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GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) tablets, capsules, liquid

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cmusic

Has anyone heard of or tried Pharmagaba?  Supposedly its naturally produced and has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and promote relaxation.  I'm wondering if it would be helpful for someone in acute physical panic all day.  Of course I'm also wondering whether it would impede healing from antidepressant / benzo withdrawal or cause dependence..

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Altostrata

GABA supplements notoriously do NOT cross the blood-brain barrier.
 
I do not see anything in the product description promising that PharmaGABA will cross the blood-brain barrier http://www.thorne.com/Products/Mood-Sleep-Support/All_Mood_Sleep_Support/prd~SP652.jsp
 
GABA supplements can affect muscles, etc. outside of the brain. From http://www.bioclinicnaturals.com/us/en/articles/4/conditions-and-diseases/8/stress-management/show/103/pharmagaba-natural-support-for-stress-anxiety-and-insomnia

Once ingested, it appears that the PharmaGABA is absorbed easily and binds to GABA receptors in the peripheral nervous system....

 
The following is not entirely honest and I am disappointed in Michael Murray, who authored it:

The difference in safety is probably a result of a limited capacity of the brain to retain excessive amounts of GABA as there is a very efficient efflux of GABA across the blood-brain barrier.11 The transport of GABA into the CNS is limited and the efflux of GABA out of the brain is one of the primary routes of elimination of GABA. As a result, it is highly unlikely that oral PharmaGABA supplementation at recommended dosages would produce any significant [adverse] effect....

The above is true of the GABA your body makes on its own. Note that Dr. Murray does not specifically say that PharmaGABA crosses the blood-brain barrier, only implies it in a very cagily worded statement.

Edited by Petu
fixed text

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Altostrata

I've been looking for something that can help close that sleep gap in the middle of the night. Lately, I've been having success with GABA tablets taken with magnesium glycinate.

I take about 187.5mg GABA with 133mg mag glycinate when I wake up in the middle of the night. (I have large 750mg GABA tablets, which I've cut into quarters, and 133mg mag glycinate capsules.)

This seems to often send me back to snoozeville in about a half-hour, a smooth, gentle sleep, with little hangover.

When I took a larger amount of GABA, it was relaxing but it didn't help me to sleep, I felt relaxed and sedated but brain still busy. Not good.

 

Without the magnesium glycinate, taking GABA didn't help me sleep. Magnesium and GABA work synergistically, according to this footnoted article on GABA by a naturopath http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/GABA.html

Supposedly GABA supplements don't cross the blood-brain barrier (the GABA molecule is too large; the brain makes its own GABA) but they can relax the body and nervous system outside of the nervous system. Functionally, the blood-brain debate is moot, however it works, it does seem to work.

 

Wikipedia on GABA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-Aminobutyric_acid

An interesting 2011 paper (PDF) by an orthomolecular researcher here http://www.phyllisbronsonphd.com/Graphics/BronsonGABA.pdf
 

For many years I have been involved in biochemical research of GABA, looking at its elemental structure as well as its permeability across the blood/brain barrier. While it is clear that GABA is helpful for the treatment of anxiety, the current laboratory evidence is insufficient to confirm the uptake and absorption of GABA into the brain, as it appears to act on the central nervous system directly without crossing the blood/brain barrier. A “new” form of GABA [PharmaGABA], produced from Lactobacillus hilgardii, is being marketed as the only form of GABA that crosses the blood/brain barrier. Having studied the molecule for years, I submit that GABA is not a typical left-right rotatory molecule, but rather is part of a macromolecular complex whose biochemical functions are independent of rotation. Because this new form of GABA is no different from pharmaceutical grade GABA in its molecular structure and mechanism of action, it is illogical to contend that it crosses the blood/brain barrier. Additionally, growing GABA from a culture is dangerous because of the potential for bacterial contamination.

 

This orthomolecular researcher has her patients make a suspension of GABA powder (from capsules) in water; it can be titrated as a liquid.

 

From http://www.livestrong.com/article/175782-gaba-supplement-side-effects/

side effects of GABA can be a mild tingling sensation and alteration in heart rate and breathing patterns.

 

From my experience, I'd guess too much would give a paradoxical result -- activation rather than relaxation. As will all supplements, start with a very low amount to see how it effects you.

 

I don't know how taking supplemental GABA will affect you if you have benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms. If your nervous system has been sensitized by benzo withdrawal any time in the past, I suggest being very cautious with supplemental GABA.

Edited by Altostrata
updated

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Francis

a few doctors/naturopath have mentioned GABA to me and have noted that while it supposedly doesnt cross the blood brain barrier, most of us have permeable blood brain barriers due to common inflammation... so the issue becomes moot for most of us.  

 

I actually have some pharmaGABA sitting in my cabinet that I forgot about... and have been having serious insomnia again.  Maybe I'll try it out!

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Altostrata

Try a small amount to begin with, a large amount can have a paradoxical reaction.

 

Want to note: Taking GABA as above often works for me but not always.

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FreedomGirl

Alto, yes - the benzo sites warn against taking GABA in the case of benzo w/d or sensitization...glad you mentioned that. Wish I knew something I could take for those middle of the night awakenings, though. Thanks!

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Meimeiquest

Niacin is doing amazing things for me right now (tapering lots of "brakes"). Right now I am taking 100mg at bedtime, 25mg with any daytime symptoms. I am using the slow-release beads.

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GiaK

yes...those who've been on benzos should be extra careful with GABA...and it's true it's our brain permeability that makes GABA work (or cause problems)...some naturopaths use a "GABA test" to see if the blood brain barrier is intact or not...if the GABA makes one woozy they know there is an issue. 

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Meimeiquest

The naturopath at MTHFR.net wrote that niacin helps GABA cross the blood-brain barrier. I don't know. But today I do not care one whit if I am addicted to niacin for life.

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tanit

I think people that have jerking ,myoclonus and panic attacks should try it

I used some complex which has gaba and it helps a lot  .I don`t have pure gaba here in my country but i know that the gaba is helping me because it is inhibitory and  will help muscle and nerve relaxation 

 please try it and report .

I found that site which talk about supplements to increase gaba.I do not promote the site but I think what it proposes is scientifically sound . If you want to increase gaba indirectly you might try the herbs that it proposes

http://www.vitalityandwellness.com.au/health-blog/low-gaba-levels-increase-gaba-naturally

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ten0275

There is some question as to whether supplemental GABA crosses the blood-brain barrier. It has been noted that theanine, the good stuff found in tea, helps GABA cross. I took a GABA/Theanine blend during benzo withdrawal. I don't think it made anything worse, but found no huge improvement while using it.

 

Hang in there.

 

Dave

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tanit

have you tried the herb ?

they helped me a lot with my myoclonus 

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tanit

lemon verbana (Aloysia triphylla also formerly Lippia citriodora) helps in sleep .it is mild but it helps .it takes some days to help.(this safe with with medication )

there is also valerian,it is very sedating the first days but after some days you adjust  and it helps with sleep but it may takesome days(this is not safe when you are on medication )

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Petunia

There is some question as to whether supplemental GABA crosses the blood-brain barrier.

 

That's what I was going to say, actually, it doesn't. 

 

But:

 

GABA supplements can affect the peripheral nervous system, however, as well as any other part of the body not protected by the blood brain barrier.     http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=222543

 

GABA was one of the many supplements I tried in early withdrawal.  I think it had a mild placebo effect the first day I tried it, but after that it didn't do anything, it didn't make me any worse though.

 

Here is our GABA topic:

 

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) tablets, capsules, liquid

 

there is also valerian,it is very sedating the first days but after some days you adjust  and it helps with sleep but it may takesome days(this is not safe when you are on medication )

 

We have a topic on valerian here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/599-valerian-root/#entry36212

 

When trying new supplements, please try them one at a time and start with a very small dose.  Any supplement can cause a paradoxical reaction in a nervous system sensitized by withdrawal.

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JayUT

Hello All,

 

I was asked by Alto to add my GABA experience and questions in this forum.

 

My Psych doc recommended GABA lozenge for quick relief when I feel a panic attack coming on. I am currently taking GABA Calm which contains:

Mg Chelate 5 mg

GABA 125 mg

Glycine 50 mg

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine 25 mg

Taurine 20 mg

 

It definitely works for me to calm down the panic attack, anxiety, and depression psych symptoms. However, it doesn't seem to do anything for the physical symptoms, i.e. restlessness, body shakes, etc.

 

I am very concerned about the long-term ramifications of using GABA supplements. GABA may provide almost instant relief for me, but at what expense?

 

The down fall, for better or worse, is occasionally I feel like a need the emotional release like a crying spell just as a means to relieve my frustration and exhaustion. The GABA seems to stop that crying spell response; therefore, I have to find another avenue for relieving the building frustration when I take the GABA. Otherwise, I need to skip the GABA and allow the pysch emotional release to happen. In the emotionally crazy moment, it's hard to tell which response I want or need. I am sure one is healthier than the other, but I don't know which.

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Altostrata

I wouldn't worry about GABA supplements. GABA has a very short half-life with temporary effect.

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ghm2018

My naturopath recommended Gaba Calm which has the same ingredients that JayUT listed.  Should I be concerned about taking it considering the fact that I have CNS depression along with hypersensitivity?  For example, I do not feel joint or muscle pain.  I was recently in a significant car accident and I only feel pain from it in various places every 4 or 5 days, sometimes up to 10 days.  Any thoughts?

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