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Although GABA is an important neurotransmitter, it is also available as a dietary supplement. This product is claimed to be beneficial for various uses, such as improving mood or promoting weight loss. However, there is little evidence to indicate that the supplements are effective for any use. Even though it is a "natural" product, side effects are possible, such as an increase in heart rate or blood pressure.

What Is GABA?

GABA (short for gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an important neurotransmitter in the body. It is also available as a dietary supplement and is supposedly beneficial for various uses, such as improving mood or promoting weight loss.
 
(Click Benefits of GABA for more information about possible uses.)
 

How Does It Work?

GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system in adults. This means that when GABA binds to receptors, it usually decreases the chance that a nerve will "fire" and send out a signal. Although drugs that act like GABA or increase the levels are useful for a wide variety of medical conditions, such as epilepsy and anxiety, there is no strong evidence that taking this supplement will produce similar effects.
 
Taking GABA may either increase or decrease human growth hormone (HGH) levels and may increase the level of the hormones insulin and glucagon.
 

Is GABA Effective?

There is little evidence to suggest that taking GABA supplements is effective for any use (see Does GABA Work? for more information).
 

Dosing Information

As with most dietary supplements, there is no well-established standard dose for GABA (see GABA Dosage for more information).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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