Non-essential amino acid. Necessary for brain metabolism – truly a "brain food". Assists niacinamide and inositol in preventing anxiety; works in the body much like a natural tranquilizer. Used to treat epilepsy, hypertension, Attention Deficit Disorder and impotence.
GABA, or Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid, is a non-protein amino acid, that functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
GABA can be synthesized by the human body from the two amino acids precursors, glutamate and succinate, both of which are generated via an intact Krebs cycle.
GABA inhibits the transmission of neuronal signals by increasing the permeability of the nerve axon to chloride ions, which in turn causes the cell to become hyperpolarized (excessive negative charge) requiring a greater impulse to generate the action potential. Essentially this means that the nerve is less likely to fire unless given a stronger nerve impulse, thus inhibiting the nerve. This activity has made GABA supplements one of the more useful substances for nerve-induced muscle spasms, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, trigger point pain, fibromyalgia, and some menstrual cramping.
The Merck index lists GABA as an anti-hypertensive. The pharmaceutical agent known as baclofen (used as a muscle relaxant/anti-spastic agent) is a structural analog of GABA.