What Does GABA Do in the Body?

GABA neurotransmitter

GABA is one of the key elements of NuCalm. We often talk about it being a natural part of your body’s function, but what does GABA do? How does it work in the brain? And how does supplementation help your body achieve relaxation with NuCalm.

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.

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.

How GABA Works in NuCalm

With NuCalm, we aren’t trying to do anything against your body’s natural function. We just want to harness your body’s natural relaxation mechanisms, including GABA, which is part of our naturally sourced supplements. Introducing GABA starts calming down your anxious brain and making you more receptive to relaxation.

If you are looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience at the dentist, please contact a local NuCalm dentist today.