GABA's benefits: Relieve anxiety, improve mood

Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash

People use GABA, a chemical produced in the brain, for a host of benefits, including inducing relaxation, improving mood, and alleviating anxiety.

Its full name is gamma-aminobutyric acid. Though the brain produces it naturally, some people take it as a supplement for a wide range of uses.

WebMd says it works by blocking certain signals in the brain or neurotransmissions [1].

When you undergo stress, your adrenal glands produce hormones that set off the fight-or-flight response. The heartbeat speeds up, and you get an adrenaline rush. GABA relaxes the brain to counteract these natural hormones.

It is mostly known to the public for its anti-anxiety effects, but people claim many other benefits for it.

VALI includes GABA in Neuro Force nootropic

VALI's Neuro Force [2] nootropic support supplement includes GABA as an ingredient.

Nootropics are also known as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers [3]. Neuro Force is formulated with 10 ingredients to improve the thinking process and mood, help you relax, and sharpen the memory and focus.

You may have heard that nicotine, modafinil (Provigil), methamphetamine or Adderall are nootropics. They're considered smart drugs, but VALI doesn't touch them.

All VALI products are found in nature, whether produced by the human body or outside of it. And VALI supplements are third-party tested for purity and are also made in the United States.

Some of the other ingredients in Neuro Force include:

  • DMAE, a compound that some believe can enhance memory, improve mood and brain function. Advocates of DMAE say it can have benefits for patients with ADHD, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, and depression.
  • Bacopa, an herbal extract also called brahmi, treats Alzheimer's, improves memory and thinking, reduces anxiety, and treats ADHD.
  • The type of carnitine in VALI is perhaps the most effective form to help your brain. Studies in animals show it may help prevent mental decline from aging and improve learning. It may also, human studies show, reverse loss of brain function from Alzheimer's and improve brain function in alcoholics.
  • Tyrosine may affect levels of dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that improve memory and perhaps performance under stress.
  • L-theanine: VALI published a blog detailing some of L-Theanine's benefits [4]: 
    • It boost levels of chemicals that calm the brain, including GABA, dopamine, and serotonin. These are neurotransmitters that regulate mood, emotions, alertness, concentration, sleep, energy, appetite and other types of cognition.
    • L-theanine may also decrease excitatory brain chemical levels and chemicals linked to anxiety and stress. It also increases the amount of chemicals that make you feel calmer. These benefits may help protect against damage related to stress and age.
    • In addition, the VALI L-theanine/caffeine supplement [5] enhances alpha brain waves, which are linked to feelings of wakeful relaxation, which you may feel while being creative, daydreaming, or meditating, without causing sleepiness. L-theanine may actually trigger alpha waves, enhancing focus, relaxation, and creativity.

VALI Neuro Force also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. This Viter Energy Mints blog(caffeinated mints are another of the company's product lines) details 8 ways caffeine benefits people mentally [7]:

  • Caffeine can help make you more alert, and focus better.
  • It can help you feel more vital and awake, including during long-distance and nighttime driving, night shifts, when you’re down with a cold, during the afternoon slump at work, and if you have jet lag.
  • Improves cognitive function.
  • Slows mental decline related to aging.
  • Can help you remember things better.
  • Helps you plan better.
  • Helps children cope with ADHD.
  • Helps athletes concentrate and perform better.

VALI"s Time Release Caffeine supplement is available here [8].

Other benefits of GABA

WebMD says some of the other reported benefits of GABA include reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, boosting lean muscle growth, burning fat, and relieving pain [6].

It is also used for relieving injuries, improving tolerance for exercise, decreasing body fat, and improving lean body weight.

People with high blood pressure, and people who experience motion sickness may both benefit from taking GABA supplements.

WebMD says further study is needed to ascertain whether GABA can help patients with seizures, cerebral palsy, lung infections, and a long list of other diseases and disorders.

GABA supplementation has not been studied enough to say whether it is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding, so it's better to avoid it then. It does not have known drug interactions, but it's still better to talk to your doctor when starting to take any health supplement.