How to Increase GABA With Serotonin

Written by christopher de la torre
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How to Increase GABA With Serotonin
Stress got you down? Boosting your serotonin levels naturally might be easier than you think. (stressed face image by Julia Britvich from

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an essential part of the body's inhibitory system. As an inhibitory neurotransmitter, it balances excessive excitation that can lead to anxiety, insomnia or seizures. Low GABA levels have been found in patients with such movement disorders as multiple sclerosis. Because serotonin is essential to GABA function, increasing serotonin levels in the body has a positive effect on GABA synthesis and function.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vitamin B6
  • Taurine
  • Glutamine
  • Green Tea
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Wheat Bran
  • Beans
  • Brown Rice

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  1. 1

    Maintain a healthy diet. Eat a good amount of protein. Foods like fish and beans contain tryptophan, an amino acid that acts as a precursor to serotonin. Carbs aren't necessarily the enemy. Good carbohydrates (those that digest slowly, like nuts, brown rice, oatmeal and legumes) are better than processed carbohydrates like white bread. Foods rich in essential fatty acids (good fats) are salmon, tuna and avocado. Stay away from processed sugars and too much caffeine, as these have an adverse affect on the production of serotonin and, in turn, GABA.

  2. 2

    Take supplements daily. In addition to eating right,. Your body can benefit from a boost of natural vitamins and amino acid supplements. Taurine is a positive modulator of GABA with no side-effects. Brain tissue and cardiac tissue both utilise taurine. Glutamine is another amino acid that supports GABA synthesis. Other helpful supplements are 5-HTP (sold over the counter) and theanine (present in green tea leaves).

  3. 3

    Exercise regularly. Being active, either at the gym or out in nature, increases the levels of important hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Just 20 or 30 minutes a day is enough to release these "good mood" hormones.

  4. 4

    Expose your body to sunlight regularly. Studies suggest that vitamin D -- -boosted with exposure to sunlight ---may increase the level of serotonin in the brain.

  5. 5

    Sleep well every night. Getting good rest is essential because serotonin levels are replenished during sleep.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not take a Glutamine supplement if your Glutamine levels are already high. See your physician if you're unsure.
  • If you drink green tea to boost your Theanine levels, you may want to watch your intake; green tea also contains caffeine.

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