Gamma amino butyric acid in multiple sclerosis
Gamma Amino Butyric Acid Treatment in Multiple Sclerosis
Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid, a natural substance that has been
found to stimulate the production of growth hormone by the posterior pituitary gland at the
base of the brain.
The effects of growth hormone are most well known in teenagers when, during the rapid
growing phase of adolescence, it is produced in massive quantity. It is this growth hormone
that stimulates the normal growth and maturation changes that occur at this time.
Less well known is the fact that growth hormone continues to be produced, to a lesser
degree, throughout life. At this time, its purpose is to stimulate the various processes of
regeneration and repair that maintain the body in a state of fitness and functional efficiency.
In normal health and within the limits of moderate age this process is maintained in
reasonable order, but in illness and with increasing age, the production of growth hormone
begins to diminish. It is considered that this reduction in growth hormone production is
contributory to the degeneration of the body seen in old age.
In MS, where brain function is inhibited by the inflammatory auto-immune process, the
production of growth hormone is believed to be further retarded.
Thus, there is a clear logic in using a substance, such as GABA, in an attempt to restore the
more normal production of the hormone that would be expected to enhance the repair of the
damage caused. Effects of GABA
1) Gaba promotes increased muscle growth and strength.
2) By promoting growth hormone production it would be expected to enhance the process of
remyelination (repair of the myelin sheath in the brain and spinal cord).
3) By improving circulation to the brain it increases, alertness, vigour, and vitality.
4) By inhibiting excessive neurological stimulation it also has a dramatic effect in relaxing
muscle tone, thus reducing muscle spasm and pain, and aiding relaxation during sleep.
Several of the muscle relaxant drugs, often used in the treatment of muscle spasm in MS,
are gaba derivatives. These include Lioresal (Baclofen); Gabapentin (Neurontin); and
Pregabalin (Lyrica). These drugs however, are less than satisfactory as they were primarily
designed for the treatment of epilepsy, not MS. As such they are known to cause significant
weakness and sedation, thus increasing the disability already due to the MS.
The crystalline powder is extremely hygroscopic (absorbs water from the air) and should
therefore be kept well-sealed, in a cool, dry place.
The GABA should be taken in modest quantity, using just one level teaspoonful each day,
dissolved in a little water, usually taken just before bedtime. If muscle spasm is more
apparent in the daytime, the GABA may be taken at whichever time provides the most
For maximal absorption the treatment should be taken on an empty stomach, that is, at least
two hours after food. In addition, it is also important to avoid food for at least one hour after
taking the Gaba. Because GABA acts as a vasodilator (increases blood supply to the
muscles, skin, and other body tissues) it may prompt a slight fall in blood pressure. Eating
soon after taking GABA will significantly increase the blood supply to the stomach (for the purpose of digestion), and could therefore result in a more dramatic fall in blood pressure, perhaps causing faintness, plus discomfort due to gastric colic. This therapy, within five to ten minutes, may result in some transient side-effects, including: flushing and/ or tingling of the skin and, occasionally, slight shortness of breath. These slightly disturbing effects are usually mild and brief, lasting no more than a minute-or-so. The tub may suggest that this treatment is not suitable for women. This is because of the response in increasing muscle growth and strength. This however, in the presence of MS, is a positive and beneficial change that will improve function and mobility and, as long as the dose used is modest and conservative there will be no harmful effects. Please report any additional side effects and address any questions to the address below. GABA in 300 g tubs (enough for about four months) is available, supplied by Mega Max Ltd, at £22-95. Postage for one tub is £2-00.
Dietary Research Limited, 10 Heol Gerrig, Treboeth, Swansea, SA5 9BP
Telephone: 01792 - 417514; Company Registered Number 2615367
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