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GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a natural "inhibitory neurotransmitter," meaning it blocks impulses between the nerve cells, resulting in a calming effect. Many medications for insomnia, stress and anxiety, epilepsy, and other conditions work by affecting GABA activity. GABA also affects processes that control blood pressure and muscle mass, so it has been evaluated for hypertension and muscle building.

However, taking GABA orally does not increase GABA levels in the brain and has not been shown to provide benefit for epilepsy, insomnia or stress. There is mixed evidence as to whether GABA improves cognitive function. It may, however, affect blood pressure.

Sign in for details from clinical studies with GABA, including information about potential health benefits, side effects, and potential interactions with drugs (such as antidepressants or blood pressure-lowering medications).

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