GABA is known for producing a calming effect. It’s thought to play a major role in controlling nerve cell hyperactivity associated with anxiety, stress and fear.Scientists also call GABA a non-protein amino acid neurotransmitter.

Understanding GABA

GABA is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in your central nervous system. Inhibitory neurotransmitters prevent or block chemical messages and decrease the stimulation of nerve cells in your brain.

Neurotransmitters all generally work in the same way. They are chemical messengers that carry messages from one nerve cell in your brain to the next. Between each nerve cell is a tiny amount of fluid-filled space called a synapse. Neurotransmitters must carry their message across this synapse and then land on and bind to specific receptors on the next nerve cell (like a key that can only fit and work in its partner lock).

What is GABA's relationship with Glutamate

GABA and glutamate act like an “on” and “off” switch. They work in opposite ways. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, stopping the chemical messages from passing from nerve cell to nerve cell. Glutamate, on the other hand, is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in your brain, permitting the chemical messages to be carried from nerve cell to nerve cell.

To have a properly functioning brain, a delicate balance must be maintained between the inhibitory effects of GABA and the excitatory effects of glutamate. GABA also works together with another neurotransmitter, serotonin. In fact, many neurotransmitters work together and against each other and must maintain a certain relationship to achieve a properly functioning body and brain.

GABA is actually made from glutamate following a reaction with the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase.


While there's no one-size-fits-all solution for anxiety, GABA can help with anxiety by providing calming effect on your body.


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