If levels of GABA are low, patients may experience chronic pain, anxiety or epilepsy, and WebMD reports that GABA supplements can help these conditions, but its side effects are still unknown. According to WebMD, GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a neurotransmitter that is found naturally in every person's body. It works by blocking impulses between nerve cells in the brain and inhibiting communication.
GABA supplements have been shown to help improve a person’s mood, relieve anxiety, improve premenstrual syndrome symptoms and treat attention deficit disorder. GABA supplements have also been prescribed to relieve pain, lower blood pressure and increase a person’s tolerance to exercise. According to WebMD, research surrounding GABA supplements is lacking. Doctors are not clear on how GABA supplements work in the body and if the supplements even reach the brain. GABA supplements are not prescribed by doctors; they are bought as over-the-counter medication.
WebMD also reports that there have not been enough studies conducted to know the side effects of taking a GABA supplement. The risks of taking GABA supplements are also unknown due to inadequate research. WebMD suggests that to be safe, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take any type of GABA supplement.