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Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid

Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in your brain. Neurotransmitters function as chemical messengers. GABA is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it blocks, or inhibits, certain brain signals and decreases activity in your nervous system.*

GABA’s big role in the body is to reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system, which in turn has a broad range of effects on the body and mind, including increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm, balanced mood, alleviation of pain, and a boost to sleep.

GABA’s natural calming effect on the brain has led to countless claims about the use of GABA supplements to reduce stress. Too much stress is linked to poor sleep, a weaker immune system, and a higher risk of depression, among other things.*


S-Adenosyl Methionine

A compound that's made naturally in the body and plays an important role in normal bodily function. A synthesized form of SAM-e is considered a supplement in the U.S., but SAM-e has been sold as a prescription drug in parts of Europe for decades. Its scientific name is S-adenosylmethionine. SAM-e is also known as ademetionine and SAMe.*

SAM-e appears to be an effective treatment for depression: Five of seven sources agree, and the two others say it's promising. SAM-e can be used alone or in conjunction with other antidepressants.*

Since its side effects are less than those of many antidepressants, SAM-e is better tolerated by many people: It works more rapidly and does not cause weight gain, sexual dysfunction, sedation, or cognitive interference. One leading researcher (Brown et al.) calls SAM-e a "first line CAM treatment" for mild, moderate, or even severe depression.*


Withania Somnifera

known commonly as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry, is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Several other species in the genus Withania are morphologically similar.*

Ashwagandha is commonly used for stress. It is also used as an "adaptogen" for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.*

A number of studies suggest that it has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects; studies are mostly supportive of a notable effect of ashwagandha for this purpose, and it seems to reduce cortisol levels. However, more research is needed before we can have a great deal of confidence in it or know the optimal dose. Ashwagandha may also be able to reduce insomnia, fatigue, and the symptoms of depression, but it hasn't been well-researched for these purposes.*

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