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Gamma-aminobutyric acid and health

    Gamma-aminobutyricacid (GABA) is a naturally occurring non-protein functional amino acid. It is an important inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammalian central nervous system and plays a regulatory role in various functions of the body.

    With the deepening of research, the physiological function of GABA has been clarified and developed into a new functional factor, which is widely used in medicine, food health care and agriculture industries. At present, the food safety of GABA has been widely recognized including the United States, Japan and other countries, the regulations of various countries have allowed GABA to be added in common food, our country also approved in 2009 gamma-aminobutyric acid as a new resource food (Ministry of Health 2009 No. 12 announcement), can be added in beverage, cocoa products and other foods.

    The role of gamma-aminobutyric acid

    GABA was synthesized by scientists as early as 1883 and found to be widely present in plants, animals and fungi, but it wasn’t until 1950 that scientists noticed that GABA was present in high levels in the normal brain of mammals. Later studies have found that GABA is the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system of mammals, crustaceans, insects and some parasitic worms, mediating more than 40% of inhibitory nerve conduction, so the abnormality of GABA this transmitter can induce a variety of nervous system diseases.

    GABA has postsynaptic inhibition, which can make postsynaptic neurons in a protective inhibitory state by hyperpolarization of postsynaptic membrane, reduce ion flow, reduce cell metabolism and oxygen consumption, and reduce the release of glutamate through presynaptic inhibition, thus reducing the death of neurons in the perfusion area. Human experiments have shown that oral GABA has a good effect on calming and anti-anxiety, improving sleep, regulating blood pressure and treating epilepsy.

    1. Soothe your emotions

    The concentration of GABA in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid decreased in patients with emotional disorders, depression and alcoholic depression. In animal experiments, GABA can play an anti-anxiety role by regulating the content of nitric oxide in the frontal cortex of anxious rats. GABA can bind to anti-anxiety brain receptors and activate them, and then cooperate with other substances to prevent anxiety-related information from reaching the brain indication center, fundamentally calming nerves and playing an anti-anxiety role. GABA can play an antianxiety role by regulating the content of nitric oxide in the frontal cortex of anxious rats. Current studies have confirmed that restoring GABA function plays a role in the treatment of depression, so the GABA system may be a future therapeutic target for bipolar disorder.

    1. Improve your sleep

    GABA has always been considered to be related to sleep. Numerous animal experiments and human experiments have confirmed the important role of GABA in improving subjects’ sleep. Existing studies have proved that gamma-aminobutyrate can shorten the time to fall asleep and prolong slow-wave sleep Ⅱ and REM sleep. At the same time, the sedative sleep inducing effect of some drugs is due to the increased affinity of GABA receptors to enhance GABA binding to recognition sites; There are also drugs that increase GABA levels in the brain by inhibiting the breakdown of GABA, which also increases slow-wave sleep to some extent. The curative effect of GABA on infant night cry syndrome was 87.5%. Studies have also found that the intake of GABA can improve the activity of glucose phospholipase, so as to promote the energy metabolism of the brain, activate cerebral blood flow, increase oxygen supply, and ultimately restore the function of brain cells and improve nervous function.

    1. Regulate blood pressure

    As an important inhibitory transmitter in the brain, GABA plays an important role in regulating the cardiovascular activities of mammals. In a large number of animal experiments, GABA can reduce blood pressure and bradycardia effect, GABA can effectively promote vascular dilation, increase blood flow, increase oxygen supply, promote metabolism, and thus reduce blood pressure. In hypertensive patients, renal function is often reduced, and GABA has the function of renal activation. Due to the activation of diuretic action, excess salt can be promoted from the urine, resulting in lower blood pressure.

    1. Antitussive effect

    In addition to acting as a transmitter, GABA can also act as a regulator to regulate the function of the autonomic nervous system. In non-nervous tissues, GABa can play the role of hormones or nutritional factors. More and more studies have shown that GABA plays an important role in the respiratory system. As a regulator of cholinergic parasympathetic nerve and tachykinin containing sensory nerve, GABA is involved in regulating airway allergic reaction, and can inhibit neuro-induced cholinergic and tachykinin-mediated airway smooth muscle contraction, microvascular leakage and other problems. Gaba has a strong anticough effect.

    1. Effects on reproduction

    GABA can be involved in the regulation of anterior pituitary hormone secretion at hypothalamic level and pituitary level, thus indirectly affecting the ovarian and fallopian tube functions of female population. GABA is also present in the gonads and accessory sex organs of the male population, and is closely related to sperm movement and steroid hormone production. The presence of GABA receptors on the surface of sperm membrane suggests that GABA is related to sperm function. GABA induced acrosomal response (AR) in human capacitated sperm, and it increased significantly with the capacitation process of sperm, and there was an obvious dose-effect relationship. In order to improve the success rate of artificial insemination, some studies believe that high-quality sperm must be obtained in vitro, so GABA can be used as an additive.

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