Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) is a natural sedative, sometimes referred to as natural valium. It may also serve as an alternative to those who cannot take drugs like Diazepam. In fact, Diazepam works by increasing the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid, so taking GABA as a supplement can help accomplish a similar effect without the same side effects of Diazepam.
What is Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)?
GABA is a non-essential amino acid, which acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It works by soaking up extra adrenaline, plus brings relaxation as well as smoothes out activity in the brain.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid has GABAergic effects and the GABA receptor (GABAR) involvement is why anti-anxiety and anti-seizure drugs work, although scientists still don’t understand all the reasons why, but its connection to the suppressing the functions and nerves is well known.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid can be purchased as GABA supplements in most health food or supplement stores; however, doses may vary for use in medical situations and anyone attempting to use it for more than as a sleep aid should consult their physician first.
What is Diazepam?
The common or generic name for Diazepam is Valium. Diazepam is often used to treat acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, and seizures or muscle spasms.
Diazepam belongs to the drug class of benzodiazephines, which affect the brain and central nervous system, so has a calming effect.
Diazepam works by enhancing the natural GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) chemical in the body.
Connection between GABAARs and Diazepam-like drugs
According to a study by Andrea N Beltran Gonzales, Pablo E Pomata, et al., titled Benzodiazepine modulation of homomeric GABAAρ1 receptors: Differential effects of diazepam and 4´-chlorodiazepam the “GABAA receptors (GABAARs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate inhibitory neurotransmission in the central nervous system … Many GABAARs receptor subtypes are allosterically modulated by benzodiazepines (BDZs), which are drugs extensively used as anxiolytics, sedative-hypnotics and anticonvulsants.”
In their research they said that “human homomeric GABAAρ1 receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes and GABA-evoked responses electrophysiologically recorded in the presence or absence of BDZs. … Diazepam produced potentiating effects on GABA-evoked … currents and … diazepam induced biphasic effects depending on the GABA concentration.”
They concluded, “Our results suggest that GABAAρ1 receptor function can be selectively and differentially modulated by BDZs.”
GABA receptors and drugs like Diazepam work by enhancing the gamma-aminobutyric acid effects in the human brain.