GABA is found throughout the central nervous system (CNS), assuming an ever-enlarging role as a significant influence for pain, stress, anxiety, depression as well as stress-induced illness. Before January 1995, there were over 2000 documents and texts on GABA, describing how it affects anxiety/stress in the brain and CNS.
By examining a step-by-step process of what happens in the brain when feeling stress and anxiety, you can easily understand how GABA works and slows down messages. Panic, anxiety or stress-related messages begin to release numerous signals, and concurrently, a physiological response, known as the “fight or flight syndrome”, begins to take place. This is commonly known as a “panic attack.”
The unceasing alert signals from the limbic system eventually overwhelm the cortex (the decision making part of the brain), and the ability of the rest of the stress network to sustain itself becomes exhausted. The balance between the limbic system, and in fact, the rest of the brain to communicate in an orderly manner depends critically on inhibition. GABA inhibits the cells from firing, diminishing the anxiety-related messages from reaching the cortex.
GABA fills certain receptor sites in the brain and the body. This slows down and blocks the excitatory levels of the brain cells that are about to receive the anxiety-related, incoming message. When the message is received by the cortex, it does not overwhelm you with anxiety, panic or pain. You are able to maintain control and remain calm. But, if you are under prolonged stress or anxiety, your brain exhausts all the available GABA and other inhibitory neurotransmitters. This allows anxiety, fear, panic and pain to hit from every direction. Your ability to reason is diminished. In a full blown anxiety or panic attack physical symptoms include excessive sweating, trembling, muscle tension, weakness, loss of control, disorientation, difficulty in breathing, constant fear, headaches, diarrhea, depression and unsteady legs.
Research done at The Pain & Stress Therapy Centre in San Antonio Texas has shown pure GABA 750 mg can mimic the tranquilizing effects of Valium or Librium without the possibility of addiction or fear of being sedated. GABA fills the receptors in the brain and feeds the brain what should be there. Pure GABA dissolves in water; it is tasteless, odorless, and the calming results occur within 10 to 12 minutes.
Human behavior involves the functioning of the whole nervous system, and the nervous system needs amino acids. GABA, glutamine and glycine are vital for energy and the smooth running of the brain functions. B6 (pyridoxine) is GABA’s most important partner.
GABA helps reduce nervousness and promote relaxation; it also helps to reduce sweat rate and maintain body temperature in hot weather. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.