Why GABA is a Superfood
Need to Knows About GABA and Its Usage:
- GABA is an amino acid found in different types of tea and probiotic foods like kimchi.
- Like melatonin, GABA is produced both in the body and in nature.
- Clinical studies have found that GABA is effective at reducing feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm without inducing drowsiness.
What is GABA?
Short for “gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA, like melatonin, is one of the more confusing superfoods on the market because it’s produced both in the body and in nature.
It is an amino acid that can be found in fermented foods, like Kimchi, as well as various types of tea. Other natural sources can boost the production of GABA in the body, including lentils, and some types of fish.
Dr. Michael J. Breus, a Clinical Psychologist, refers to GABA as “the brakes of the brain” because it slows the activity of neurons and the central nervous system (CNS), which can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm.
GABA has numerous studied benefits aside from its use as a tool for mental health. It plays a role in the healthy functioning of the body’s immune and endocrine systems, and even the regulation of appetite and metabolism.
The Two Types of GABA Supplements
There are two types of GABA available in food and supplements today:
Synthetic GABA, often advertised as just GABA, is produced in a lab with various toxic chemicals and is prohibited in many countries. Studies have found that synthetic GABA is not effective because very little of it is able to pass the body’s blood-brain barrier. Side effects of synthetic GABA can include upset stomach, headache, sleepiness, and muscle weakness.
Natural GABA, trademarked as “PharmaGABA®,” is derived from the probiotic in Kimchi and is approved for use in food and supplements. Its safety and efficacy are backed by numerous clinical studies, including for stress, anxiety, sleep, and more. There have been no reports of any side effects or drug interactions with PharmaGABA®, however, those who are pregnant and children under 6 years old should consult with their doctor before using.
Learn more about the differences between PharmaGABA and synthetic GABA.
Clinical Studies About GABA's Effectiveness
Effects of GABA on Alpha Brain Waves
There are five types of brain waves, each of which is associated with a certain mental status.
- Delta occurs during deep sleep, including REM and deep sleep (“Slow Wave Sleep”).
- Theta occurs during the early stages of sleep.
- Alpha occurs during states of calm, relaxed focus, often induced by meditation.
- Beta occurs during highly stressful situations and often impedes your ability to focus.
- Gamma occurs when you're deeply immersed in a complex project.
Clinical studies have shown that PharmaGABA can work within 5 minutes of ingestion to increase Alpha brain waves, and induce a state of relaxation and mental alertness.
GABA's Calming and Anti-Stress Effects
Another clinical study looked at PharmaGABA’s effect on stress by measuring the study subject’s levels of salivary chromogranin A, an adrenal marker of stress. The study subjects had acrophobia (fear of heights) and were tasked with crossing a bridge that spanned a 150-foot canyon. Halfway across the bridge, a saliva sample was collected.
Researchers found that the subjects that ingested PharmaGABA had 20% less chromogranin A compared to starting values, while the control group had a 20% increase. Researchers concluded that although the subjects were under stress, those that ingested PharmaGABA had a physiological response as if they were experiencing a state of relaxation.
GABA Dosage Recommendations
PharmaGABA is most often used as a tool for relaxation, sleep, and managing feelings of stress and anxiety. Clinically studied doses range from 30-200mg, taken up to three times per day.
It is recommended that you do not ingest more than 1,000mg within a 4-hour period, and no more than 3,000mg within a 24-hour period.
How GABA Works as a Superfood
PharmaGABA is one of the most effective and fastest-acting natural remedies available that can induce a state of relaxation, and reduce the feelings of stress that often impede our day.
When we set out to develop our superfood lattes we wanted to ensure we infused clinically-proven natural remedies that could enhance energy, focus, and a calm mind. The proven and fast efficacy of PharmaGABA made it a great fit in our formulations.