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GABA and Anxiety: Gamma Amino butyric Acid food Sources

Updated on October 3, 2018
GABA and Anxiety: The Many Health Benefits of GABA
GABA and Anxiety: The Many Health Benefits of GABA | Source


GAMMA-Aminobutyruc Acid
GAMMA-Aminobutyruc Acid | Source

Health benefits of GABA

  • A sense of well being.
  • Calms the symptoms of ADHD (attention hyperactivity disorder).
  • Increased memory function.
  • Improves fat burn.
  • Improved mood.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Pain relief from muscle fatigue.
  • Promotes muscle recovery.
  • Promotes lean muscle.
  • Promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
  • Reduces PMS symptoms (premenstrual symptoms).
  • Relief from anxiety.
  • Stabilizes blood pressure readings.

Continued research and clinical studies pending to fully confirm the effects of GABA in the human body.

What are the symptoms of GABA deficiency?

A poor diet can lead to a GABA deficiency. Symptoms can include:

  • anxiousness
  • depression and/or mood disorders
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • palpatations
  • rapid heartbeat
  • restlessness
  • tinnitus
  • trembling

Possible Factors for Causing GABA Deficiency

  • alcohol withdrawal
  • lack of B complex vitamins
  • lack of glutamine (required for making GABA)
  • excessive caffeine
  • pain
  • stress
  • lack of sleep

Supplement Alert:

GABA supplements have been known to cause drowsiness. Be cautious when starting a GABA regimen and consult with your physician. Avoid handling machinery and vehicles until establishing your respective reactions to GABA.

Additional side effects when consuming large doses: queasiness and upset stomach. May cause a lowering of blood pressure.

Natural Food Sources that Help the Body Create GABA

  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Brown Rice
  • Lentils
  • Oranges
  • Spinach
  • Walnuts
  • Whole Grains: oats and wheat

What is GABA? Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid

GABA = gamma aminobutyric acid

  • A non essential amino acid
  • A neurotransmitter (frequently identified as the calming neurotransmitter)
  • Affects the central nervous system
  • Inhibits excitability by regulating neurons in the brain.

What is an amino acid? Amino acids form to create proteins. Amino acids help the body grow, repair body tissue and break down food. Amino acids together with protein are commonly identified as the building blocks of life.

There are three types of amino acids:

  • Essential
  • Non Essential
  • Conditional

GABA is a non essential amino acid. This means the body can produce it. The amino acid used to create GABA is glutamic acid.

What is a neurotransmitter? This is a chemical released from a nerve cell used to transmit impulses between nerves, muscles and organs. Consider the neurotransmitter as the messenger.

What is a neuron? A neuron is a brain cell.

Therefore, GABA is a neurotransmitter, which calms the neurons in the brain and reduces excitability. This is especially helpful to those who suffer anxiety, ADHD and is also helpful to some epileptic patients. GABA also regulates muscle tone.

What is a Neurotransmitter?

How does GABA work?

GABA stabilizes the firing of neurons. Without GABA the nervous system could be impaired and negatively affect mental stability and movement.

How does the body get GABA?

GABA is produced in the brain and can also be consumed pharmaceutically. The synthesis of GABA can be created with the aid of natural food sources. Glutamic acid is the precursor to GABA.

GABA Synapse Diagram

How GABA receptors and how it transmits.
How GABA receptors and how it transmits. | Source
How To Stop Anxiety
How To Stop Anxiety | Source

GABA, L-Theanine and Anxiety

How to Stop Anxiety

Anxiety attacks take a toll on our mental and physical health. Being overwhelmed and stressed affects every part of our body. Learn how you can stop anxiety naturally.

GABA for ADHD: Hyperactivity Disorder

Recommended childhood doses of GABA should be monitored by a pediatrician. Accurate and effective doses are still being investigated. In one particular study, students in Japan were given 100 mg of GABA prior to a math test with promising results.

Disclaimer: Information in this hub is research based. The author is not a physician and does not diagnose or treat health issues. The information provided in this hub should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. Please consult a physician for medical and dietary advice and treatment. GABA deficiency should not be assumed or treated without the supervision of a medical professional.

© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares


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    • profile image


      7 months ago

      I’ve been using GABA for about three days and I feel really good. I’m very calm and relaxed throughout the day and I feel great especially when I work out. Great article

    • ValKaras profile image

      Val Karas 

      4 years ago from Canada

      A great hub indeed. Too bad that GABA is not very absorbable by body from supplements. But I am happy to mention that through my mental practices I can produce at will all these "happy neurotransmitters" (or neuropeptides), whether they are GABA, serotonin, dopamine, or endorphins - in form of blissful feelings all over my body. It's amazing what mind can do.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I put your Hub in my Food bookmarks. This is an awesome Hub.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Missolive Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of GABA. I sometimes suffer from panic attacks related to my heart condition. I already eat many of the foods that appear on the list but need to increase them and add some other recommended food. Your research is outstanding, and maybe you already possess the information of good foods for the body. I need to read the hub again to make sure I remember the important elements. Sharing. Blessinigs, Audrey

    • Amanda108 profile image


      6 years ago from Michigan, United States

      As a long-time anxiety sufferer who also experiences low-energy and depression, I found this article very inspirational! I'll try mixing some of the food suggestions into my daily diet and see if it makes a difference.

    • sassypiehole profile image

      Lisa René LeClair 

      6 years ago from the ATL

      I suffer from panic attacks. Haven't had one in a long time, but I keep GABA in my car (just in case). Great information!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      vespawoolf, I hope you are doing well and are feeling happy and healthy. My apologies for having missed your comment.

      justateacher, wondering how things went for you, I hope you have found a steady balance in your diet, health and mood. Best wishes to you.

      Aplethora, you are quite welcome. My sincerest apologies for not having seen this comment until today, something clearly happened to my notifications several months ago. I sincerely hope you are doing well.

    • Aplethora23 profile image

      Angie Power 

      7 years ago from North Cali

      Thank you for the info on GABA. It sounds perfect for another possibility to help my mother improve. She has Leukemia and is on Chemo Therapy, and I wonder if GABA is ok for her to take along with Chemo? I do not want to do more harm than good, but anything that can ease up some of her anxiety and depression from her current situation is what I am searching for. This supplement sounds perfect in many ways. Voted Up.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      7 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      This sounds like something I need to try for a variety of reasons....maybe I could discontinue some of my medications if I tried this...

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      7 years ago from Peru, South America

      I just bought some GABA for anxiety and after reading this, I think I made a good choice. I do tend to suffer from Vitamin B deficiencies, too. Thanks for this helpful information!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      AudraLeigh, thank you for your enthusiasm and wonderful comment. It feels great to know this information and research has been useful to you. I also appreciate the votes and shares, wishing you the very best life has to offer. Cheers! MO

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think I have found a hub that will totally benefit me! I have "mental issue" and have never crossed paths with this info. I am intrigued! You did good here! Voted up and shared!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      teaches1234, thank you! Isn't great we can get GABA through easily accessible foods? I appreciate your wonderfully supportive comment.

      Gypsy Lee Rose, you are quite welcome and thank you! I'm glad you have found the video and information to be useful. Thanks for sharing.

      RTalloni, I've always wanted my own elliptical machine, you inspire me! The food list is rich in other nutrients too, they'd be a wonderful addition to any lifestyle. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      cclitgirl, my favorite combo is almonds in cream cheese - yum! Always glad to share my findings with you.

      kelleyward, great testimony! I greatly appreciate the votes and shares too.

      AudreyHowitt, thank you, I'm glad to hear you enjoy these foods. You? A stress ball? With all that wonderful poetry you write? I'd never know it.

      StephanieBCrosby, you are quite welcome.

      BlissfulWriter, I'm not too sure about the effective absorption of the supplements. Sorry I can't really answer your question, I'll need to do a bit more research on that. I'm more for gaining GABA through the foods we eat.

      Jus Ask Susan, thank you Susan, glad it was useful. It is always a pleasure to spot you on one of my hubs.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is good to know. I'd never heard of GABA before either but found your hub very useful.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Do you know whether GABA supplements are well absorbed or not? I know that Gluthatione supplements are not well absorbed. But I don't know about GABA.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for all the useful information.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      7 years ago from California

      What an interesting article! I looked at the list of GABA producing foods and realized that I eat so many of those foods on a regular basis-- but I still think I am a stress ball

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've taken this before for anxiety. Love the detail you provided here. Thanks for writing this! Voted up and shared! Kelley

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      7 years ago from Western NC

      I didn't know about GABA. Thank you for the educational lesson. This is great information to know. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      So full of helpful info. Thanks much for this look at Gaba Supplement. We've recently begun using a new elliptical machine and I'll be showing this to my husband as well as taking a closer look at this supplement for our use. We consume the foods on this list, but as we increase exercise the supplement may be helpful for a while.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Thanks for this interesting and informative hub. Great details and video. Glad to know food sources have it. I will tell you that I couldn't even pronounce this leave alone know what it was. A really useful share and passing it on.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Voted up for the educational value and health issues covered. Gaba is so important overall and glad that we can get it from natural food sources. Well done and very interesting to read.


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