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In the fast-paced world we inhabit, maintaining a sense of calm and focused mental well-being can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, nature provides some solutions, one of which is Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, or as it’s commonly known, GABA. The benefits of GABA Calming Support, including enhanced mood, stress reduction, and improved sleep, have captured the attention of those seeking natural ways to balance their health.
What Is GABA Calming Support?
This combination supplement product is designed by Daniel Amen, MD, a renowned psychiatrist who founded Amen Clinics. It combines Vitamin B6, Magnesium, GABA, Lemon Balm Extract, and L-Theanine.
GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in your brain. It plays a key role in behavior, cognition, and the body’s response to stress. GABA functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning it blocks or inhibits certain brain signals and decreases activity in your nervous system.
GABA Calming Support is a combination formula designed to increase the levels of GABA in your brain, or enhance its effects. This supplement is designed to help reduce stress, promote relaxation, improve mood, and support better sleep, as the increased inhibition in the nervous system may have a calming, sedative effect.
It is unclear GABA supplements work, as it’s believed that GABA itself may have difficulty crossing the blood-brain barrier. However, some evidence suggests GABA produces its effects by communicating with the brain through the vagus nerve. [PMC9227210]
What are the Benefits of GABA?
Here are some of the potential benefits of GABA:
- Stress Reduction: GABA supplements may help manage and lower stress levels by reducing the overactivity in your nervous system, promoting a sense of calm.
- Improved Mood: By calming the nervous system, GABA could potentially help improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety or fear.
- Better Sleep: GABA plays a key role in your sleep cycle. By promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety, GABA supplements might help you fall asleep more easily and achieve better quality sleep.
- Enhanced Focus: Some research suggests that an appropriate balance of GABA is crucial for optimal cognitive function. Too little GABA can contribute to hyperactivity and distractibility.
- Pain Relief: Some studies have indicated that GABA can play a role in managing chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.
Is GABA Calming Support Safe?
GABA supplements can interact with certain medications, potentially changing how these medications work or increasing the risk of side effects. Here are some types of medication that can interact with GABA supplements:
- Sedatives (Benzodiazepines): These medications, which include drugs like Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), and Ativan (lorazepam), can enhance the effects of GABA in the brain.
- Severity of Interaction: Moderate to High. Taking GABA supplements with these drugs could increase their sedative effects, potentially leading to excessive drowsiness or lethargy.
- Antidepressants: Some types of antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), can influence GABA levels in the brain.
- Severity of Interaction: Moderate. Combining these medications with GABA supplements could potentially enhance or diminish the effects of either, possibly leading to unwanted side effects or decreased effectiveness of treatment.
- Antihypertensives: Certain medications used to lower blood pressure might be influenced by GABA, as it may have a relaxing effect on blood vessels.
- Severity of Interaction: Low to Moderate. Taking GABA supplements with these drugs could potentially enhance their blood-pressure-lowering effects. This interaction is less well-studied, so caution is advised.
- Alcohol: While not a medication, it’s important to note that alcohol also enhances the effects of GABA in the brain.
- Severity of Interaction: High. Combining alcohol with GABA supplements could lead to increased sedation, drowsiness, and potentially dangerous decreases in motor coordination.
Medication Interactions with GABA Calming Support
GABA supplements can potentially interact with other dietary supplements. Here’s a list of some nutritional supplements that could interact with GABA:
- St. John’s Wort: This is an herbal supplement often used for depression. It can influence GABA activity in the brain.
- Interaction: Moderate. Combining with GABA supplements might enhance their calming and sedative effects, possibly leading to excessive drowsiness.
- Valerian Root: This herbal supplement is frequently used for sleep disorders and anxiety. It is thought to increase GABA levels in the brain.
- Interaction: Moderate. Taking GABA supplements with valerian may heighten their sedative effects, potentially leading to extreme sleepiness.
- Kava Kava: This is a plant-based supplement used for its calming and anxiety-reducing effects. It can affect GABA receptors.
- Interaction: Moderate. Combining kava kava with GABA supplements might enhance their effects, potentially leading to excess sedation. Note that kava kava can have serious side effects and should only be used under medical supervision.
- Magnesium: This mineral plays a crucial role in nerve transmission and has been shown to interact with GABA receptors.
- Interaction: Low. Taking magnesium with GABA supplements might enhance the calming and anxiety-reducing effects of both. This combination is generally well-tolerated but might cause excessive drowsiness in some people.
GABA Calming Support by Brain MD97094
Serving Size: Amount Per 1 Capsule Serving:
Vitamin B6 … 8 mg
(as pyridoxine HCI and pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
Magnesium … 33 mg
(as glycinate and malate)
GABA … 250mg
Lemon Balm Extract … 50mg
(Melissa officinalis, leaf)
L-Theanine … 33 mg
To Sum It Up
GABA supplements are thought to offer several benefits, mainly due to their role as a neurotransmitter that helps calm the nervous system. GABA Calming Support by BrainMD is designed to assist in managing stress and promoting a sense of calm. GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that plays a key role in reducing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system. GABA increases relaxation, supports better sleep patterns, and fosters a calm mood. It may also improve focus and alleviate feelings of anxiousness. People often turn to GABA Calming Support as a natural approach to stress management. While research on GABA supplements is ongoing, many people find them helpful and incorporate them into their wellness routines to seek a sense of balance and well-being.
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.