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GABA December 2012

Gamma-aminobutryic acid By: Alex Miller, Abi Gleckler, Zach Rensch,

GABA is a common supplement among body builders


Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a principle inhibitory neurotransmitter found naturally in the body. It is a chemical that works in the brain to transmit nerve impulses. GABA blocks transmissions in the brain; it inhibits the firing of neurons in the brain, thus reducing general brain activity. The GABA receptor allows more chloride ions to enter the brain cell, thus helping to maintain the electrical charge within the cells. GABA is important

for balancing the excitation in the brain and acts as a brake pedal for anxiety. GABA regulates internal rhythm, affects a person’s personality and ability to handle stress, relaxes the brain–enabling a person to fall asleep easier– increases memory function, and reduces stress and anxiety. GABA supplements are popular among body builders because it stimulates the pituitary gland to produce human growth hormone, stimulating fat burning. It is not approved by the FDA due to its


GABA is important for balancing the excitation in the brain and acts as a brake pedal for anxiety.

questionable effects on the production of GCH, human growth hormone. GABA is also used as an anti-depressant because it stimulates the production of seratonin, which relaxes the body and elevates a person’s mood. If there is too little GABA in a person’s system, that person will suffer from anxiety, headaches, hypertension, irritability, palpitations, and seizures. Severe lack of GABA will result in epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. There is a current study going on that hypothesizes that controlling GABA delivery to specific brain areas should benefit each of these diseases. The molecules responsible for GABA release and signaling are ideal targets for new therapies.

GABA is unique among neurotransmitters because it can be synthesized by two related enzymes. Intracellular GABA is found throughout the cytosol and in synaptic vesicles. GABA can be released either through exocytosis, or via the plasma membrane transporter. There are no known drug interactions because GABA supplementations has been studied very little in humans. Bezodiazephines work by increasing the effectiveness of GABA in opening the chloride ion cells to allow more chloride ions to enter the neurons, and caffeine does the opposite, and inhibits the property of GABA. Thus diazepam works as a minor tranquilizer and caffeine as a stimulant. Neurotransmitters

Lack of GABA may cause sleeping problems


Chemicals that transmit a signal from a neuron to a target cell across a synapse They are found in the synaptic end bulbs, the axon endings at the end of motor neurons Electrical charges from the cell body free chemicals and propel them across the synapse. Special receptors at the end of dendrites form to accept certain neurotransmitters like a lock and key


by Rachael Berger, Alex Miller, Abi Gleckler, and Zach Rensch

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