GABA Monograph

Scientific name of GABA:
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid

Action of GABA:
Supports healthy nervous system function; promotes sleep wellness

GABA is used for these common wellness concerns:
Low energy levels; occasional sleep difficulty caused by restlessness and nervousness; cognitive function

Find GABA in these Clarocet blends:

Clarocet NRI® Immediate Response Capsules™
promote fast-acting relaxation when you need it most.

Clarocet ERT® Extended Release Tablets™
promote positive mood balance all day strong.

Clarocet CS® Controlled Release Tablets™
promote long-lasting energy and mental sharpness.

Clarocet PM® Rapid Release Capsules™
promote a deep, restful night's sleep.

Clarocet Junior® Easy-to-Swallow Tablets™
support Emotional Wellness in kids ages 7 thru 13.

An Overview of GABA

GABA, or Gamma-aminobutyric Acid, is an amino acid which functions as a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in approximately 30 to 40 percent of all brain synapses.

In clinical study, GABA supplementation has demonstrated a wide variety of health benefits that may help to provide positive support for:

  • Memory and other healthy cognitive functions
  • Tiredness, fatigue and weakness associated with occasional nervousness, anxiety and emotional stress
  • Occasional sleep difficulty

GABA is normally manufactured by the body in sufficient quantities. Although actual deficiencies are rare, exposure to environmental toxins and other external stressors may increase the rate at which GABA is depleted in the body. A GABA deficiency may result in muscle fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, depressed mood and sleep difficulty.

Science and Pharmacology of GABA

GABA is a cofactor. Cofactors are the most important components required to maintain fundamental processes throughout the body. Basic nervous system functions such as neurotransmitter synthesis and healthy cell-to-cell communication would not be possible without the presence of necessary vitamin, mineral and amino acid cofactors.

Supplementing a balanced diet with Gamma-aminobutyric Acid has been clinically shown to stimulate energy metabolism, support healthy cognitive functions such as memory and promote a restful, relaxed state. Because of its nutritive value, GABA works best when used along with other essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids that promote healthy neurological function.

GABA Safety and Usage

GABA maintains an excellent safety profile. No Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) exists for GABA because it is a nonessential nutrient. In children, doses of as little as 10 to 100 milligrams are sufficient to promote healthy neurological and nervous system function. Adults are advised to take between 250 and 1000 milligrams to provide positive support for low energy levels and mental fatigue caused by occasional anxiety and stress.

What are the potential side effects of GABA?

Side effects are rare and have been documented as mild in clinical study. They may include gastrointestinal discomfort. In the event that you or your child experiences an adverse reaction, discontinue use of this dietary supplement.

Is GABA safe for children?

GABA is generally well tolerated when used in children. Because each child is unique, GABA should be administered under the supervision of a professional healthcare provider.

Does GABA adversely interact with prescription drugs?

GABA has no known contraindications. If you or your child is taking a prescription medication, it is recommended that you consult with your prescribing doctor before making any changes or additions to a current treatment plan.

What precautions should I take before beginning GABA?

Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a wellness plan that includes dietary supplements like GABA.

GABA Clinical Studies

1. Genetic and pharmacological evidence of a role for GABA(B) receptors in the modulation of anxiety- and antidepressant-like behavior.
Mombereau C, Kaupmann K, Froestl W, Sansig G, van der Putten H, Cryan JF.
Neuroscience Research, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Jun;29(6):1050-62. PMID: 15039762 [Read the Abstract]

2. Brain neurotransmission in panic disorder.
Eriksson E.
Department of Pharmacology, University of Goteborg, Sweden.
Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 1987;335:31-7. PMID: 2890266 [Read the Abstract]

3. High-dose pyridoxine as an 'anti-stress' strategy.
McCarty MF.
Pantox Laboratories, San Diego, California, USA.
Med Hypotheses. 2000 May;54(5):803-7. PMID: 10859691 [Read the Abstract]

4. The GABA paradox: multiple roles as metabolite, neurotransmitter, and neurodifferentiative agent.
Waagepetersen HS, Sonnewald U, Schousboe A.
PharmaBiotec Research Center, Department of Pharmacology, Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Copenhagen.
J Neurochem. 1999 Oct;73(4):1335-42. PMID: 10501176 [Read the Abstract]

5. Effect of acute and repeated administration of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) on growth hormone and prolactin secretion in man.
Cavagnini F, Invitti C, Pinto M, Maraschini C, Di Landro A, Dubini A, Marelli A.
Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1980 Feb;93(2):149-54. PMID: 7376786 [Read the Abstract]

6. Reciprocal interactions between the GH axis and sleep.
Van Cauter E, Latta F, Nedeltcheva A, Spiegel K, Leproult R, Vandenbril C, Weiss R, Mockel J, Legros JJ, Copinschi G.
Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, USA
Growth Horm IGF Res. 2004 Jun;14 Suppl A:S10-7. PMID: 15135771 [Read the Abstract]

7. Psychological well-being before and after growth hormone treatment in adults with growth hormone deficiency.
McGauley GA, Cuneo RC, Salomon F, Sonksen PH.
Department of Medicine, United Medical School, UK.
Horm Res. 1990;33 Suppl 4:52-4. PMID: 2245968 [Read the Abstract

Related online research destinations

Last Updated: February 2012 [PHMF-02-0]