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Just because GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a "natural" product, it should not be assumed that these supplements are safe to take during pregnancy. GABA supplements may affect levels of various hormones in the body, many of which are important for a successful pregnancy. Therefore, if you are using GABA and pregnancy occurs, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

Is GABA Safe During Pregnancy?

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an important neurotransmitter in the brain. It is also a dietary supplement claimed to be beneficial for a number of different uses. However, there is no evidence that GABA supplementation is either safe or unsafe for use during pregnancy.

Using GABA When Pregnant

It should not be assumed that GABA is safe for use during pregnancy just because it is a substance found naturally in the human body. This is a mistake many pregnant women make. Pregnancy often limits the prescription and nonprescription drugs that a woman can take. As a result, pregnant women often seek safe alternatives, sometimes assuming that dietary supplements are always safe. This is simply not the case. Dietary supplements can be marketed in the United States without any evidence that they are safe, or even effective, for anyone, including pregnant women.
A few small studies have suggested that GABA supplementation may affect levels of various hormones, including human growth hormone, insulin, prolactin, and glucagon. Because a successful pregnancy requires a careful balance of many different hormones, it is not a good idea for a pregnant woman to take a supplement that may affect hormone levels, except in specific cases.
If you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to have a discussion with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including GABA. This is important, even if you think your healthcare provider will not understand your choice or will discourage the use of alternative medicines.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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