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GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric acid)
Gaba (γ-Aminobutyric acid) is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system. In humans, GABA is also directly responsible for the regulation of muscle tone. GABA is at its highest concentration in specific areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus and the central brain area. Although chemically it is an amino acid, GABA is rarely referred to as such in the scientific or medical communities, because the term "amino acid," used without a qualifier, conventionally refers to the alpha amino acids, which GABA is not, nor is it ever incorporated into a protein. Basically GABA works by inhibiting the firing of neurons in your brain, and thus reducing general brain activity.
GABA acts at inhibitory synapses in the brain by binding to specific transmembrane receptors in the plasma membrane of both pre and postsynaptic neuronal processes. This binding causes the opening of ion channels to allow the flow of either negatively charged chloride ions into the cell positively charged potassium ions out of the cell. Neurons in every region of the brain use GABA to fine-tune neurotransmission. Two general classes of GABA receptor are known GABAA in which the receptor is part of a ligand-gated ion channel complex, and GABAB metabotropic receptors, which are G protein coupled receptors that open or close ion channels via intermediaries. GABA receptors are ligand activated chloride channels, that is, when activated by GABA, they allow the flow of chloride ions across the membrane of the cell. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter.
GABA Brain development
While GABA is an inhibitory transmitter in the mature brain, its actions are primarily excitatory in the developing brain. Researchers discovered that nicotine has significant effects on brain GABA, a finding which could potentially help curb the pleasurable effects of nicotine and help people break their addiction to it. The gradient of chloride is reversed in immature neurons, and its reversal potential is higher than the resting membrane potential of the cell activation of a GABA receptor thus leads to efflux of Cl ions from the cell depolarizing current. In the developmental stages preceding the formation of synaptic contacts, GABA is synthesized by neurons and acts both as an autocrine and paracrine signalling mediator.
Gaba and Depression
Low GABA levels have been linked to depression and anxiety. Although supplement makers claim on their labels that GABA provides "Positive Mood Support" and "Supports a Calm Mood. GABA is popularly known for treating depression and other symptoms related to the term. Depression is a response These chemicals can be restored naturally with the help of natural GABA supplements. Increasing evidence points to an association between major depressive disorders and diverse types of GABA ergic deficits. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) dampens down brain activity and imbalances in GABA are thought to be involved in some of the runaway thoughts characteristic of bipolar disorder.
GABA (Gamma aminobutyric acid) supposedly has several health benefits. For example, some people use the supplements for the treatment of depression, anxiety, or premenstrual syndrome. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps nerve impulses communicate; basically, GABA helps transmit nerve signals. GABA is naturally occurring in the human body. GABA is commonly referred to as the brain’s “natural calming agent". The brain is usually capable of producing the GABA that the body needs, but GABA levels can drop when a person is subjected to stressful conditions.
• GABA Helps manage anxiety symptoms and nervous tension.
• GABA Helps manage insomnia and promote healthy sleep.
• Supports focus and concentration.
• GABA Supports muscle relaxation.
• GABA Helps promote calmness and relaxation.
• GABA Aids in overcoming depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
• GABA elevate growth hormone levels.
• GABA Relieves stress and decreases chaotic brain activities.
The GABA receptor
It has long been recognized that the fast response of neurons to GABA that is blocked by bicuculline and picrotoxin is due to direct activation of an anion channel. This channel was subsequently termed the GABAA receptor. Fast responding GABA receptors are members of family of Cys loop ligand gated ion channels. Members of this superfamily, which includes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, GABA receptors, glycine and 5-HT3 receptors, possess a characteristic loop formed by a disulfide bond between two cysteine residues.
In ionotropic GABA receptors, binding of GABA molecules to their binding sites in the extracellular part of the receptor triggers opening of a chloride ion selective pore.
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