GABA Supplement for Anxiety and Other Supplements for Anxiety

///GABA Supplement for Anxiety and Other Supplements for Anxiety

Gaba Supplement for Anxiety

And Other Supplements for Anxiety that Can Help with Sleep as Well

By: Robert Eilers | NightOwl.FIT Community | November 6th 2017


Few Facts about Anxiety

Currently, anxiety affects more than 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. It is the most common mental illness in America today. Even though people with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders very few actually seek help. There is help though, without needing to see a doctor, either through lifestyle changes which I will cover or with the GABA supplement for anxiety. I will also go into other supplements for anxiety that can help.

I personally suffer from anxiety and have sought out my own “hacks” to treat it without the need for a doctor. Over the past few years, I have become more and more interested in the healthcare model that allows a patient to seek out medical attention where they are given a treatment for the symptom and not the cause. This is a backward model that needs to change. My hope is that through proper education we can begin to adjust how people see health.

Before I get started I read a book a few years back that was a hilarious take on someone living with anxiety. Sometimes we need to just take a step back and laugh at some of the things that debilitate us. Check out the book below.

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  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
    • GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
  • Panic Disorder (PD)
    • PD affects 6 million adults or 2.7% of the U.S. population.Women are twice as likely to be affected as men. PD often co-occurs with major depression.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
    • SAD affects 15 million adults or 6.8% of the U.S. population.SAD is equally common among men and women and typically begins around age 13. According to a 2007 ADAA survey, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help.
  • Specific Phobias
    • Specific phobias affect 19 million adults or 8.7% of the U.S. population.Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
      Symptoms typically begin in childhood; the average age-of-onset is 7 years old.Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are closely related to anxiety disorders, which some may experience at the same time, along with depression.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
    • OCD affects 2.2 million adults or 1.0% of the U.S. population.OCD is equally common among men and women.The average age of onset is 19,
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • PTSD affects 7.7 million adults or 3.5% of the U.S. population.Women are more likely to be affected than men.Rape is the most likely trigger of PTSD: 65% of men and 45.9% of women who are raped will develop the disorder.Childhood sexual abuse is a strong predictor of lifetime likelihood for developing PTSD.
  • Major Depressive Disorder
    • The leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3.MDD affects more than 16.1 million American adults or about 6.7%of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5 years old.More prevalent in women than in men.
  • Persistent depressive disorder or PDD
    • (formerly called dysthymia) is a form of depression that usually continues for at least two years.Affects approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. (about 3.3 million American adults). Only 61.7% of adults with MDD are receiving treatment. The average age of onset is 31 years old.

(Source: National Institute of Mental Health)

What is GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid better known as GABA occurs naturally in your brain, where it functions as a neurotransmitter and helps regulate brain activity. NEUROTRANSMITTERS are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body.  They relay signals between nerve cells, called “neurons.”  The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest.

There are two kinds of neurotransmitters – EXCITATORY and INHIBITORY. Excitatory neurotransmitters stimulate the brain.  Those that calm the brain and help create balance are called inhibitory.  Inhibitory neurotransmitters balance mood and are easily depleted when the excitatory neurotransmitters are overactive.

GABA is your major inhibitory/calming neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It is often considered to act as “mother nature’s Xanax.”  Indeed, it is through the GABA system that most sedatives, prescription sleep aids, and tranquilizers work.  It helps the neurons recover after firing and thereby reduces anxiety, worry, and fretfulness.  In addition, GABA regulates norepinephrine, adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin, it is a significant mood modulator.

Too little GABA can be associated with high anxiety, impulsivity, inability to handle stress, restlessness, and irritability.

Gaba Supplement for Anxiety

GABA supplements for anxiety can be recommended by some as an alternative to the standard doctor recommeneded Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)treatments such as Cymbalta or Xanax. Using GABA as a supplement for mild to moderate anxiety is sometimes recommended due to its calming and mild sedative effects. There are currently a wider variety of over the counter supplement available which can contain GABA itself as well as other amino acids or vitamins in its formula.

Some find its effects too sedating though, at the doses needed to be effective. And others again report absolutely no effect from a GABA supplement.

Other medical professionals believe that GABA does not cross the brain-blood barrier and as a result, oral supplements are not effective. Instead, they suggest using L-theanine, an amino acid that increases the level of GABA in the body and crosses the blood-brain barrier. Another option is to use supplements such as kava or 5-HTP that also have anti-anxiety effects by stimulating GABA receptors. For many of us, the blood-brain barrier is not doing its job properly – it’s leaky – and so the GABA molecule is able to find its way into the brain.

Performing the Leaky Brain GABA Challenge Test:

Perform a pre-test the day before by taking 500 mg of GABA on an empty stomach in the evening several hours before bed and see if it produces a noticeable sedating effect, obviously, use common sense and only do this when you’re not going to do anything demanding like driving.

You should also look for changes in your pulse rate and breathing. If your pulse speed up or your breathing feels laboured do not perform the main test with a higher dosage and unfortunately you probably shouldn’t use this technique to test the permeability of your blood-brain barrier.

If you observe this low dose makes you feel drowsy you’ve already gotten your answer, however, if it does nothing to you the following night take 1500-2000 mg and see if his therapeutic test dosage produces a calming drowsy feeling.

Gabba Supplement for Anxiety: Dosage

Proper dosages depend on many different factors including age, weight, sex, and the reason for taking the supplement.

The below dosage recommendations are general guidelines only, and your personal dosage may be different.

As with any supplement, starting off with a lower dose and slowly working your way up to find the “sweet spot” for your individual system is important.

Typically, a standard dose ranges somewhere between 250 mg – 750 mg taken two or three times throughout the day. Although some users report taking higher doses, exceeding 2000 mg (2 grams) per day is not recommended.

Generalized stress relief – 250mg taken two or three times during the day is recommended.

Anxiety – start with 250mg three times per day. This can be increased up to 650mg if necessary.

ADHD – begin with 250mg three times per day. Allow at least two to three days at this dose. Increase in 50mg increments up to 400mg if needed.

Insomnia – 500mg-750mg taken about half an hour before bedtime is recommended. This can be increased up to 1000mg if needed.

Top Gaba Supplements for Anxiety


Other Supplements for Anxiety

Magnesium Supplement for Anxiety

Magnesium is also essential for GABA activity, enhancing GABA sensitivity of nerve receptors (just one of the many essential functions of magnesium In your body). Magnesium is great as a muscle relaxant, and also has a calming effect – and it’s is one of the many minerals that are generally deficient in our modern diet, which goes a long way to explaining the increased levels of anxiety we see today. Low levels of magnesium are associated with a whole range of disorders, including high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid imbalances as well as anxiety, so a magnesium supplement makes sense if you have any of these conditions.

  • Magnesium helps produce hormones like serotonin. Which are helpful in calming the brain and causing us to relax
  • Magnesium helps optimize circulation and blood pressure
  • Magnesium relieves muscle aches & Spasms
  • Magnesium can help prevent Migraines
  • Magnesium can help with anxiety or depression
  • Magnesium can help with Restless Leg Syndrome(RLS)

Magnesium is also great for improving the quality of your sleep. Check out the article here.

Theanine Supplement for Anxiety

L-theanine is a major component of black and green tea. On its own, theanine promotes relaxation, alertness, and arousal.

Theanine also works synergistically with caffeine. Together, the two increase reaction time, memory, and mental endurance

You can get your theanine from a capsule, or you can drink a cup or two of green tea. If you decide to do the green tea, look for tea that’s grown in the shade, because shade-grown green tea typically has much higher levels of theanine.

Theanine promotes a relaxed state, increases GABA levels and reduces anxiety.  What is particularly interesting and useful about theanine is that it is able to do this without shutting down the brain’s ability to learn and remember.  In fact studies on rats suggest that theanine may actually improve learning performance, promote concentration and heightened mental acuity, making it perfect for students with exam anxiety, you could take theanine during an exam without it impeding your performance.

Theanine dosage, intake is most effective in the range of 50-200 mg, with no more than 600 mg being taken in a six-hour period. FDA recommends a maximum dose of 1200 mg daily, although the reason for this limit is not clear, due to its demonstrated safety.
It may be taken at the first signs of stress with the effect being felt within 30 minutes and lasting for 8-10 hours.  There are no known adverse reactions to L-theanine and no drug interactions have been reported.  L-theanine is not affected by food and may be taken with or without meals.

Theanine Cautions
Theanine made decrease blood pressure and so if you’re already on hypertension medication you should monitor your blood pressure to make sure that it doesn’t go to low.

Lifestyle Changes for Anxiety

While a GABA supplement for anxiety may be helpful and even more natrual approach is lifestyle changes. While an over the counter natural supplement for anxiety is still preferred over something prescribed by a doctor there are plenty of other options. As someone that lives with anxiety, and is married to someone that lives with it, I can tell you that sometimes you reach a point of desperation where anxiety might help. But these should be used to supplement not to replace natural approaches. Here are some ideas of what can help.

  • Exercise: Exercise is always good a study in 2013 found that the brains of stressed rats that ran developed more of the neurones (brain cells) that specifically release GABA.  These neurones shush and quieten down activity in the brain.  The increase in the GABA neurones was most notable in parts of the brain that are associated with processing emotions.
  • Keeping Busy and Work To Control Anxiety: For people with anxiety disorder keeping busy may be a key component of the strategy they use to cope with their condition.  In psychotherapy terms this is referred to as an “away-from motivation” i.e. you are motivated to keep busy to avoid or move away from uncomfortable feelings, as opposed to “towards motivation” where one is motivated to do with thing because it brings positive pleasure and rewards into your life; away-from motivated activities are driven by the desire to move away from or avoid pain and displeasure, towards motivated activities driven by the desire to move towards pleasure and reward.
  • Meditation: Multiple studies have shown that meditation can help reduce levels of depression and anxiety, along with helping people tolerate pain better.
GABA Supplement for Anxiety and Other Supplements for Anxiety
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By | 2017-11-06T14:50:08+00:00 November 6th, 2017|Health, Nutrition Tips|0 Comments

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