Minding Your Mental Health With GABA

A person’s mood is controlled by neurotransmitters. These chemicals control feelings of anxiety, happiness, sadness or depression. Each individual neurotransmitter has a role in mood. In order for a person to feel at their best, there must be the right balance between neurotransmitters.

When someone is feeling anxious, certain neurons in the brain release Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), which helps calm down neuron’s which are overly excited, helping the person to feel more relaxed and maintain mindfulness. Although the body produces GABA naturally, the process can sometimes get out of sync, and this leads to an increase in anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

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GABA is the brain’s best friend

There are GABA receptors in many different regions of the brain including the cortex. The cortex is the layer of the brain which works with other brain areas to control, among other things, the way a person feels. When the body is producing healthy levels of GABA, a person will feel relaxed and less anxious. However, when the body’s GABA level is unbalanced, a person fee will feel anxious and may have trouble sleeping.

Gaba receptors are also found in the hypothalamus. This is the area of the brain which is responsible for sleeping and waking cycles. For this reason, many sleep medications stimulate the production of GABA. Magnesium is also an important mineral because it helps GABA attach to the GABA receptors in the brain.

Shake off anxiety with GABA

Although the exact mechanism is not clearly understood, anxiety is caused and perpetuated by an imbalance within the brain’s neurological systems. When a person is feeling anxious, the brain’s production of the neurotransmitter glutamate is excessive, and this causes over-excitement of the nervous system. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can include feelings of nervousness, restlessness or panic, breathing rapidly, trouble sleeping, sweating, trembling, and GI problems.

Grab some GABA

GABA is not found in food sources. However, there are foods which can help stimulate the production of GABA within the body. These include eggs, grass-fed meats, dairy products, fish, mushrooms, and tomatoes. GABA is also available as a nutritional supplement. The recommended dose to relieve anxiety and increase mindfulness is between 500 and 1000 mg twice a day.

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