Posted on Dec 05, 2016, 6 a.m.
Supplementation of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) may enhance a person’s ability to react to and prioritize actions.
GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid that is the most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. GABA is found in large amounts in the hypothalamus, thus implying that it has a fundamental role in hypothalamic-pituitary function, and thus neuroendocrine metabolism. Laura Steenbergen, from Leiden University (The Netherlands), and colleagues enrolled 30 healthy men and women in a study to assess the role of GABA in planning and controlling different actions. Subjects received a dietary supplement of GABA (800 mg), or placebo; each then performed a reaction-time test. The researchers observed that the subjects supplemented with GABA displayed an increase in action selection response time for both signal modes tested. The study authors write that: "These findings, involving the systemic administration of synthetic GABA, provide the first evidence for a possible causal role of the GABA-ergic system in modulating performance in action cascading.”
Steenbergen L, Sellaro R, Stock AK, Beste C, Colzato LS. “[Gamma]-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration improves action selection processes: a randomised controlled trial.” Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 31;5:12770.