NOW GABA Reviews

While I do not believe there is anything wrong with us (those of us with ADD or ADHD), we do at times need help to function in the world in general. Heavy stimulants are bad news in my opinion, drink a coffee instead.

NOW Supplements, GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) 500 mg + B-6, 200 Count, Veg Capsules

I’m 5’1″ and roughly 110-115 lbs. This dosage is too high for the average size person (200-250 mg 3x a day recommended), let alone an almost miniature person such as myself. While I experienced the benefits of GABA (reduced anxiety), about an hour after I took it I would get really hot and flush and my mouth would taste like pennies and I’d get tingly–but only for a minute.

I’m giving this to my friend is well over 6 foot with a fast metabolism. He’s above the average size hence doesn’t experience these side effects.

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From the United States

I take 1 pill each morning, on an empty stomach. I feel physical effects after about 1 hour: increased heart-rate, flushing, dry mouth. These effects last only 15-20 minutes, and my morning is mellow. The tightness in my chest is gone, my overall mood is softened & I don’t cry at work from frustration/rage anymore.

Obviously, everyone’s body is different & needs different things- but I can’t imagine going without my GABA supplement.

As an adult diagnosed with ADHD(15 years ago), I can say unequivocally that this works very well as a mood stabilizer and an aide to focusing without the nasty side effects of the harsh methamphetamines typically prescribed.

Do your research, there are studies linking ADHD to deficiencies. From our GABA production to our Acetylcholine availability. GABA binds to receptors slowing down the process. Take it with some Lecithin to get your choline and you’re set. Choline is the stuff memories are made of.

While I do not believe there is anything wrong with us (those of us with ADD or ADHD), we do at times need help to function in the world in general. Heavy stimulants are bad news in my opinion, drink a coffee instead.

This also works well with anxiety, it’s a good natural calming agent. The Niacin bind ensures 100% blood brain barrier absorption so it gets where it needs to go and isn’t hindered by digestion. This stuff was originally designed back in 1969 as another name that pharmaceutical companies are actively trying to kill in politics because they can’t make money on it.

I’m 5’1″ and roughly 110-115 lbs. This dosage is too high for the average size person (200-250 mg 3x a day recommended), let alone an almost miniature person such as myself. While I experienced the benefits of GABA (reduced anxiety), about an hour after I took it I would get really hot and flush and my mouth would taste like pennies and I’d get tingly–but only for a minute.

I’m giving this to my friend is well over 6 foot with a fast metabolism. He’s above the average size hence doesn’t experience these side effects.

I started taking these supplements based on an article about insomnia out of Johns Hopkins, a chapter on insomnia from Power Juices Super Drinks by Steve Meyerowitz, and some customer reviews on this site. I take this product along with GABA, L-Tyrosine, L-Tryptophan. I also take 5-HTP. However, it is a form of Trytophan, which I think you can leave off. (I will post this same review on those product pages.)

For a decade plus, I have struggled with insomnia and accompanying fatigue and anxiety. Over the past several years, I have done numerous sleep studies and have pleaded with my doctors for help only to be told that insomnia is something with which I must live even in the face of diminished mental functioning. I’ve tried all the natural sleep remedies such as Valerian Root and melatonin with no success. I’m currently on an anti-depressant Remeron, which while it helps me sleep and stay asleep, I am not getting quality sleep. I no longer dream, and if I do, I cannot see or remember my dreams when I wake up. While asleep, my dreams appears in B&W so dim that I can only make out the outline of images.

A new development in my insomnia is driving-while-drowsy, which only happens when I get behind the wheel which is a lot living in Los Angeles and working in catering and events. Almost immediately, I begin to get drowsy and my eyelids become heavy. Knowing what is happening, I immediately take actions such as rolling down all of my windows and slapping my face to stay awake. As I’m driving, eventually, the back of my neck starts to hurt and I get a mild headache because my brain is signaling my body that it need to shut down. (Now if I were to get off the freeway and pull over to the side of the road to take a quick cap my drowsiness goes away.) It was at that point that I realized I might be dealing with something neurological, which is where L-Tryptophan comes in.

For the past six months, I have been taking L-Tryptophan, GABA and L-Tyrosine three times a day, and one 5HTP capsule at bedtime. The quality of my sleep, my overall neural functioning, my stress and my anxiety have come full circle. I am no longer experiencing drowsiness while driving, and my overall mental functioning, stress levels and anxiety have disappeared. (GABA and L-Tyrosine are both neurotransmitter support.)

If you’re struggling with insomnia, I cannot recommend these three supplements enough. Had I not refused to believe that insomnia was something with which I would just have to live, I might never have found these products. Before taking any over the counter medication, I always try to find a natural supplement to address whatever health issues I’m dealing with rather than going the pharmaceutical route. Give this regiment a try. And let me know if it works for you.

Below you’ll find some of the most effective natural nervousness relief supplements on the market today, in our opinion.

  • The dietary supplement is suitable for vegans, people with lactose intolerance, and gluten sensitivity.
  • Now GABA is GMP certified. It means the company has successfully passed quality control, and the products are in any way not contaminated.
  • The dietary supplement works effectively for people who have trouble sleeping and overcoming stress.
  • The manufacturer does not ship products internationally.
  • Several customers report the product provides ineffective and inconsistent results.
  • Very few consumers report side effects such as anxiety and heartburn.

Before you buy any supplement, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that you look for a Supplement Facts label. This label provides important health information, including the number of active ingredients per serving. It will also tell you about other added ingredients like fillers, binders, and flavorings.

Natural Ways to Boost GABA Levels

Substances used to help you relax, such as alcohol, stimulate GABA receptors. This leads to feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. The same effect occurs as a result of taking sleep-inducing drugs such as Ambien (zolpidem).

But these approaches are only effective for a short period of time. They can also have undesirable side effects.

Certain herbal supplements (including valerian) may help elevate GABA levels in the brain. One study suggests that breathing in the scent of jasmine (a substance frequently used in aromatherapy) may help enhance the effects of GABA.

Certain mind-body practices may also help boost your brain’s levels of GABA. For example, a 2020 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that practicing yoga may lead to higher GABA levels. As a result, you may end up in a better mood and experience less anxiety.


While alcohol and sleeping pills can increase your GABA levels, they also may cause unpleasant side effects. Some herbal supplements, like valerian, can provide a natural boost in GABA levels. Practicing yoga can also help relax the body and increase the level of GABA in your brain.

Even if it cannot cross the BBB however, GABA could still be affecting your brain.

Gaba Supplements: Glorious, Gimmicky or Just Garbage?

Take-home message:
– gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major neurotransmitter that regulates much of our brain function. It was previously thought that ingested GABA could not cross the blood-brain barrier, but new research suggests that it may be able to.
– Drugs that mimic the action of GABA are numerous, work in a variety of ways, and can have effects ranging from treating epilepsy to causing it.
– GABA supplements have shown some promise in early, small-scale studies, but a lot more research is needed to know if they truly help.

Lately, it seems that GABA supplements are being hawked on the corner of every pharmacy aisle and health food shelf. Marketed to promote relaxation, mental focus and sleep, GABA is even being sold by David’s Tea in the form of GABA guava tea. I found it while trying to buy some matcha powder. I don’t even like guava, never mind guava with a side of inflated claims.

While promotions by influencers like Olivia Culpo and Sarah Couture are pretty standard for any trendy supplement, (regardless of efficacy) the attention GABA has been given by known quacks like Dr. Oz, Joseph Mercola orMike Adams has left me wondering about the science behind, and evidence for, these supplements.

Let’s start with the basics: what is GABA?

gamma-Aminobutyric acid (also written as γ-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter, specifically the major inhibitory one in all mammal’s central nervous systems (CNS). That means that it’s a chemical that binds to nerve cell receptors and hinders their ability to receive, create or send messages to other nerve cells (neurons).

Functionally, GABA is incredibly important. A lack of GABA leaves your central nervous system with too many neuronal signals and causes conditions like epilepsy, seizures or mood disorders. Meanwhile, too much GABA means not enough brain activity and can lead to hypersomnia or daytime sleepiness.

You can learn more about GABA in this lovely video, and more about neurotransmitters in general in this one, although I’ve said all you’ll need to know for this article.

GABAergic drugs

As the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS, GABA and its receptors have been major targets for drug development. Drugs that activate GABA receptors (called agonists) or increase the receptors’ sensitivity to GABA (positive allosteric modulators) work to reduce the neuronal signals in the user’s brain, similar to what happens when you sleep. Logically, they include many common sedatives like barbital or Quaaludes, tranquillizers like Valium, Ativan or Xanax and the most commonly used sedative, alcohol.

GABA reuptake inhibitors like Deramciclane have similar effects, as they help to keep GABA in the vicinity of the receptors for longer.

On the flip side, substances that inhibit the activity of GABA (called antagonists) increase brain activity. That only sounds like a good thing. The results are less Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, more uncontrollable seizures and death.

GABA antagonists, like gabazine or bicuculline are only useful when studying seizures or to counteract overdoses of sedatives and tranquillizers. Some GABA antagonists are particularly scary poisons, causing death by disrupting the CNS’s control of basic body functions like breathing.

The class of drugs we’re most interested in, however, are GABA analogues. These molecules are structurally similar to GABA, though they have different targets of action. GABA analogues include some big names you’ve probably heard of: Lyrica and gabapentin.

While both Lyrica and gabapentin are prescribed to stop seizures, treat neuropathic pain, and anxiety disorders, gabapentin is additionally used for the prevention of migraines.

For more on the efficacy and controversy of gabapentin, click here

Gabapentin has been a constant in my life for a few years now, as my mother was prescribed it for diabetic neuropathic pain just a few years after my partner was prescribed it for near constant migraines. I’ve personally seen GABA to be quite effective in its on-label uses, as the evidence shows it to be, but it was recently at the heart of one of the largest court settlements in US history.

The manufacturers of gabapentin were found to have been marketing it extensively for off-label uses like the treatment of bipolar disorder, restless leg syndrome, hot flashes and stopping smoking. While off-label prescribing is not uncommon, and usually fairly safe, there is no evidence that gabapentin is effective for the bipolar disorder it was being prescribed to treat or some of the other conditions for which it’s being prescribed.

Presently gabapentin is again making headlines as its use as a recreational drug skyrockets. Many opioid users are misusing gabapentin to extend opioid highs or bypass drugs that block opioids effects, but its status as a non-controlled substance makes it difficult for law enforcement to control its unsanctioned use.

GABA and the Blood-Brain Barrier

GABA drugs are certainly useful, but why do we need all these GABA-receptor-activating or GABA-like molecules in the first place? Why not just give patients GABA?

We have a highly selective membrane that keeps our blood and cerebrospinal fluid (or brain juice, if you will) separate: the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Some molecules, like water, pass through it easily, other things, like bacteria don’t. This membrane also contains special channels to diffuse important molecules one way or the other, like glucose.

It’s a really important border, as drugs that cannot cross into the brain, or do so poorly, have much less of an effect than ones that do. For example, morphine can’t cross the BBB very well, but it’s close relative heroin can! Upon entry to the brain, heroin is converted into morphine, which is why heroin is so much more potent than morphine.

A 1958 study was the first to look at GABA’s relationship with the blood-brain barrier, and it found a lack of one: GABA could not cross the barrier. Later studies in ‘58, ‘71, and ‘88 confirmed the barrier’s impermeability to GABA. The evidence seems all but clear until you throw a few more studies into the mix. Studies done in ‘80, ‘81, ‘82 and ‘02 found that GABA did cross the blood-brain barrier, just in minuscule amounts.

Why the disagreement? Well, a few things. Some studies used a molecule just like GABA in lieu of GABA, assuming the 1 extra OH group featured on 3-hydroxybutyric acid wouldn’t make a difference, but it may have. Since many studies don’t report the type of GABA used, it’s hard to compare results. Some studies administered their GABA by injecting it straight into animal’s body cavities, others by injecting it into veins.

Most importantly, the BBB permeability of GABA has never been studied in humans!

What we do know is that human’s BBB contains transporters for GABA, implying that GABA can enter/exit the brain through these channels. In mice it was found that GABA was removed from the brain 17 times faster than it entered.

This could explain the conflicting study results. It may not be that GABA cannot enter the brain, but just that it’s removed from it very rapidly.

GABA as a Supplement

Even if it cannot cross the BBB however, GABA could still be affecting your brain.

The enteric nervous system (ENS) is the network of neurons that control your gastrointestinal system. The ENS contains many GABA receptors, and GABA itself, and is connected to the brain through the vagal nerve. It’s been proposed that ingested GABA is able to affect the body even without crossing the BBB through its interactions with the ENS.

We don’t know at this point how GABA is affecting the brain, but we have good evidence that it is. Several studies have shown reductions in markers of stress in patients given dietary GABA.

On their own the success stories from the consumers who buy GABA supplements are meaningless but taken along with the research findings, they may just show that there is something to these supplements.

We’ll need a lot more research to know for sure if GABA supplements are helpful or not. That being said, they are expensive (like most supplements) and if you’re not anxious, experiencing insomnia or very stressed out they’re probably not worth it. There don’t appear to be many side effects or drug interactions, but until more research is done I’d tread carefully.

I did ask my partner, who took gabapentin (a GABA analogue) for years if he ever experienced any focusing of his mind or relaxation as the GABA supplements claim. He said a definitive no.

Want a cheaper option for relaxation? Tea. You can even try some GABA tea, a strain of green tea specially fermented to accumulate GABA. Maybe I’ll pick some up. just not that guava flavoured stuff.

Gaba 500 mg is a single ingredient dietary supplement which promotes a calming effect throughout the entire body.

Quick Overview

Gaba 500 mg is a single ingredient dietary supplement which promotes a calming effect throughout the entire body.

GABA is an essential amino acid for the well functioning of the nervous system, possessing neuro-inhibitory properties. Although there is insufficient evidence which point to its effectiveness when taken orally, GABA supplements are prescribed for relieving anxiety, reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), improving mood, treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), burning fat, promoting lean muscle growth.

Although Now Foods does not disclose any potential side effects, our readers should know that there isn’t enough information available to know whether GABA is safe for use or not. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised not to use, out of precaution.

GABA is found naturally in varieties of green, black, and oolong tea, as well as in fermented foods including kefir, yogurt, and tempeh. Other foods contain GABA or may boost its production in the body, including whole grains, fava beans, soy, lentils, and other beans; nuts including walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds; fish including shrimp and halibut; citrus, tomatoes, berries, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and cocoa.

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There’s relatively limited research on the direct benefits of supplemental GABA for sleep. Some recent research suggests that GABA produced in fermented food may increase sleep time and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. Another recent study showed that a combination of GABA and 5-HTP may together improve sleep quality and increase sleep time. Given the importance of GABA to the body’s sleep patterns, more research into the effects of GABA supplements on sleep is sorely needed.

For stress and anxiety: As a natural chemical the body produces, GABA’s primary role is to diminish the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system, which puts the body in a greater state of relaxation and alleviates stress and anxiety. Supplemental GABA may benefit sleep by aiding relaxation and providing relief from anxiety and stress. There remains debate among researchers about supplemental GABA’s effectiveness in reducing anxiety and stress because of longstanding questions over supplemental GABA’s ability to enter the brain from the bloodstream. (It’s important to note that GABA, in supplement form, may have other ways of relaxing the body, including possibly through GABA’s activity in the gut microbiome.)

While the scientific debate goes on, some studies have shown GABA to be effective in lowering anxiety and boosting relaxation. One small study of 13 adults showed GABA to be effective as a relaxant and anxiety reliever, with slowed brain waves seen within an hour of taking the supplement. This study also found that a boost to the immune system also occurred with GABA, suggesting supplemental GABA may enhance immunity in people undergoing mental stress.

Another larger study investigated the effects of 100 milligrams of GABA among a group of people who’d recently undertaken a stressful mental task. Scientists measured a slowing down of brain waves in people who’d taken GABA, pointing to an alleviation of mental stress. Another study tested the effects of GABA in people who were about to take a stressful math test. Those who ate chocolate infused with GABA rebounded more quickly from test-related stress, including stress-lowering changes to heart-rate variability.

For high blood pressure: GABA supplements are sometimes used by people as a natural way to lower blood pressure. There is evidence indicating that GABA may work to reduce high blood pressure. In one study of people with borderline high blood pressure, 12 weeks of use of the supplement chlorella, a type of algae rich in GABA, significantly lowered blood pressure. In addition to being important on its own, maintaining healthy blood pressure can also help protect your sleep. A natural drop in blood pressure at night is one part of the body’s progression into sleep. High blood pressure can be a sign of hyperarousal, a state of physical alertness and vigilance that can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Poor sleep and sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea, contribute to high blood pressure, and can lead to the kind of hypertension that is difficult to treat.

What to know

Always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This is not medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation starter with your physician.


The following doses are based on amounts that have been investigated in scientific studies. In general, it is recommended that users begin with the lowest suggested dose, and gradually increase as needed.

  • For sleep, stress and anxiety: 100-200 mg and higher doses, in scientific studies. Individual dosing and length of use will vary.
  • For high blood pressure: 10-20 mg, in scientific studies.

Possible side effects

GABA oral supplements are generally well tolerated by healthy adults. Some people may experience negative side effects, including:

  • Gastric distress.
  • Nausea.
  • Diminished appetite.
  • Constipation.
  • Burning throat.
  • Drowsiness and fatigue.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Shortness of breath, at very high doses.


These are commonly used medications and supplements that have scientifically-identified interactions with GABA. People who take these or any other medications and supplements should consult with a physician before beginning to use GABA as a supplement.

Interactions with medications

  • High blood pressure medications. GABA can lower blood pressure. If you take GABA in addition to taking blood pressure medication, your blood pressure may drop too low.
  • Antidepressant medications. People taking antidepressants should consult with their physician before taking GABA.
  • Neurally-active medications. People taking medications that affect brain activity should consult their physician before taking GABA.

Interactions with other supplements

Herbs and supplements that may lower blood pressure. Because GABA may lower your blood pressure, if you take GABA along with other herbs or supplements that also may lower blood pressure, the combination may lead to your blood pressure dropping too low.Herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure include, but are not limited to:

  • Cocoa.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid.
  • Blond psyllium, and other fiber supplements.
  • Cod liver oil.
  • Magnesium.
  • Calcium.
  • Potassium.
  • Folic acid.
  • Coenzyme Q10.
  • L-arginine.
  • Garlic. fatty acids.
  • Cocoa.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid.
  • Blond psyllium, and other fiber supplements.
  • Cod liver oil.
  • Magnesium.
  • Calcium.
  • Potassium.
  • Folic acid.
  • Coenzyme Q10.
  • L-arginine.
  • Garlic.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids.

I’ve seen patients experience relief from anxiety, reduced stress, and improved sleep via the relaxing impact of supplemental GABA. I don’t think we’ve seen nearly enough research to have a sufficient understanding of how GABA supplements might affect stress, mood, and sleep, or other ways GABA as a supplement may benefit emotional, cognitive, and physical health. As we learn more—which I hope we do, soon—I’ll be sure to update you.