theanine, taurine, valerian root, skullcap, and kava kava.” Read this and more at

    Check out my articles tagged ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ on Extra Happiness, if you’re interested: and

    All the best Crystal

    Kind regards,


  143. MS says:


    I have been having depression and anxiety issues for the last 25 years. It all started with heartburn and turned into anxiety and depression since i couldn’t treat the root cause in a timely manner. i was on Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Lamical for several years before i weaned off completing this year after taking Iodine supplementation therapy. I was doing great few months until i stopped my last 25 mg of zoloft. I think i came of my last bit of zoloft too quickly and have mild anxiety currently. I tried HTP and L-Tryptophan, both seem to help but get upset my stomach. I am treating my stomach with Pepzin GI Soothe to reset it back to what it was when i was in early 20s.

    Any suggestion on GABA or St John Wart and their effectiveness and suitability to my sensitive stomach. Appreciate your reply and response.


  144. Nyomi says:

    Hi MS,

    Thanks for your comment. I hope your depression, anxiety and stomach upset ease soon.

    Sorry, I am not a medical doctor, so I am unable to recommend medications for you. I recommend that you talk with one or more relevant health care professionals (such as your general practitioner) about your anxiety, depression, any supplements and medication you are taking (and have taken), your side effects, weaning off Zoloft, health history and so on.

    I have written an article on Extra Happiness about St John’s wort (SJW). Read this at if you’re interested. Like I wrote in this article, SJW is, generally, considered safe, and has only a few side effects. One of the most common side effects is stomach upset.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Best wishes,


  145. MS says:

    Hi Nyomi
    Thanks for your feedback.

  146. Rafael says:

    Does anyone here tried Picamilon?

    Supposedly it’s GABA bonded with niacin. It can cross brain-blood barrier, and release GABA in the brain.

    It is sold OTC in US, and prescription in Russia.

    I checked briefly internet, it can be purchased in China where i currently live. Done know about other countries.

  147. Travis says:

    Kind of confusing. It is suppose to be a downer, but the side effects listed challenges the usage effects.

  148. Dorma says:

    Hi Nyomi. I have been taking GABA for about 3 months and take 300 mgms at night. I am delighted as I have weaned off Zopiclone completely since taking GABA!! Are they addictive though as I don’t want to substitute one addictive medicine for another possibly addictive tablet! Thanks Dorma x

  149. Nyomi says:

    Hi Dorma,

    Thanks for your comment and questions. I apologise for my late reply. To answer your question about whether GABA is addictive, someone asked this question on and received a reply from Dr. Anil Kumar. To see the question and response, visit

    Ray Sahelian, M.D. says in his article about GABA: “I have no reason to suspect it [the GABA supplement mentioned] has dependency or addictive potential.” For more details visit

    In case you’re also interested in the addictiveness of sleeping tablets (such as zopiclone), according to Professor Kevin Morgan, professor of gerontology at the University of Loughborough, sleeping tablets can cause addiction or dependency. For more information, visit

    The website says: “Dependence and withdrawal effects with zopiclone do occur, although rarely.” Visit for more details.

    I recommend that you keep in regular contact with a relevant health professional, such as your GP, when weaning off any medication and/or changing medications/supplements. This is to, for example, avoid any bad side effects (some of which might be serious) that might occur during weaning.

    All the best

    Kind regards,


  150. Rajeev says:

    This is Rajeev from india diagonised with idiopathic hypersomnia and having a reoccurrence for last 5 years.
    Tried with everything.
    Sleep study. MSLT.immune doctors.
    Ayurveda.homeopathy but nothing has helped … The only thing I understand it was deficiency of gaba receptors called hypocretin or oxerin.

    Can you help me for any kind of supplements to treat this sleep disorder

  151. Nyomi says:

    Hi Rajeev,

    Thanks for your comment. I hope your idopathic hyersomnia eases soon. It must be difficult for you trying different things and nothing seems to work.

    I’m really sorry, but because I am not a medical doctor, I am unable to recommend medications for you. I recommend that you talk with one or more relevant health care professionals (such as your general practitioner) about your health problem and medications/supplements that might help.

    I did a Google search for you, and two articles in the search results that might be helpful for you are:

    All the best

    Kind regards,


  152. Hello I was wondering since I have epilepsy, would i only use that when I’m stress and can’t sleep or can it be used for seizures? I would never stop taking my medication, just would like to know more. THANK YOU

  153. Nyomi says:

    Hi Carrie,

    Thanks for your question and comment.

    Sorry, I am unable to tell you whether a GABA supplement might be suitable for you because I am not a medical doctor. I recommend that you talk to your doctor about it.

    Ray Sahelian, M.D. has information about GABA and epilepsy on his website. It’s in the first paragraph of this article about GABA, if you’re interested:

    Here’s another article about GABA that might interest you:

    Please note that the information in the suggested articles is not intended to diagnose nor treat you; it’s provided for educational purposes only. Just to reinforce, please talk to your doctor about whether GABA might be suitable for you.

    All the best Carrie. I hope you feel better soon.

    Kind regards,


  154. christi says:

    I’m trying to taper off of ARican. I have been using gaba calm when the withdrawal get unbearable. Could this be dangerous? I sure hope not because it really seems to be helping me.

  155. christi says:

    Correction- Ativan

  156. jay says:

    Hi, great article

    just one question on GABA. i took gaba last weekend and it made an immediate and noticeable difference, it was amazing. I’m just wondering if you can build a tolerance to gaba, and it can stop working over time?

    my understanding on tolerance is that the more of a substance you provide, the less sensitive your receptors become to the substance and they down regulate, so you need more to get the same effect.

    so will providing extra gaba, lead to the receptors being down regulated and less sensitive to gaba? I’ve been told by some that this wont happen.

    i tried looking how gaba was stored and i see it is stored in the end of pre synaptic nerve terminals, and then just released when there is a signal, so I’m wondering if supplementing gaba just boosts gaba stores, and it is only released when there is a need for it. in this way, supplementing gaba wont cause tolerance because it is not effecting gaba release and increasing the gaba binding to receptors, its just increasing the gaba stores so you have enough when its needed. is this the case?

    or does he gaba you take ( if it crosses the blood brain barrier) just bind instantly to receptors?

    sorry if this question is complicated, i hope you understand what i mean, I’m basically asking if the gaba you take is stored in pre synaptic nerves until you need it to be released, or if it just binds to receptors straight away?

    I’m trying to find out if gaba could cause tolerance, because I’m wanting to increase my dose slightly, but don’t want to do this if it may cause tolerance

    if there is no evidence, could you state your own opinion based on your knowledge

  157. jay says:

    to correct myself, i think it is post synaptic nerve terminals that gaba is stored in, not pre.

    i am not sure

  158. Nyomi says:

    Hi Christi,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m very sorry to take a while to get back to you.

    To help answer your question, here’s a link to the results of a review of Ativan (Lorazepam) and GABA taken together, on eHealthMe:

    Note that the sample size is, however, very small, i.e. only three people.

    Below is a link to questions and answers about Ativan and GABA, on MedHelp, which might be of interest to you:

    Sorry, I am not a medical doctor, so I am unable to prescribe/recommend medications and/or supplements to you. Talk to a relevant health care professional, such as your GP, about this, including your medication and supplement history, any side effects you’ve had with these and so on.

    All the best Christi

    Kind regards,


  159. Nyomi says:

    Hi Jay,

    Thanks for your comment and your kind words about my GABA article. I apologize for taking a while to respond.

    In regards to your question about building a tolerance to GABA, the Denver Naturopathic Clinic’s website says: “Will the brain adapt to supplemental GABA? There are no answers to this as no one has proven GABA reaches the brain. 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.”

    For more information, visit

    To help answer your question about whether supplemental GABA is stored in post synaptic nerve terminals until we need it to be released, or GABA binds to receptors straight away, according to what-when-how: “GABA is synthesised from glutamate by the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). It is stored in vesicles within the synaptic terminal of neurons. When an action potential comes down the axon and reaches the synaptic terminal, calcium channels are activated, resulting in calcium influx. This leads to fusion of the neurotransmitter-containing vesicles with the cell membrane and release of the neurotransmitter, in this case GABA, into the synaptic cleft. The GABA diffuses across the synaptic gap and binds to its receptor.”

    Read more at , if you’re interested.

    The following article about GABA might also be helpful:

    All the best Jay.

    Kind regards,


  160. Franco says:

    Thank you so much for such an informative article. It’s has really helped me. GABA has helped me manage my anxiety naturally. Doctors are too quick to prescribed meds like Ativan to control anxiety. When my anxiety was at its worse, I was taking up to 3-4 500mg capsule a day. I now only take one 150mg of L Theanine in the morning and one 500mg of GABA at night which I dissolve in a cup of chamomile tea with a bit of honey. It’s very soothing and relaxing. I also switched to drinking decaffeinated coffee & herbal teas and I take long walks. The difference is day and night. I’m so much happier and calmer. 🙂

  161. Nyomi says:

    Hi Franco,

    Thank you very much for your kind words about my article. I’m glad that you like it and that it has helped you.

    That’s great news that you’re feeling better. Thank you for sharing. Your positive news might also help others on this blog.

    All the best Franco.

    Best wishes,


  162. Mike Thomson says:

    Hi, I am dealing with adrenal fatigue and trying to add the paleo diet to my list of tools to heal myself. I am having a hard time getting enough food in with the paleo diet. I am currently eating around 180P/350C/150F and its a huge chore to get all those carbs in from paleo friendly sources. Should I try getting more fats & proteins in instead of the carbs? I need to raise my calories some more as I am still in a slight deficit. Here is useful information I found found from this website about adrenal fatigue diet Hope you all will like it

  163. bioscigeek says:

    Hello All,

    Just sharing path that has worked for me:

    I had serious anxiety (panic disorder) for and was taking Alprazolam in does of up to 4 mg. per day for twenty years. I lost my physician and found myself in a world that was pushing Zoloft and SSRI’s and had a hard time getting my script filled. That began the two year journey to rid myself of most of it.

    The SSRi’s were harmful for me. I am very surprised that are pushed as hard as they are.
    Things I used to augment my anxiety that worked:

    Kava Kava-this works very well but is pricey (Gaia). I was illegal for years until relatively recently
    in parts of Europe (Poland) and Canada though that has changed. The stuff works.

    GABA-I know all the arguments that it may not cross the blood brain barrier but for whatever reason-it works-it is doing something positive so it is getting there.

    Kefir: The body’s GABA is made in the gut and Kefir is a good cost effective probiotic that helps this. It is very helpful/.

    Valerian root-I hate the taste of this and in quantity, it upset’s my stomach but it has a calming effect. It is mildly helpful/

    Chamomile: I use a large amount (many tea bags worth) as I it’s cheap in bulk. It helps-mildly helpful.

    Exercise-Very helpful. A 45 minute run is very helpful.

    Of all these, GABA is relatively new to me (1 year) but I am very happy to have found it and it is in the very helpful category-as in it actually does something for me.

    Best of luck to all out there.

  164. Nyomi says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks very much for your comment. I’m sorry to take so long to reply.

    Whatever diet you choose to eat, there are, obviously, some fundamentals to healthy eating habits. These include the following guidelines:
    * Eat a variety of nutritious foods each day
    * Eat plenty of whole foods, for example choose whole grains over refined grains
    * Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and a good variety of these
    * Eat enough protein for good health
    * Eat enough healthy fats such as monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fat
    * Eat low amounts of refined sugar. Here’s some information about sugar that I found interesting from the World Health Organization:
    * Eat low amounts of junk foods
    * Eat low amounts of highly processed foods
    * Avoid hydrogenated oils, which are high in unhealthy trans fats

    One of the healthiest diets in the world is the traditional Mediterranean diet. Here are two articles about it, if you are interested:

    There are a variety of healthy eating guidelines around the world. They can vary from country to country, and from one organisation to another. Harvard University’s Healthy Eating Plate is one example of a healthy eating guide. For various reasons, I think it’s one of the better ones.

    In regards to the amount of fat, carbohydrates and protein that you should eat daily, this will depend on a variety of factors, such as your level of physical activity, health status and body weight. Here’s some information about daily nutrient intake from the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA):

    I don’t know your physical activity level, weight, height and age, so I can’t recommend how much protein, carbohydrates and fat that you need to eat each day. Saying this, however, if you are eating 180 grams (g) of (pure) protein and 150g of fat each day, that is a lot for an average adult. An average adult requires about 50g of protein and 70g of fat a day, according to the above information from the DAA. Having too much or too little of any nutrient can cause health problems. Aim for balance. Your intake of carbohydrates (350g) is close to an average adult’s requirements of 310g.

    In regards to adrenal fatigue, I recommend that you get some medical tests done, if you haven’t already done so. Check out this information about testing, if you like:

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    All the best

    Kind regards,


  165. Nyomi says:

    Hi Bioscigeek,

    Thank you for sharing information about your life. That’s great that you are feeling better.

    I’m sorry to take so long to reply to your comment.

    All the best

    Kind regards,


  166. Aida says:

    I am taking GABA for about 4 months now, and it changed my life. I even went back to school and I am in the middle on my MS in Finance. I take the GABA at night and then I go to bed. I wake up ready to start the day. Before taking GABA, I use to wake up exhausted, with muscle and headaches. Dreadful way to begin a day. I eat healthy, however, it looks like eating healthy is not enough for the body to process the so needed chemicals.

  167. Nyomi says:

    Hi Aida,

    That’s awesome that you’re feeling better! Thanks for sharing the good news on this blog.

    All the best with your study.

    Best wishes,

  168. Trab says:

    Hi Nyomi.
    I have a stress anxiety and take alprazolam xanor.
    is it safe to take GABA while taking alprazolam..
    & Revotril

  169. Suppsforlife says:

    hi, if i take gaba orally, will it raise my hgh level? thank you

  170. Tom says:

    Proper nutrition is very useful, in conjunction with medications this gives excellent results.

  171. Dave says:

    Can GABA lower other levels in the human body? What are all the ingredients in GABA.

  172. Nyomi says:

    Hi Trab,

    Thanks for your question. I’m very sorry to take so long to get back to you. I hope you feel better soon.

    According to WholeHealth Chicago: “Many well-known prescription anxiety medications, including alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), target GABA receptors in the brain. Using GABA with prescription anti-anxiety agents may produce a dangerous additive effect. Always let your doctor know if you are taking GABA or other supplements.” Read more at if you’re interested.

    In my GABA article above, I mentioned under the heading “What medications can GABA interact with?” that: “The DNC [Denver Naturopathic Clinic] says be cautious if taking GABA with any drug that affects GABA pathways in the brain. These drugs include – but are not limited to – : … the anti-anxiety drugs benzodiazepine tranquillisers.” (Alprazolam and Rivotril are both types of benzodiazepines).

    I highly recommend that you talk to your doctor about taking GABA, especially since you’re already taking alprazolam.

    Best wishes,


  173. Nyomi says:

    Hi Suppsforlife,

    Thanks for your question. I apologize for taking a long time to reply to you.

    Like I mentioned in my article above under the heading “What is GABA and how does it work?”, apparently taking GABA orally can raise the level of human growth hormone (HGH) in the body.

    Here’s the URL to the abstract of a journal article with some more information about this:

    All the best

    Kind regards,


  174. mal maru says:

    Participants consuming a teaspoon of Marmite every day for a month, compared to a control group who consumed peanut butter, showed a substantial reduction of around 30 per cent in their brain’s response to visual stimuli, measured by recording electrical activity using electroencephalography (EEG).

    Researchers think this may be due to the prevalence of vitamin B12 in Marmite increasing levels of a specific neurotransmitter – known as GABA – in the brain.

    Vitamin B12 helps generate the fatty layer of the nerve endings, also known as myelin. The myelin layer must be intact for neuron signals to transmit properly. A vitamin B12 deficiency may impair the myelin layer and prevent proper signal transmission.

  175. Ross says:

    I had never heard of taking GABA supplements, but it sounds like it works for a wide variety of things, which is great. This was a very informative website and I liked that it included side effects, which foods are good and what drugs it interacts with. Like mentioned in this article (, the gut and brain are connected, so what you take in greatly affects both.

  176. Nyomi says:

    Thanks very much for your contributions Mal and Ross. I appreciate them.

    Best wishes,


  177. Nick says:

    Good day, what a quite informative and helpful article. I have been having this strange feelings for more months now… eye pain/strain, headache, cheek pain, teeth ache, ear pain, dizziness and imbalance a times, seen physicians, neurologist and opthalmologist to no avail. Don’t know if am suffering from TN. Read online St. John Wort is good. Can I use Gabapentin? I have to find solution myself since no specialist has been helpful. Kindly reply please.
    From Nigeria.

  178. Liz Lucci says:

    They are saying this supplement as ADDERAL , in local gas station and wondered how they could use the medical name to sale this. Seems scary to me for folks that don’t research it??

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