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Home > Anti-aging Research > GABA

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)

Specific Recommendations:


  • The Role of GABA in the Pathogenesis and Treatement of Aniety and other Neurophychiatric Disorders - vcu-cme.org, exp. - "The cliché “If you find one thing wrong in the brain, you’ll find more than one” clearly applies to psychiatric disorders. Most individuals with psychiatric disorders suffer from one or more additional disorders at some point, and it is not surprising that many patients require multipledrug therapy to control their symptoms. Unfortunately, many individuals with comorbid psychiatric disorders fail to respond optimally to treatment. It is likely that specific GABA-enhancing agents will play important roles as treatment for patients with anxiety disorders, with or without comorbidity, and as adjunctive therapy in patients with more complicated neuropsychiatric disorders."

News & Research:

  • Vitamin B6 supplements could reduce anxiety and depression - Science Daily, 7/19/22 - "Vitamin B6 helps the body produce a specific chemical messenger that inhibits impulses in the brain, and our study links this calming effect with reduced anxiety among the participants ... The new study focused on the potential role of Vitamins B6, which is known to increase the body's production of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), a chemical that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain ... more than 300 participants were randomly assigned either Vitamin B6 or B12 supplements far above the recommended daily intake (approximately 50 times the recommended daily allowance) or a placebo, and took one a day with food for a month ... The study showed that Vitamin B12 had little effect compared to placebo over the trial period, but Vitamin B6 made a statistically reliable difference" - See vitamin B6 at Amazon.com.
  • Age-related GABA decline is associated with poor cognition - Science Daily, 1/17/17 - "The study, led by Ronald Cohen of University of Florida's Center for Cognitive Aging and McKnight Brain Institute, shows an association between higher GABA concentrations in the frontal lobe, a brain region important for complex cognitive functioning, and superior performance on a cognitive test in healthy older adults ... Interventions that increase GABA levels (such as exercise) could potentially offset these changes, and this paper opens up a pathway for investigating this exciting possibility" - See GABA at Amazon.com although little if any probably passes the blood brain barrier.
  • GABA supplementation improves planning for actions, study shows - Science Daily, 8/18/15 - "30 healthy participants received 800 mg of GABA or placebo ... Compared to when participants received the placebo, the ingestion of the amino-acid GABA enhanced planning performance. Colzato: "Even if preliminary, these results show that food supplements that include GABA, and perhaps foods rich in GABA, are a healthy and cheap way to increase our ability to prioritize planned actions. For instance, people driving a car may benefit from additional GABA."" - See GABA at Amazon.com.
  • Early research shows dietary supplement may lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes - Science Daily, 9/22/11 - "a naturally produced amino acid-like molecule called GABA was given orally to mice that were obese, insulin resistant and in the early stages of Type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that GABA suppressed the inflammatory immune responses that are involved in the development of this condition ... GABA helped prevent disease progression and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, even after onset of Type 2 diabetes in mice"
  • Mind-altering microbes: Probiotic bacteria may lessen anxiety and depression - Science Daily, 8/29/11 - "Probiotic bacteria have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders ... mice fed with Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviours than those fed with just broth. Moreover, ingestion of the bacteria resulted in significantly lower levels of the stress-induced hormone, corticosterone ... regular feeding with the Lactobacillus strain caused changes in the expression of receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA in the mouse brain, which is the first time that it has been demonstrated that potential probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry in normal situations" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Scientists discover new role for vitamin C in the eye and the brain - Science Daily, 7/15/11 - "cells in the retina need to be 'bathed' in relatively high doses of vitamin C, inside and out, to function properly ... Because the retina is part of the central nervous system, this suggests there's likely an important role for vitamin C throughout our brains, to a degree we had not realized before ... The findings could have implications for other diseases, like glaucoma and epilepsy. Both conditions are caused by the dysfunction of nerve cells in the retina and brain that become over excited in part because GABA receptors may not be functioning properly" - See vitamin C products at Amazon.com.
  • Trouble with the latest dance move? GABA might be to blame - Science Daily, 3/3/11 - "those who were more GABA responsive were also quicker to learn the simple motor task. The brains of more GABA-responsive individuals also showed greater activation in the motor cortex during learning. The researchers also found that those with higher GABA concentrations at baseline tended to have slower reaction times and less brain activation during learning ... GABA levels can change after that kind of brain trauma, and the findings support the idea that treatments designed to influence GABA levels might improve learning"
  • Memory's master switch: Molecular power behind memory discovered - Science Daily, 7/29/10 - "Higher concentrations of GABA near a synapse induced a stronger activation of its receptors, weakening basal synapse strength. As a result, GABA makes this synapse more liable to the formation of new memories"
  • Anxiety Protocol - Life Extension Magazine - "Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea and produces a calming effect on the brain (Yokogoshi H et al 1998). It easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and produces subtle changes in biochemistry, including increased production of GABA and dopamine, which cause a tranquilizing effect"
  • PharmaGABA: Natural Support for Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia - Dr. Murray's Natural Living, 5/17/07
  • Brown rice may act against onset of Alzheimer’s - Nutra USA, 5/25/04 - "Pre-germinated brown rice, high in levels of the nutrient GABA, significantly improved levels of spatial learning in mice"
  • Sleep Problems, Anxiety May Be Connected - WebMD, 9/12/03 - "both sleep and mood problems may result from a lack of the same brain chemical ... The brain chemical -- gamma-aminobutryric acid, or GABA -- is involved in regulating brain activity ... Specifically, GABA deficiencies interfere with the most important stage of sleep -- the "deep" delta sleep" - See GABA at Amazon.com.
  • Chemical helps aging brains feel younger - MSNBC, 5/1/03 - "in old primates, both human and monkey, there is a decline in the levels of GABA, a chemical that inhibits neuron signals in the brain. Without enough of that control, he said, the brain is distracted and overwhelmed by stray signals, in the same way the ear is overwhelmed when trying to hear a whisper at a rock concert ... When minute quantities of GABA were injected directly into neurons, the brains of the older monkeys responded just like those of the young animals ... Added GABA appeared to have no effect on the young"
  • Old Monkey Study Might Help Old Human Brains - HealthDay, 5/1/03 - "brain cells in the old monkeys have lost much of their ability to respond to the specific signals carried by GABA. Giving GABA to young monkeys did very little in terms of brain function, but it helped the old monkeys a lot ... GABA restored selectivity, so the cells worked better ... What's true for vision probably is true for other functions controlled by the cortex ... GABA is found throughout the brain, so if GABA function is diminished, brain function is diminished"
  • Gabitril Receives Approval For the Treatment of Epilepsy - Doctor's Guide, 6/17/96 - "Being the first drug specifically designed as a GABA uptake inhibitor, Gabitril(R) is a new type of antiepileptic drug"


  • Intake of 200 mg/day of γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Improves a Wide Range of Cognitive Functions - A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Parallel-group Clinical Trial - 薬理と治療 Volume 48, Issue 3, 461 - 474 (2020) - "The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of intake 200 mg of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on cognitive function in healthy adult subjects aged over 40 years. Methods This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical trial. Thirty healthy participants were each assigned to either the placebo group or the GABA group; those in the latter group were given capsules containing 200 mg GABA daily for 12 weeks. Cognitive functions were assessed using Cognitrax and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) test. Quality of life (QOL) was assessed using the MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). Results GABA improved or maintained cognitive function on the domain of Non-Verbal Reasoning, Working Memory, and Sustained Attention in Cognitrax and on the domain of Visuospatial/Constructional and Delayed Memory in RBANS. Regarding QOL, the GABA group showed significant improvement in SF-36 domain of Role-Physical, Vitality, and Mental Health. IGF-1 levels within the GABA group increased in comparison to the levels before intake. No adverse effects or clinically concerning changes were observed." - [Nutra USA] - See GABA at Amazon.com and iHerb.
  • Improvement of Memory and Spatial Cognitive Function by Continuous Ingestion of 100mg/day of γ—Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) - A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Parallel-group Clinical Trial - 薬理と治療 Volume 48, Issue 3, 475 - 486 (2020) - "As the aging population of the world is increasing, it is important to prevent cognitive decline in the elderly before they develop dementia. Previously, in a preliminary study using animal model, we found that GABA might improve cognitive function. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the effect of 100 mg of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) intake on cognitive function in healthy adult subjects aged ≥40 years for practical applications ... Thirty healthy participants each were assigned to either the placebo group or the GABA group; those in the latter group were given capsules containing 100 mg GABA daily for 12 weeks. Cognitive functions were assessed using Cognitrax and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) test. Quality of life(QOL)was assessed using the MOS 36-Item Short Form Health Survey(SF-36). Results GABA improved or maintained cognitive function on the domain of Visuospatial/ Constructional and Delayed Memory in RBANS. Regarding QOL, the GABA group showed significant improvements in SF-36 domain of Physical Functioning. No adverse effects or clinically concerning changes were observed" - See GABA at Amazon.com and iHerb.
  • Oral Supplementation Using Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid and Whey Protein Improves Whole Body Fat-Free Mass in Men After Resistance Training - J Clin Med Res. 2019 Jun;11(6):428-434 - "Oral gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) supplementation increases growth hormone (GH) serum levels and protein synthesis. Therefore, post-exercise supplementation using GABA and protein may help enhance training-induced muscle hypertrophy ... Twenty-one healthy men (26 - 48 years) were randomized to receive whey protein (WP; 10 g) or whey protein + GABA (WP + GABA; 10 g + 100 mg) daily for 12 weeks ... After 12 weeks, the WP + GABA group exhibited significantly greater increase in whole body fat-free mass than the WP group" - [Nutra USA] - See GABA at Amazon.com.
  • Combined Oral Intake of GABA with Whey Protein Improves Lean Mass in Resistance-trained Men - Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 May;48(5 Suppl 1):54 - "After 12 wk, change in whole body lean mass was significantly higher in the WP+G group compared to the WP group (1340 +/- 465 vs. 146 +/- 218 g." - [Nutra USA] - See GABA at Amazon.com.  GABA is part of my sleep cocktail.  I'm sticking with leucine for the protein part.