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GABA, which is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. Its primary role is to calm the brain, slow things down, and relax you.

  • Reduces stress really fast because it crosses the blood-brain barrier and helps to deactivate stress hormones (thereby reducing anxiety).
  • Relaxes your muscles like a natural Valium.
  • Levels of GABA drop during PMS.
  • Too much GABA can make you drowsy.
  • GABA helps to regulates muscle tone.


  • Calmness
  • Relaxation
  • Mental Focus
  • Regulation of Sleep
  • Body Temperature
  • Appetite
  • Thirst
  • Sexual Arousal and Desire
  • Action of the Pituitary
  • Action of the Autonomic Nervous System (Stress Response System)

Deficiency Symptoms

  • Stiff and/or Tense Muscles
  • Stressed
  • Burned-Out
  • Unable to Relax
  • Constipation
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorders
  • Tension
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • GERD as it is needed to help regulate the lower part of the esophagus
  • Decreased Eye Contact
  • Anti-Social Behavior
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Problems with Eye-Focusing (as seen in autistic children when both eyes are focused inward towards the nose or waver back and forth in a horizontal or vertical movement)
  • Chronic Pain Syndromes

Addictive Substances Used

  • Sweets
  • Starches
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Valium
  • Tobacco
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Aspartame

Body Systems, Glands & Organs Affected

  • Esophagus
  • Colon / Bowel
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Brain

Complimentary Vitamins

  • Vitamin K1
  • Vitamin K2

Complimentary Minerals

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

Food Sources

  • Almonds
  • Whole Wheat (Whole Grain)
  • Halibut
  • Walnuts
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Beef Liver

Additional Info

  • The scent of jasmine (a substance frequently used in aromatherapy) may help enhance the effects of GABA.
  • A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in 2010 indicates that people with major depression may be more likely to have low levels of GABA.
  • The primary role of the hypothalamus is to maintain homeostasis throughout the body, and without enough GABA production, this will not happen. 
  • GABA binds to sub-receptors and activates secondary messengers that affect dopamine.
  • When GABA is low, glutamate is high and vice versa.
  • If there is an excess of calcium in the body for any reason, it too will disrupt the GABA balance.
  • Depletion of GABA can be a major contributing factor to sympathetic nervous system dominance and the many associated conditions like:
    • Adrenal Fatigue
    • Insomnia
    • Chemical Sensitivities
    • Chronic Fatigue
    • Panic Attacks
    • Anxiety Disorders


  • Progesterone increases the level of GABA in the human body. 
  • GABA supplements are considered to be likely safe when taken by mouth for a timeframe as determined by your Medical Doctor and/or Naturopathic Doctor. 
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid GABA. 


Supporting Research

Ross, J. (2000). The diet cure: the breakthrough programme to rebalance your body chemistry, end food cravings and achieve your natural ideal weight – now! London: Michael Joseph.

GABA. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2021, from (NOTE: Upon inquiry, link broken was found to be broken on 09/08/2021) http://healthyfoods.org/2011/03/28/gaba/.

Health, J. (2018, January 01). Foods high in Gaba to boost your Brain [Increase Gaba naturally]. Retrieved February 06, 2021, from https://optinghealth.com/foods-high-in-gaba.

Wang ZJ, Heinbockel T. Essential oils and their constituents targeting the GABAergic system and sodium channels as treatment of neurological diseasesMolecules. 2018;23(5):1061. doi:10.3390/molecules23051061.

Sergeeva OA, Kletke O, Kragler A, et al. Fragrant dioxane derivatives identify beta1-subunit-containing GABAA receptorsJ Biol Chem. 2010;285(31):23985‐23993. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.103309.

Datis Kharrazian. Why Isn’t My Brain Working?: A revolutionary understanding of brain decline and effective strategies to recover your brain’s health. Carlsbad California. Elephant Press (2013).

Möykkynen, Uusi-Oukari M, Heikkilä J, et.al. Magnesium potentiation of the function of native and recombinant GABA(A) receptors. Neuroreport. 2001 Jul 20;12(10):2175-9.