Do you feel irritated, sad or excited for no apparent reason? Does this sensation invade you frequently? Although there are many things that can explain this phenomenon, one of the possibilities is that your brain only benefits from certain substances at a low density.Our brain can use up to 100 different neurotransmitters. GABA is one of the most important;he is known to be the neurotransmitter of calm and relaxation.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter that regulates cerebral arousal by inhibiting the excessive triggering of nerve impulses in neurons, resulting in a feeling of calm.Balancing your GABA level adequately can reduce your stress,make you feel less anxious and reduce the likelihood of health problems.
What is GABA and what does it do?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is one of the most important neurotransmitters.It is an agent that brain cells use to communicate with each other. In fact, it is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter. Inhibitory neurotransmitters decrease the likelihood of nerve impulse initiation.
The main function of GABA as an inhibitory neurotransmitter is to slow brain activity.He is also involved in vision, sleep, muscle tone and motor control.Moreover, it is widely distributed in the central nervous system and also outside of it.It is found in the intestines, stomach, bladder, lungs, liver, skin, spleen, muscles, kidneys, pancreas and reproductive organs.
Diseases and disorders related to GABA dysfunction include: autism, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, meningitis, certain types of dementia (Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease) , frontotemporal dementia) and certain intestinal disorders (Crohn's disease, colorectal cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis). On the other hand, diseases characterized by involuntary movements, such as Parkinson's disease, tardive dyskinesia and Huntington's chorea, are also associated with low levels of this neurotransmitter.
One of GABA's most important functions is its ability to minimize stress and anxiety.When levels are low, the likelihood of feeling anxious, depressed and very sensitive to stimulation increases. An article published in the journalNaturesays that this neurotransmitter can particularly decrease unwanted thoughts that feed stress, anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid also affects brain activity by altering brain wave patterns. The presence of GABAincreases brain waves associated with a state of relaxation (alpha waves) and reduces those related to stress and anxiety (beta waves).
The balance of brain activity
To talk about how gamma-aminobutyric acid works, we must take into account another neurotransmitter: glutamic acid.This neurotransmitter is a natural byproduct of energy production in the brain.It is one of the products of glucose metabolism.
These two neurotransmitters are complementary and opposite. Glutamic acid, as the main excitatory neurotransmitter, balances the inhibitory effects of GABA. Excitatory neurotransmitters increase the probability of triggering a nerve impulse.Thus, while GABA delays brain activity, glutamate accelerates it.
They work side by side to control brain activity, but not only.One can also be transformed into another.Glutamic acid is the precursor of GABA and it can in turn be recycled into glutamate.
Do you have little GABA?
In most cases, the dysfunction of GABA can be directly attributed to lifestyle.Thus, in agreement with Dr. Datis Kharrazian, a researcher at the Harvard Medical School, too much stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, too much caffeine and gluten intolerance are the causes of this dysfunction.
It must also be taken into account thatintestinal bacteria produce this neurotransmitter.Dysbiosis, an imbalance between good and bad intestinal bacteria, can lead to the production of too few GABA.
In addition, you should know thatExcess glutamate turns into GABA with the help of vitamin B and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD).Vitamin B deficiency or autoimmune reaction may interfere with GABA production.The causes of this autoimmune reaction include autoimmune disorders, diabetes, gluten intolerance, celiac disease and Hashimoto's disease.
In addition, it must be kept in mind that many internal chemical changes can affect glutamate-GABA balance. With regard to consumer substances,caffeine inhibits GABA activity while alcohol and tranquilizers increase it.
How to increase the levels of GABA?
There are GABA supplements that contain a synthetic form of this neurotransmitter.However, there is controversy about how these supplements work. Do they really work? It is not known if, once the complement is absorbed, it reaches the brain in sufficient quantities to have a real effect. In all cases, some people feel that these supplements are very useful.
There is no established dose for these GABA supplements; and the research done was not enough to discover their side effects. Moreover, there is not enough information to guarantee their safety.
However,There are many other ways to maintain a healthy level of GABA and in a natural way. One of these ways is through eating.Researchers analyzed the GABA content of a very wide variety of foods such as whole rice sprouts, barley sprouts, bean sprouts, beans, corn, barley, whole rice, spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage and chestnuts.
Research conducted by the Institute of Biosciences at the University of Cork in Ireland has revealed thatprobiotic foods increased GABA.Foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut contain the GABA-producing strains of bacteria,Lactobacillus brevis andBifidobacterium dentium.
Moreover, if you are worried about your GABA levels,it is important that you minimize your caffeine intake. This inhibits the capacity of union between this neurotransmitter and its receivers.In place of coffee, you can consume tea, which contains less caffeine and in which you find the amino acid theanine, which increases the GABA.
It must be emphasized thatanother very effective way to raise the levels of GABA is by doing sports.Any type of exercise increases the levels of this neurotransmitter, but yoga is the most effective. In fact, its levels in the brain can increase up to 27% after a single yoga session.