Talk:Gamma-Aminobutyric acid

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GABA and the blood brain barrier[edit]

I tweaked some of Amaher (talk · contribs)'s recent edits. Using a 1971 article to criticize a 2008 article seems like textbook original research. I'm curious as to whether the 1971 paper, PMID 5569303, discusses the effects mentioned in the 1999 Phys Review article which discusses GABA affecting the PeV (periventricular nucleus) when injected systematically. The relevant quote from the 1999 article:

These and other findings led to the proposition that GABA and its analogs only affect the PeV brain areas, including the SS elements, when injected centrally, without impinging on more distant brain structures in which the GHRH-secreting neurons are located (see sect. IIIA2). These areas, which have no effective BBB, can be reached by drugs such as systemically injected GABA and its analogs or antagonists, which normally do not cross the BBB. Therefore, GABA-mimetic lower GH by inhibiting GHRH-secreting structures (see Ref. 748 for further details).

I'll admit I'm no expert in this subject, and I certainly haven't closely read that entire article, but this quote does seem to support the sentence I used (my diff). II | (t - c) 02:22, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

The 1971 paper discusses a generalised investigation of the penetration of exogenous GABA into the brain using radiolabel tracers. It was certainly not being used to "criticize a 2008 article". I put that ref in there as a response to someone putting a citation needed tag. I have restructured the para for clarity. What do you think? cheers, --Amaher (talk) 02:45, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Your revision looks great, thanks. I do think the 1971 paper was being used to criticize the 2008 study as questionable, but it's not a big deal - I'm not trying to criticize you, just wanted to clarify the original research policy. By the way, can we put the references after the commas? This is more common in Wikipedia and journals (with notable exceptions) and I think it looks a lot cleaner. II | (t - c) 02:57, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
done--Amaher (talk) 03:12, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Sweet, thanks. I apologize for the OR comment; I see that you were just inserting the ref and didn't add the language (which was added a while ago). However, I'm sure you can see how it looked like OR. II | (t - c) 07:08, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm no expert but this seems to suggest it does cross the BBB: "Blood studies. There is some evidence to suggest that plasma GABA levels reflect brain GABA activity (34). For example, GABA levels in plasma have been reported to be almost identical to levels in CSF (35), suggesting that there is no active gradient between these two compartments. Furthermore, pharmacological manipulations change both plasma and brain GABA levels in similar magnitude (36,37). In addition, studies that measured plasma and CSF GABA simultaneously showed a significant correlation between the two in rats (38), dogs (39), and healthy humans (40). Berrettini and colleagues (41) reported a correlation (r = 0.34) between plasma and CSF GABA levels in a small group of euthymic bipolar patients (n = 10) but it did not reach statistical significance. This might have been due to a type II error because of the small sample size. Likewise, plasma and CSF GABA failed to correlate significantly in a group of 4 1 patients with various neurological disorders (42). However, abnormalities of GABA function occur in a variety of neurological diseases and these conditions may also be associated with abnormalities in the blood-brain barrier, therefore complicating the relationship between blood and brain GABA (10)." p. 1291 GABA Function in Mood Disorders: An Update and Critical Review. Life Sciences, Vol. 63. No. 15. 1998 Housecarl (talk) 19:18, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

It appears this needs to be changed, or at least clarified. For instance, even the most cursory of searches yields the following from PMID: 11849830 "... administration of GABA (600 mg/kg body weight [b. wt.]) alone increased brain GABA concentration (33%, p < 0.01)" Unless it is a convoluted second messenger in its own production, this does not seem ambiguous. Thus, I've added a citation needed to the exact section. Jdoelder (talk) 19:18, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

GABA via Sublingual Administration[edit]

If I put a sublingual GABA tablet under my tongue, will it cross the blood-brain barrier? I used a product called PharmaGABA that I purchased from Whole Foods (no spam intended, just trying to setup the context of my question) and it made me feel like I wanted to roll over and take a nap, so I did. That was about 700mg. I have done the same thing today, about an hour before typing this, and feel a calming effect, but also took another Rx so I cannot say for sure. Can someone do a section about routes of administration and how to get GABA to cross the blood-brain barrier? Apparently this product PharmaGABA has molecules that are pure and small enough that allow it to cross the barrier, or so it asserts. I am wondering if there is anyone that can comment or spark some conversation on this because I really don't feel it was placebo, but then again, people will put anything on a bottle to try and sell it. Thoughts, ideas? Thanks! (talk) 12:07, 19 August 2011 (UTC)AlphaDubStep

Talk pages are intended to be used for discussion of how to improve articles. Questions about the topic don't belong here -- you could try asking at the Science Reference Desk. Looie496 (talk) 17:43, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I feel an improvement would be addressing sublingual administration in the human body. AlphaDubStep (talk) 11:41, 20 August 2011 (UTC)AlphaDubStep
I have added a brief section -- I think it says about as much as it is possible to say. Looie496 (talk) 23:06, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

good job![edit]

I just wanted to mention that this article is really really really well-written. Good going! makeswell (talk) 05:46, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Is it a Human Growth Hormone booster[edit]

I found a claim on an old bodybuilding website that study showed that 5 grams of GABA increased HGH level by 600%. First, the claim is not clear and a citation was not provided, but, if true, the information should be added. I posted the question also on Talk:Bodybuilding supplement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Not sure about the exact numbers but there is some evidence to support such an effect, notably PMID 18091016. However the relevant literature is extremely small, and it is not clear to me that taking such massive doses on a regular basis would be a safe thing to do (although it is apparently used as a supplement by some bodybuilders). Looie496 (talk) 03:28, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Emperical study contradicts information in the "GABA as a supplement" section of the article[edit]

Hello Wikipedia! I thought it would be wisest to post here before I changed this article. I was reading this article under the section "GABA as a supplement," and was perplexed to find the article giving the viewpoint that GABA as a supplement does not cross the blood brain barrier, and therfore has no use as a nutritional supplement. This was in opposition of a SPECT brain imaging scan in a book of mine. The scan was a patient before GABA supplementation and after supplementation, in which the patient had decreased basal ganglia activity after two weeks of GABA supplementation. The book is "Healing Anxiety and Depression" by Dr. Daniel Amen. The scan is shown on page 163.

This is by no means empirical evidence to support the idea that GABA supplementation has measurable effects on the brain. But it was enough evidence for me to suspect that if I was to start looking for empirical evidence to support this claim, that I would find some.

I have found emperical evidence stating that GABA as an orally administered supplement creates measurable changes in the EEG's of those who take it. The abstract of this article is found at

This is enough evidence for me to include this data in the "GABA as a supplement" section of the article. I have gone out of my way to find this evidence with the hope that people who come to this article are given accurate information. In this case, the most accurate information is that there is evidence that the claims made about GABA as a supplement are true.

Since the section is changed, if you see a way to improve the section, if you find errors within it, please feel free to change it. Also, I would appreciate it if somebody would look at my reference to see if I got it right (I think I did, but you can never be too sure.)

Thank you!

-- JohnnMillerr

Welcome to Wikipedia where industry shills rock! Do not expect to be able to include anything that presents a pharmaceutical company in a negative light or anything that presents a supplement in a positive one. [1][2] Breedentials (talk) 13:56, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

"Do not expect to be able to include anything that presents a pharmaceutical company in a negative light or anything that presents a supplement in a positive one." I second that emotion! Seems more and more are realizing also. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 10 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Newman, Lily Hay (17 June 2014). "Wikipedia Is Smoking Out Paid Editors". Slate/Future Tense. The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  2. ^ Ford, Sam (10 June 2014). "Narrowing the Chasm Between PR Professionals and Wikipedia". Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Harvard Business School Publishing. Retrieved 5 July 2012.


"The neurons are part of a system that responds to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. This is the first time GABA has been found to be important in regulating aggression" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:22, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Grammar & Sentence Structure[edit]

To make the article flow more, there are a few areas I would like to suggest small revision to. In the introductory paragraph, the second and third sentences can be combined so the topic of the sentences is not repeated twice. "It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system and is also directly responsible for the regulation of muscle tone in humans." On the other hand, the second paragraph is a bit lengthy. I would suggest making everything after 'communities' into a separate sentence so a runon sentence does not exist.

Under "brain development," the final sentence of the paragraph is not needed because the point that GABA's function changes is stated in the previous sentence. I am curious about the other chemicals/transmitters that are not tagged, such as NKCC1 and KCC2. People may want them linked to get more information on their roles as well. I cannot tell if the 'brain development section' progresses or if it mostly discusses early brain development. Thanks! Cbruha11 (talk) 16:31, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Remove spastic diplegia sentence from intro[edit]

The last sentence in the intro section pertaining to spastic diplegia is not of primary relevance or importance and does not belong in an intro section. It should be removed or relocated to a subsection. Because this is a popular, important and technical page, I'm posting my opinion here and waiting for feedback before acting. Adallace (talk) 08:07, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your heads up. This sentence certainly does not belong in the lead. Another problem is that no source is cited to support the statement. I have therefore moved the statement to a new section and added a citation needed tag. I have searched for a reliable source to support the statement but have so far come up empty. Boghog (talk) 09:11, 9 August 2015 (UTC)


requesting seperate section on the effects of GABA overdose — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mahfuzur rahman shourov (talkcontribs) 15:58, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Illegal drug[edit]

Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a Class B controlled drug in New Zealand. See sub-paragraph (b)(ii) of clause 6 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 of Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Here is a link. You can get up to 14 years in prison for selling supplying or producing such drugs(, see section 6 of same act). Tellurium128 (talk) 03:58, 29 May 2019 (UTC)