What Does GABA Do in the Body?
GABA is one of the key elements of NuCalm. Using biosignal discs, we replicate the functions of GABA in the body. But what are those functions?
What Is GABA?
GABA’s full name gamma aminobutyric acid, tells its structure. The “buty” part tells us that it has four carbon atoms in a chain, like butane. The amino part tells us it has an amine group, a nitrogen atom bonded to two hydrogens, and the “acid” part tells us that it has an acidic group (two oxygens and an hydrogen) at one end. The gamma part tells us the location of the amine group, in this case the third carbon after the acid group.
Although it’s an amino acid, it’s not like the amino acids your body uses to build proteins–those are all alpha acids. Instead, it works as a neurotransmitter.
The Micro Function of GABA
GABA works primarily as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It functions by modifying the charge on nerve cells to keep them from firing as much. Think of nerve cells firing as being similar to a spark jumping a gap in a spark plug. The number of sparks depends on the amount of charge (current) that is in the wires. The same is true in nerve cells.
When nerves are very excited, the receptors have a strong positive charge and the transmitters have a strong negative charge, so signals are frequently leaping across in the form of negatively charged molecules that carry messages. But when GABA gets to a receptor, it opens up a channel that lets in negatively charged chloride ions. This makes the receptor less positive, so it isn’t drawing signals so strongly. As a result, the neurons fire less often.
Some drugs are designed to mimic the effects of GABA in the body. These include benzodiazepines. Other drugs are designed to improve the function of GABA. This includes sleeping pills like Ambien.
The Macro Functions of GABA
But what is the effect of this slowing down of nerve cells? What is the ultimate effect of introducing more GABA to the body? Well, it has the ability to prevent and stop seizures. That’s because seizures are caused by brain activity increasing in an uncontrolled fashion.
GABA also steps in to reduce the production of adrenaline and noradrenaline. The effect is the reduction of your stress. It can also suppress the production of dopamine, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter that stimulates compulsive actions.
GABA receptors are found all over the brain, but nowhere are they found more than in a brain region called the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO), which is a key region sometimes called the “sleep switch,” because it can essentially start the process that leads to sleep.
GABA is also sometimes used to combat chronic pain.
Some studies indicate that people with ADHD have lower levels of GABA. Therefore, some people take GABA to improve focus.
A Substitute for GABA in NuCalm
In the past, GABA was included as part of the NuCalm system, but now the system has been updated with advanced biosignal discs. These discs contain the electromagnetic information of GABA and its precursors. By placing one of these discs on the Pericardium-6 acupuncture point. This sends a signal through the body’s meridians to the heart, which signals the brain to slow down cellular actions, helping to put the body in a restorative state.