GABA or gamma aminobutryic acid is one of the most abundant inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. Though classified as an amino acid, GABA in the proper amounts and proper balance with other amino acids helps induce sleep and relaxation. In proper amounts it is a balancer of sorts for the brain. When out of balance or when taken continually from an outside source, it can be a major problem over time.
Unfortunately, some nutritional companies have mistakenly added this to their formula (even HGH formulas). This can create a two-fold problem:
1. When time over time, GABA can slow down brain functioning and reduce IQ. One of my biochemistry instructors said it best albeit it crudely, “GABA makes you stupid.” It can also confusion, reduced respiratory function and other potentially fatal side effects.
2. When a person takes a single amino acid over time, this can disrupt the entire amino acid sequence. This can be problematic as well over time. When the amino acid is stopped, it is not uncommon for a deficiency of that amino acid to occur.
If you are using GABA medium to long term OR if you are using this in a formula, my professional opinion is to STOP IMMEDIATELY.
There are saver ways to balance the brain’s neurotransmitters, relax the system or induce sleep without such risky potential side effects. How?
Firstly, one needs to identify the cause of the problem Once the cause is identified, exact measures can be taken. For example, when the liver is congested, a person would experience irritability, muscle spasm and insomnia, particularly between the hours of 1am and 3am. An herb such as Bupleurum or a formula containing milk thistle would be something to consider.
When a company throws together ingredients simply because of common actions (Ex/ “These 4 ingredients all lower blood sugar. Let’s put them in one formula.”), this is considered very low level formula creation. There are many factors to consider:
- Do the ingredients blend with each other?
- Do the ingredients counter each other?
- Do ingredients such as GABA have long term side effects?
- What meridians do they enter and will they counter each other?