GABA is an abbreviation for gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that your body naturally produces. Its role in your body is to help regulate the function of your nervous system. Producing a feeling of relaxation and calm. As a supplement GABA often sold in vitamin and nutrition stores alongside other purportedly calming vitamins and supplements. Such as B vitamins, 5-HTP and valerian root.
According to a University of California research physicist with a specialty in nutritional biochemistry, Rick Puetter, Ph.D., GABA has a similar effect on your body as B vitamins, though it chemically functions differently. GABA also marketed as a muscle building supplement, anti-anxiety supplement and even for reducing hypertension. With so many uses it is possible that you may be taking GABA along with daily vitamin supplementation.
Lack of Research
As of May 2011, there has been little research into potential side effects of GABA supplements when taken with other vitamins. According to the University of Michigan Health System. GABA does not have any known food or vitamin interactions that you need to be concerned. Dr. Ray Sahelian notes that many GABA supplements are mixes with other herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba and ginseng. without producing adverse side effects. However, you should always consult with a physician or trained nutritional specialist before taking any supplement.
In July 2008, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration received a notice package from Pharma Foods International Company requesting that GABA supplements receive a generally recognized as safe or GRAS exemption from FDA regulations. The GRAS notice highlighted several studies that showed GABA supplementation to have few side effects. It also noted that foods such as tomatoes, melons and potatoes – which are rich in other vitamins – contain significant levels of GABA. However, the GRAS exemption request was eventually withdrawn because it did not fully meet the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards.
Uptake of GABA
GABA has been shown to have difficulty crossing the blood-brain barrier when taken orally. Because of this oral supplements of GABA may have little to no effect on your central nervous system. Therefore, it may be more effective to take other vitamins. Such as B and C vitamins or supplements such as valerian to stimulate GABA production in your body or produce neurochemistry with a similar effect.