Tag Archives: relaxation

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

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