In a recent blog post I shared some feedback from people who have tried various GABA products with success: GABA, the calming amino acid: products and results
Taken orally it works to relax, calm, ease anxiety and social anxiety, quiet the mind, help with insomnia and sleeping better, reduces neck tension, removes uneasiness and worry, and gives hope (as you can read in the above blog post).
What I didn’t mention is that GABA can also reduce and often eliminate cravings totally.
Melissa discovered this was a wonderful side-benefit (we like side-benefits vs side-effects!) when she recently added Source Naturals GABA Calm in anticipation of holiday travel and holiday gatherings. She recently posted this comment on the above blog:
I’m glad I saw the post about GABA on your FB page a couple weeks ago, which led me to this article. I bought Source Naturals GABA Calm and have been taking 1-3 per day for two weeks. I’m glad I bought it before travelling home for Christmas – I was cool as a cucumber at the airport and was much calmer when visiting family and friends compared to last year! The true test of its efficacy will be in two weeks when the semester starts. For now, I notice a general calmness and am sleeping well.
An unexpected result was that I stopped craving sweets after about a week of taking it! I didn’t even realize this until I was grocery shopping and out of habit walked towards the ice cream – I stopped and realized I didn’t want ice cream. So I walked toward the chocolate – same reaction. For once in my life, I was not craving sweets. I made truffles for a NYE party and only ate two. But what is really shocking is that the leftovers are still in my refrigerator two days later and I haven’t touched them. I don’t understand what is going on! Can this be the GABA Calm (active ingredients: magnesium, GABA, Glycine, L-Tyrosine, Taurine)? I don’t think it’s the small amount of magnesium because I already do magnesium oil foot baths, so I suspect it’s one of the other ingredients.
Thanks so much for this article on GABA and recommendations
I love that she was calm during her travels, was much calmer when visiting family and friends compared to last year and is even sleeping better. And she is clearly delighted about the lack of sugar cravings!
Here are my answers to her question about those sugar cravings:
- we can crave for many reasons and one reason can be due to low GABA levels
- we stress eat (or drink more wine or other alcoholic beverages) when our GABA levels are low
- by addressing the low GABA levels sugar cravings can disappear completely as in Melissa’s case (ice-cream, chocolates and truffles)
- the GABA, glycine and taurine actively boost GABA, the magnesium is a co-factor for making GABA and the small amount of tyrosine counters the GABA so you don’t feel too relaxed
In many cases GABA can help partially and you may also need to address low serotonin (you’ll have afternoon/evening cravings), low dopamine (you crave sugar for focus and energy), low blood sugar (you are cranky and have an intense desire for something sweet) or low endorphins (you crave to self-soothe or comfort). Here is the amino acid questionnaire so you can figure out if you may have low levels of any of the above brain chemicals. If you are low, using the correlating amino acids can address both mood issues and cravings.
You may also need to address candida, dysbiosis or parasites as these factors can also cause sugar cravings since many “bugs” feed off sugar.
I always love to get feedback like this, so thanks to Melissa for sharing! It warms my heart to hear the impact nutrients can have and because I get to share stories like this to give others like you hope!
Update Dec 2016: I’ve written a number of blog posts on GABA since this was published. These hopefully address all the “how does GABA work? it can’t get through the blood brain barrier!” questions I am so often asked, and cover some of the research behind how effective this amino acid can be if your cravings, anxiety and insomnia have low GABA as a root cause:
- Why I recommend GABA for anxiety instead of phenibut
- GABA the calming amino acid: common questions I get asked
- The Anxiety Summit – GABA: Blood brain barrier controversy, concerns, best forms and how to do a trial for eliminating anxiety
- Sleep promoting effects of combined GABA and 5-HTP: new research
- GABA rapidly absorbed and tolerated – benefits for anxiety and diabetes
Do you have a GABA story to share? Or have other nutrients helped you with sugar cravings and/or anxiety?