GABA Supplements and Others

Gamma-AminoButyric Acid

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is derived from the amino acid glutamic acid. It is found in large amounts in your hypothalamus, the area of your brain responsible for regulating appetite and body temperature. If you take GABA supplements, it is important that you also take vitamin B6 to act as a cofactor. Otherwise, your body cannot metabolize the GABA properly.

Functions of GABA in your body

• Aids your body in secreting growth hormone
• Helps control hypoglycemia
• Is an inhibitory neurotransmitter
• Lowers blood pressure
• Muscle relaxant
• Prevents anxiety
• Produces a calming effect on the brain
• Promotes sleep

Side effects

Some people experience a tingling sensation in the face and a slight shortness of breath after taking GABA. Typically, however, this only lasts for a few minutes. GABA is best taken at night since it may make you drowsy. If you have kidney or liver disease, contact your physician before you take GABA.

Glutamate

Glutamate, which is also known as glutamic acid, is a nonessential amino acid and the brain’s major excitatory neurotransmitter. It can be converted into both glutamine and GABA by the body, and is made from aspartic acid, ornithine, arginine, proline,and alpha-ketoglutarate.

Functions of Glutamate in your body

• Acts as brain detoxifier of ammonia
• Involved in pain control
• Involved with sensory perception, memory, orientation in time and space, cognition, and motor skills
• Plays a role in the body’s ability to adapt to environmental and genetic influences

Glutamine

Glutamine is one of the twenty amino acids used to make protein in your body. It is also involved in many metabolic processes. A conditionally essential amino acid, glutamine can be produced by the body but can also become depleted when used in overabundance, such as during intense physical activity or stress.

Functions of Glutamine in your body

• Balances blood sugar
• Fights cold and flu
• Helps the brain dispose of ammonia
• Improves mental alertness
• Increases energy
• Increases growth hormone
• Is a fuel source for your immune system
• Is a precursor for GABA
• Is an inhibitory neurotransmitter
• Needed for a healthy gut
• Needed for DNA synthesis
• Needed for the metabolism and maintenance of muscle
• Neutralizes toxins
• Promotes growth
• Promotes healthy acid-alkaline balance in your body
• Promotes weight loss
• Promotes wound healing and tissue repair
• Protects the body from stress
• Stops food cravings
• Supports glutathione

Glutathione

Glutathione is a tripeptide – a compound composed of three amino acids – that is made of cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine. It is responsible for the health of most of the cells in your body. Around the age of forty, your glutathione levels begin to diminish, and you may need to begin taking supplements.

Functions of Glutathione in your body

• Decreases sugar cravings
• Displaces glutamate from its binding site
• Enhances liver and brain detoxification of toxic chemicals and heavy metals
• Helps to recycle other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E
• Involved in protein and prostaglandin (fatty acid compounds) synthesis
• Is a neuromodulator (transmits information between neurons)
• Is a neurotransmitter
• Is a very powerful antioxidant
• Part of amino acid transport
• Stimulates production of interleukin 1 and 2, which help regulate your immune system
• Used in DNA synthesis and repair

Symptoms of Glutathione deficiency

• Asthma
• Faster progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
• Hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells)
• Immune disorders

Nutrients that increase Glutathione levels

• Alpha-lipoic acid
• Glutamine
• Methionine
• Milk thistle
• S—adenosyl methionine (SAMe)
Vitamins C and E
• Whey protein

Glycine

Glycine is a nonessential amino acid and one of the building blocks of protein. Unlike most of the other amino acids, glycine does not come in D- and L-forms. Although most people do not need to take glycine supplementation because the body can produce it, some doctors have had success when prescribing it for certain health conditions.

Functions of Glycine in your body

• Calms aggression
• Decreases sugar cravings
• Enhances the neurotransmitters (messengers) in your brain
• Helps detoxify heavy metals and other toxins form your body
• Helps from collagen
• Involved in the metabolism of bile salts
• Is an inhibitor neurotransmitter
• Is important to manufacture glucose from glycogen in your liver
• Needed for prostate gland function
• Needed to maintain the nervous system
• Promotes health of various organs, including gland, prostate, and spleen
• Used for the formation of glutathione
• Used in metabolism of proteins
• Used in the synthesis of DNA, hemoglobin, glutathione, and RNA

Diseases / Disorders that can be treated with Glycine

• Bipolar disorder
• Epilepsy
• Prostate enlargement (prevention)
• Schizophrenia
• Spasticity (involuntary muscle contractions)

Food Sources of Glycine – dairy products, fish, meat, and wheat germ

Prostate enlargement

The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, which in males is the tube taking urine from the bladder. With increasing age, the prostate gland can swell, restricting and then finally blocking the flow of urine.

Usually doctors recommend surgery; either removal of the prostate gland by prostatectomy or they shave a larger track through the prostate for the urine to go. There are number of drugs which can relax the bladder neck muscles and improve the flow and others, such as finasteride (Proscar) which can block the hormone dihydro testosterone (DTH) which is what causes the gland to swell.

What you can do – Don’t allow the bladder to overfill as this can sometimes result in a complete blockage. Make sure that the bladder empties completely. Physical activity such as walking 2-3 hours per week can reduce the symptoms by 25%.

Nutritional supplements

Saw palmetto is a Chinese herb which suppresses swelling of the prostate improving symptoms in an unexplained yet effect way. Lycopene is found in pink fruits, especially cooked tomatoes. When concentrated in the prostate gland it can reduce BHP.