GABA is a truly weird supplement in that all the literature I’ve been able to find on it is split down the middle. Half the articles on it claim that it’s useless, the other half claim it’s a great way to lower your anxiety levels. The former argument focuses on the fact that GABA doesn’t easily cross the blood-brain barrier, ergo it can’t act on the brain directly.
Does that mean that it can’t lower your anxiety in other ways? No.
GABA is an amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter; substances such as alcohol, phenibut, alprazolam (Xanax) and ashwagandha act on receptors in the brain, producing feelings of tranquility and lowering anxiety levels. However, GABA receptors can also be found in the enteric nervous system, the cluster of nerves that governs your digestive tract.
Because of this, GABA can reduce anxiety by acting on receptors in the gut. It sounds kooky, but ever since I began taking it, I’ve experienced both lower stress levels and more pleasant digestion. It’s worth looking into it to see if it can help you.
GABA Makes Your Tummy Happy
When I began taking GABA, I noticed that my digestion became a lot calmer. I have a sensitive stomach; eating spicy foods usually ends with me groaning in the bathroom a few hours later. While it doesn’t directly reduce my anxiety, not having my intestines aching for hours puts me in a much better mood.
In fact, the enteric nervous system is so important to overall health that scientists refer to it as “the second brain.” Disturbances in the enteric nervous system have been linked to mental disorders such as autism, meaning that keeping your “second brain” healthy is vital for overall fitness.
While GABA is not as effective as other anxiety-reducing supplements such as phenibut, ashwagandha or even suntheanine, it’s cheap enough and has enough of an effect to be worth trying out. If you’ve been having digestive issues, this supplement can help you bring them under control.
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