Tag Archives: relax

Diazepam Alternative? – Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid

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.

Reference:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001429991400661X

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6306/diazepam-oral/details

GABA Stops or Prevents Seizures

GABA, also referred to a gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and serve different functions in the body. Historically this amino has been used as a natural sedative, to help with relaxation and sleep since it is acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. However, it also has anti-anxiety and anti-seizure properties, and is an anti-convulsant.

GABA is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that the body produces it (you can also get it from protein foods or take a supplement) but sometimes it is still deficient depending on what is happening in the body.

According to studies, this amino acid can aid with sleep, inhibition, calming the nerves, drug dependency (including alcoholism), is used in antiepileptic drugs (epilepsy), and according to a study entitled ‘Molecular mechanisms of antiseizure drug activity at GABAA receptors’ by L John Greenfield Jr, is used to prevent seizures.

GABAA receptor (GABAR) helps prevent seizures

GABAA receptor (GABAAR) is, says the researcher, a “major target of antiseizure drugs (ASD’s).” There are actually a number of different agents that act at GABARs’ distinct receptor sites that can eliminate or prevent seizures.

Some of these agents include: loreclezole, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates, in which the GABARs are the only known substance used due to its antiseizure ability.

However, this is only one of a few possible antiseizure mechanisms in these agents: topiramate, losigamone, retigabine, felbamate, and stiripentol.

Other agents, which affect GABAergic “’tone’ by regulating the synthesis, transport or breakdown of GABA” also exist. The development of ganaxolone was a response to the neurosteroid allopregnanolone (a progesterone metabolite, which intensifies GABAR function).

This amino is an intrinsic component to epileptic patients. The efficacy of GABAR function can change when someone develops or has chronic epilepsy, so Greenfield says that it “may provide an additional target for ‘GABAergic; ASDs.”

The conclusion was that targeting the altered receptors may “provide a novel approach for seizure prevention.”

Reference:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1059131113001143

Midnight Snacks That Help You Sleep – GABA Insomnia Cure

So tonight I awoke at 2:30AM for the usual reasons—to go to the bathroom and get some water; however, my mind started racing and I couldn’t sleep. It’s an altogether too-common problem for many people. So what did I do? Well, first I wrote this article so it will help others, but secondly, I reached out to cure what ails me, foods containing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) for a natural GABA insomnia cure.

GABA is an amino acid, and a natural cure for insomnia. Sure, I could take a prescription drug for insomnia, but I doubt my doctor can help me at this hour of the night. I could take an over the counter sleep aid (like allergy medicines: Excedrin PM, Tylenol PM, or Nytol—these contain diphenhydramine, which causes drowsiness and sometimes help people sleep) but why take something that is designed for allergies just to sleep?

I could also take a natural sleep aid supplement, such as GABA supplements, or a sleep aid that is a GABA insomnia cure? GABA medications that are also sleep medicines include: Ambien (zolpidem tartrate), Lunesta (eszopiclone), Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate extended release), and Sonata (zaleplon)… but who wants to run to the local 24-hour drug store in the middle of the night?

What if a store near you is not even open? Why not simply walk to my kitchen for a moment and grab a snack that already a great source of GABA to help me sleep?

GABA insomnia cure: Foods in your kitchen that aid sleep

Food that triggers the brain’s neurotransmitters to help you sleep, GABA insomnia cure type foods are a quick and easy answer that works! I mean, does it make sense for you to grab drinks or foods that would keep you awake? Coffee, tea, soda pop, hot chocolate, or other drinks with caffeine do not make any sense in the middle of the night, so why eat foods that will keep you awake either?

Try a handful of raw nuts, particularly almonds (or even mixed nuts), especially if they are raw. Bananas also have GABA in them. Leftovers are also easy to snack on in the wee hours… consider any of these GABA insomnia cure foods: broccoli, brown rice, lentils, oranges/citrus fruits, beef liver, halibut, rice bran, spinach, walnuts, tree nuts, whole wheat, other whole grains like whole oats. Also, fish (mackerel in particular) and wheat bran are known to have some of the highest concentrations of GABA that are naturally occurring.

I always keep raw nut mix available to me at all times. I have already popped a handful of GABA-insomnia-cure natural sleep aid food into my mouth and am ready to lie down and rest my mind, and my body…

And with that, I bid you, goodnight… ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz…

References:

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/sleeping-pills-what-need-know

http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=3582

What Can GABA Amino Acid Do For Me?

GABA amino acid supplements can help you with a number of things. This is a chemical that exists in all of us and plays an important role in how we live our lives.  Here is a little information on it so you can see whether or not it’s a good idea to use it as a supplement.

GABA is something that’s created in your body naturally and it is required to keep your mood in check.  It helps control the fight or flight response and this means that in a lot of people, it controls how much anxiety they feel. People that don’t have the correct balance of GABA amino acid chemicals in their brains are going to feel a lot of anxiety and may have a lot of manic behavior problems. This is why it’s important to take these kinds of supplements if you have any problems with these issues. If you’ve ever drank alcohol then you know that it lowers your inhibitions. This is because it acts on the part of the brain that is responsible for GABA production. When this balance is thrown off, then you’re more likely to do things that you wouldn’t normally do. When the alcohol wears off and you feel all of those anxious feelings, that is because your GABA balance is off. You can only make things better if you abstain from alcohol and use this kind of supplement for it to be effective. Speak with a doctor if you struggle with addiction. You should now know a little more about GABA amino acid and how it can help you if you need it. Make sure that if you do have any extra questions, you ask them to your doctor just so that you can be safe.

Read more comprehensive reports and scientific studies on GABA in the GABA section of our site.

This document was produced by a third party article provider. The opinions and statements are of that organization’s own and the owner and publisher of the site assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the content. Our articles are for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only. Please do your own due diligence, verify any health claims by doing additional research and consult your doctor before starting any supplementation program or making any lifestyle changes, including changes to your medication and supplementation.

Theanine Amino Acid Improves Sleep Quality For ADHD Children

Fantastic news for parents of ADHD children: the amino acid L-theanine will help their children sleep. A recent Canadian study proved that L-theanine significantly improves sleep quality in ADHD children, which benefits the entire family.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by either significant difficulties of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness or a combination of the two.

As many as 50% of ADHD children experience sleep problems. ADHD children often resist going to bed, and take a long time to fall asleep. They wake at night, and may also suffer from restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea. And because they don’t get enough sleep these ADHD children are not alert in the mornings, and are tired during the day.

A Canadian study by researchers (M Lyon, M Kapoor, et al) from the University of British Columbia hoped to prove that a synthesized product of the amino acid L-theanine improved sleep quality in ADHD children.

Theanine is an amino acid primarily found in green tea leaves. It can cross the blood–brain barrier—in fact EEG results show L-theanine inducing changes in brain waves. The amino acid makes our brains produce alpha waves, which are associated with relaxation.

ADHD sleep quality improved by amino acid L-theanine

93 children with ADHD completed the UBC trial. They were given four chewable, fruit-flavored  L-theanine tablets, or a placebo, every day during the 10-week clinical trial. Their sleep quality was measured, using a wristwatch-like monitoring device measuring sleep activity levels, sleep duration, nocturnal awakenings and sleep patterns. In addition, the parents completed a pediatric sleep questionnaire.

Results showed the children who had taken L-theanine tablets had a significantly higher sleep percentage and reduced nocturnal motor activity compared to the placebo group. They slept longer, with less moving around. This improves their attention, memory, emotion and behavior during the day.

L-theanine supplements are valuable new therapies for helping children with ADHD get enough sleep.

Please remember to visit our other health news portals, Medicinal Mushroom Information Center at http://medicinalmushroominfo.com Vancouver Health News at http://VancouverHealthNews.ca and http://todayswordofwisdom.com.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22214254

L-glutamine Amino Acid and Depression

Is there a link between L-glutamine and depression?  Definitely!  It certainly appears that L-glutamine is a vital amino acid that increases positive outlook and relieves depression.  

L-glutamine is one of the major energy sources for the brain and without enough L-glutamine the brain relies on glucose for fuel which is why we crave sugar when we are stressed or sad.  Without enough fuel to function, the brain slumps and the result is a decrease in mental function, a sense of ‘the blues’ and a fundamental lack of motivation.

L-glutamine provides a healthy fuel for the whole body, not just the brain. Too much glucose can cause obesity, diabetes and many other diseases including cancers. Illness contributes to depression as well and it is important to keep the body healthy in order for the mind to be happy.  L-glutamine is a better fuel in this respect then glucose.

Connection between L-glutamine and depression may be in glucose balance

L-glutamine also helps relieve depression by being a more sustained, long burning fuel then glucose.  Glucose gives a large surge of energy that is inevitably followed by a crash that leaves the body craving more sugar and feeling depressed.  The result of this is addictive behaviour, a constant need to increase the amount of sugar ingested and that results in more feelings of depression.

Stress is also a frequent culprit for causes of depression.  Constant stress causes wear and tear on the whole body as a system, including the brain.  Stress also releases many hormones that result in feelings of unhappiness that can lead to long term depression. In order to heal from stress, the body needs to heal the damage done to its proteins and all of these damaged proteins can be synthesized from L-glutamine.  By taking L-glutamine to heal the damage caused by stress you can also prevent or help to recover from depression.

L-glutamine is a precursor to GABA – another relaxing amino acid

L-glutamine also enhances nervous system functions and is a precursor to the amino acid GABA.  GABA is an anxiety quelling amino acid and increased levels of GABA can help to prevent the stress from too much worry.  Worry can quickly lead to feelings of helplessness and depression.  L-glutamine helps by giving your body the building blocks to replenish its supply of GABA and gives the sense of competency to deal with anxiety and depression.

L-glutamine can be found in many high protein foods such as chicken, fish, beef, beans, dairy products, cabbage and beets. It can also be very useful to use a supplement to be sure to get all the L-glutamine you need to recover or prevent depression.

The author of this story, Michelle Carraway, is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, which include Medicinal Mushroom Information Center, Amino Acid Information Center, Vancouver Health News and Today’s Word of Wisdom.  The opinions are the writer’s own and the owner and publisher of the site assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the content. Our articles are for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only. Please do your own due diligence, verify any health claims by doing additional research and consult your doctor before starting any supplementation program or making any lifestyle changes, including changes to your medication and supplementation.

Sources:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23031251

http://www.livestrong.com/article/477074-glutamine-depression/

http://www.sundancevideoonline.com/glutamine.html

http://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/treatments/nutraceutical/precursor-amino-acid-therapy