Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a chemical that is made in the brain. Because GABA that is made naturally in the brain has anti-seizure and anti-anxiety effects, there is interest in using it as a dietary supplement. But when taken by mouth, GABA is not able to cross the blood brain barrier. Therefore it does not have the same effects as drugs that increase levels of natural GABA.
GABA is taken by mouth for relieving anxiety and stress, improving mood, reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used for promoting lean muscle growth, burning fat, and for treating high blood pressure, motion sickness, cerebral palsy, bronchitis, Cushing's disease, epilepsy, Huntington's disease, meningitis, a progressive brain disease caused by exposure to chemicals, and pain.
GABA is used under the tongue for increasing the sense of well-being, relieving injuries, improving exercise tolerance, decreasing body fat, and increasing lean body weight.
How it works
GABA works by blocking brain signals (neurotransmissions).
Possibly EffectiveHigh blood pressure
Research shows that drinking 100 mL of fermented milk containing 10-12 mg of GABA daily at breakfast for 12 weeks reduces blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Other limited research shows that taking a chlorella supplement containing GABA twice daily for 12 weeks reduces blood pressure in people with slightly elevated blood pressure.
GABA is LIKELY SAFE when taken correctly by mouth for short periods of time, up to 12 weeks.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking GABA if you arepregnantorbreast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.Are there any interactions with medications?
ModerateMedications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)
GABA seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking GABA along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.