You Might Want To Consider GABA Supplements If You Have Anxiety

If you struggle with anxiety, you've likely tried a few natural supplements that tout their calming benefits for all to see. But, when you're looking for relief, you're dealing with the chemical makeup of your brain. This makeup involves various neurotransmitters that perform different functions.

In fact, our moods are hinged on the levels of these chemicals in the brain at all times. One of the most important ones in calming down and feeling relaxed is GABA. Mindbodygreen notes that GABA serves as the metaphorical "brakes" when you're stressing out, helping the body and mind feel safe. When your GABA levels are off, it can lead to mental health issues like anxiety, depression, epilepsy and more.

GABA's main function is to balance out another neurotransmitter called Glutamine. The two counteract one another to ensure a state of balance within the brain and body. While GABA relaxes, Glutamine amplifies and excites, the outlet explains. Without adequate GABA levels, your glutamine can run free and spike — leaving you restless with no soothing antidote. Once the GABA receptors bind to the molecule, your brain releases a variety of compounds that keep your mental state level. Unfortunately, this process can be inhibited by various environmental and lifestyle factors.

GABA supplements may help reduce stress

Many prescription drugs prescribed for mental health work with this molecule and its transmitters to help people feel better. In fact, Medical News Today reports, GABA supplements have been associated with lower stress levels, better cognitive recognition and muscle building. While some doctors don't believe that these molecules cross the blood-brain barrier — which would render them ineffective — some studies have shown that they can impact your system in other ways.

GABA levels may naturally lower with age, Mindbodygreen reports, so it's important to care for your receptors and ensure that your brain has enough of the calm down molecule to do just that. Of course, picking up a GABA supplement is an excellent place to start. Otherwise, "eating the right diet free of processed foods, exercising, calming our minds, meditating, breathwork, and more" can help improve our brain's receptivity, integrative neurologist, Ilene Ruhoy, M.D., Ph.D., notes to the outlet.

For instance, magnesium impacts the GABA receptors in the brain, bringing you into a state of peace rather quickly. Inflammation-fighting foods also can make a big difference as well. "Exercise like yoga, Pilates, running, or walking and daily meditation with focused deep breathing can help us feel relaxed. These modalities serve to decrease tone and tension in the central nervous system by increasing GABA, decreasing glutamate, and improving serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine levels—other essential neurotransmitters," Dr. Ruhoy adds.

By understanding the role that GABA plays in your mental health, you can more effectively treat and manage your anxiety — however you choose to regulate it.