Edited by Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati
What is GABA?
GABA is a bioactive compound mainly produced by the Lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Full form of GABA is Gamma-aminobutyric acid. Wide range of fermented food is available in the market which is fortified with aminobutyric acid or GABA (1).
Effect of Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA in body
GABA is a major type of neurotransmitter found in the brain and is involved in all the functions of CNS.
1. Respiratory discomfort
GABA (50 to 100 mg) when inducing via intravenous (I.V.) produces respiratory discomfort, bradycardia or slow heart action and hypotension in a healthy man (2).
2. Treats anxiety
Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric conditions include dysregulation of neurobiological systems. GABAergic agents including tiagabine have anxiolytic activity. Therefore, it significantly reduces moderate to severe General Anxiety Disorder symptoms (3).
3. Prevents cancer
GABA compounds help in controlling the tumor growth of the liver, pancreas, breast, and prostate and act as a therapeutic agent (4).
What is GABA tea?
GABA tea is produced or prepared mainly in Japan and Taiwan. There are different types of GABA tea like GABA black tea, GABA green tea, GABA Maoyecha tea, GABA Pu-erh tea and GABA oolong teas which are made by fermenting fresh tea leaves under nitrogen or carbon dioxide gas, which encourage the conversion of glutamate to GABA.
Gabaron tea or GABA tea contains more than 150 mg of GABA per 100 g of tea. The amount of GABA in Gabaron tea is 70 times more than the ordinary teas (5).
GABA tea carries several active chemical substances include including catechins, theanine and caffeine alanine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, and ammonia (6).
Main functions of GABA tea is it acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammals. It also possesses multiple pharmacological effects, including blood pressure reduction, hypotensive effect, anti-cancer, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, pain reduction, alleviating postmenopausal depression, sleep improvement and memory improvement (7).
GABA tea health benefits
GABA tea contains GABA, theanine and other polyphenols which lower fasting blood glucose levels. It also reduces blood glucose level and inhibited cardiac fibrosis. Therefore, GABA tea may be very potential anti-diabetic properties.
2. Controls Blood pressure
The experiment done on animal model shows the effect of GABA tea on the blood pressure. Studies indicate that consuming GABA tea significantly decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure and control hypertension (8).
3. Immune booster
GABA tea may help in increasing the immunity of the body. Research suggests that GABA consumption results in decreasing the immunoglobulin A thus strengthens the immune system (9).
4. Increase growth hormone
Oral consumption of GABA reportedly elevates resting serum growth hormone (GH) concentrations (10).
5. Treats Autism
Autism is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, affecting 1% of the population and experienced difficulties with sleep, sensory processing, and movement in autism (9). GABA tea increase in melatonin decreases in cortisol and associated improvements in sleep, anxiety, sensory and motor skills (10).
6. Healthy Heart
Heart failure is a major risk factor. GABA tea decreased hypertension-induced cardiac abnormalities. It also increased anti-apoptotic protein was enhanced in cardiac tissues upon treatment. Therefore, drinking GABA tea may help in resolving hypertension and protect the heart (11).
7. Treats Insomnia
GABA black tea contains polyphenols, caffeine and total catechins which has sedative and analgesic properties. It also acts as a tranquilizer and significantly improves sleep quality among elderly people which may help with insomnia (12).
GABA Oolong green tea act as an antidepressant (13). As it is rich in antioxidants and is able to decrease the levels of lipid peroxidation products and increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Therefore, GABA green tea may have a health effect on the prevention and alleviation of depression (14).
The side effect of GABA tea
GABA tea has no side effect so far no record of a clinical trial is there. The long term health effect is still unknown.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid drinking GABA tea since its safety in those situations has not been determined.
- The dosage for taking GABA supplement varies from person to person on age, sex, and weight.
Is GABA tea is really effective?
Many research shows the benefits of GABA green tea or GABA oolong tea in reducing stress and depression. Studies on animal model suggest that drinking GABA tea helps in up-regulating the GABAA receptors (13).
Another study shows the positive effect of GABA -Oolong green tea on mood elevation and helpful in post-stroke depression (14).
Above all, based on the literature survey it can be concluded that drinking GABA tea helps in reducing stress and depression.