17 Nov Keep calm and take GABA!
So last week we discussed the intro to our current discussion on foods to help boost your mood and neurotransmitters. You can see part one here.
Here again is the overview for brain hormones (neurotransmitters)
- Serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, acetylcholine, GABA
- Relaxing side = serotonin and GABA
- Stimulating = dopamine, adrenaline and acetylcholine
- Impacts cravings and motivation
So as you can see, GABA, impacts your relaxation side. Often new clients come in showing either signs of anxiety, or are already on an anti-anxiety med ( here is a great article on an overview of medications used and neurotransmitter issues including GABA deficiency) to help keep them relaxed, calm and or happy.
Once we know this we focus on ways to increase GABA as much as we can both through nutrition and supplementation.
Signs of GABA deficiency
“Gaba is produced in the temporal lobes and is associated throughout the brain with
calming, rhythmic theta waves – the “idling frequency” of neurons. GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain, which keeps all of the other biochemicals in check. GABA controls the brains rhythm so that you function mentally and physically at a steady pace. When your rhythm is thrown off by a GABA deficiency, you may begin to feel anxious, nervous, or irritable. Without enough GABA, your brain produces energy in bursts, which impacts your emotional well-being.
Physical Issues: Tremors, allergies, appetite changes, backache, blurred vision, carbohydrate cravings, chest pain, clammy hands, constipation, decreased libido, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, dry mouth, excessive sleepiness, headache, hypertension, hyperventilation, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, muscle loss, muscle tension, nausea, night sweats, parethesias, PMS, protein cravings, seizures, shortness of breath, stroke, heart palpitations, ringing in ears, trembling, twitching, urinary frequency.
Personality Issues: Problems adjusting to stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of dread, excessive guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, emotional immaturity, manic depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, rage, restlessness, thoughts of suicide, psychosis.” (1)
What foods help GABA?
Teas: green, black and oolong teas
Fermented foods: organic yogurt, Kiefer, some cheeses, Korean Kimchi (2)
What supplements help with GABA?
(always check with your physician before supplementing)
GABA Boosters (best response usually comes from GABA and inositol)
Inositol 500 mg
GABA 100 mg 500 mg
Glutamic Acid 250 mg 500 mg
Melatonin (at night) 1 mg 2 mg
Thiamine 200 mg 400 mg
Niacinamide 25 mg 100 mg
Pyridoxine 5 mg 10 mg
Valerian root 100 mg 200 mg
Passionflower 200 mg 500 mg
So if you have issues with staying calm, read part I, making the needed dietary changes and try some of the mentioned supplements which are usually best 30 minutes before bed or so. Any questions contact us.
Next week, dopamine!
2. “Bioactive Proteins and Peptides as Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals,” by Yoshinori Mine.
3. Aizawa et al. The Synchronous Activity of Lateral Habenular Neurons Is Essential for Regulating Hippocampal Theta Oscillation. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2013 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4369-12.2013
4. C. Challis, J. Boulden, A. Veerakumar, J. Espallergues, F. M. Vassoler, R. C. Pierce, S. G. Beck, O. Berton. Raphe GABAergic Neurons Mediate the Acquisition of Avoidance after Social Defeat. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33 (35): 13978 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2383-13.2013