Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA is an essential neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It controls a huge part of the body’s functions. This major inhibitor neurotransmitter is directly related to the emergence and prevention of many health difficulties, such as anxiety disorders, insomnia, depression, psychiatric ailments, epilepsy, and motion dysfunctions.
The chemical role of GABA and hyperexcitability
Receptors are distributed diffusely in different parts of the brain, such as the cortex and basal ganglia. Many health conditions, like seizures, are associated with the cortex, a layer of the brain. For the same reason, most of the anti-seizure remedies increase the ratio of receptor inhibitory activity to the excitatory action of another vital neurotransmitter known as glutamate. It also works in assistance with other parts of our brain. They control how we think, how we move, feel, learn, observe, and behave. The performance of GABA is responsible for sending signals to the cortex and further, initiating and suppressing the movement of muscle groups of our bodies. For muscle relaxation, it is necessary to have a high enough level of GABA receptors, which enable control and more natural movement.
GABA is essential for the central nervous system cells developing, called neurons, from the formation of the brain and more. Allows cells to differentiate into a similar number of neurons. When a molecule interacts with its two receptors – GABA-A and GABA-B, a change in receptor structure results in the discharge of peptides and chemokines that can defeat the brain’s hyperexcitability.
Hyperexcitability can be recognized as attacks, headaches, muscle cramps, anxiety, insomnia, tics, or psychiatric disorders. There are many reasons for their increased activity, but a critical physiological cause is either due to decreased GABA activity or within the increased glutamate. These two neurotransmitters are always necessary to be in balance. Low GABA activity is associated with anxiety, depression, focus lack of attention.
Drugs against seizures, due to their effects on receptor levels, have the power of mood stabilizers and can be therapeutic for those who suffer from psychical disorders.
Magnesium, essential mineral for the GABA receptors
The hypothalamus also contains receptors. This part of the brain may have a unique anatomy that controls our basic biological functions, such as the sleeping and waking cycle. Many drugs for insomnia and even herbal products work by increasing GABA activity.
It is especially worthwhile to extract mineral magnesium, an overly important GABA agonist, which means it binds to receptors and activates them. It not only stimulates receptors but also has the properties to stabilize cell membranes. Daily consumption of the correct dose of magnesium can help treat headaches, brain drain, anxiety, or insomnia. Therefore, try to include foods rich in magnesium in the diet, nuts, seeds, beans, bananas, spinach, broccoli, and more.
What is the link between Gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is an unimaginably important part of the human’s health. Interestingly, it comes from glutamate, the product of glucose metabolism, that serves as its precursor for synthesis. The production of GABA depends on the ability of the brain to form and degrade glutamate with the aid of the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), which helps GABA become glutamate. This particular enzyme requires vitamin B6 as a co-factor to function effectively. B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in spinach, bananas, potatoes, rice, raisins, salt, and many more.