How to increase GABA without addiction
Hey folks, new here, I tend to lean towards trusting the biohacking community much more than the traditional medicine groups because biohacking is way more innovative. So I just came here to ask with the hopes of some nuanced answers.
How do I increase me GABA without risking dependency?
I only take Xanax once every 1-2 months, and when I do (0.25mg) I am at an optimal way of being, I have extreme mental clarity, I do not have drowsiness or sleepiness, I feel very active yet relaxed, ready to take on anything, enjoying life, feeling creative and being in a mood to try new things and get engaged in living in general. What is more is that this state greatly reminds me of a state I used to have when I was some years younger. It feels like a more natural state to me, it doesn't feel like I have taken a drug, it intuitively feels like I have taken a vitamin that I was missing from my body. I have literally spent years in that conscious state in the past, all without ever hearing of Xanax yet. Life became different in the next years, I got more anxious had a lot of panic attacks, and so on, my default mode changed to one that is not enjoyable. Even while not anxious I feel groggy/slightly depressed/not in the mood and so on. Xanax sends me back to the normal stage of being. This might sound like some junkie that just likes xanax and bandaids his psychological problems with alprazolam. It's miles away from that. First of all I do not have a need for xanax, secondly I only do it 5-10 times a year, and thirdly my situation really feels like it is chemically induced. I have good relationships with my parents, I don't have any major life problems, I am well off financially, I am otherwise healthy and I am enjoying some success with dating. It's just that my normal default state is one of lower energy, slight anxiety, slight depression and just the miniscule dose of 0.25mg xanax fixes it fantastically.
Now Xanax, in terms of pharmacokinetics is extremely selective for GABA and thus I deduct that my brain is specifically GABA "deficient" whatever that might mean and however that might translate chemically. I know that the synthesis, regulation and function of GABA is a very complex mechanism that has a lot of steps and places to intervene in between.
So what do you guys think? I read about working out/meditation/walking which I do all three of and I also read about Taurine/B6/Theanine/GABA/Valerian.
Any other hacks ?
@guava I heard Kava increases GABA production and if you use it long term it can permanently increase it. This is the brand I use https://gettrukava.com/
I'm a Ph.D. candidate researching transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) in stroke rehabilitation. There is potential evidence for tVNS stimulation increasing GABA since it has been found to increase short-interval intra-cortical inhibition, which has been linked to GABA. Building yourself a tVNS device can be done cheaply by using a TENS device.
I have working with audiovisual stimulation which changes EEG. Sleeping (GABA) increases delta EEG and decreases spectral entropy of EEG so I have created ambient sounds which tries to do that.
This track (machine learning based) might be useful (for sleeping):
How do you use TNS to do tVNS specifically?
Vagus nerve can be activated by breathing execises, moving eyes from left and then to right as well as through ear massage (ear acupuncture?) I have heart.
A supplement company here in Switzerland sell a mix of probiotics and B6 vitamin who allegedly raise the gaba level. Someone working for them gave me some and it worked well to manage social anxiety and to help me chill at the end of the day.
They use two bacteria strains who supposedly play a role in producing and/or regulating the use of GABA:
Lactobacillus Casei LA205
Lactobacillus Paracasei LA903
And they add B6 as a cofactor for the synthesis of GABA from glutamate.
Some strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus seems to be involved in GABA metabolism as well but I don't know much neither experimented it personnaly.
I have also to mention what I personnally use as gabaergique product. Don't use it as a medical advice or anything because it's just dangerous to do this lightly and I learned such things IRL with already experimented users and started to experiment with this only after hours studying the substances involved (and I got some basics in biochemistry). I want to talk about the use of homemade preparation of amanita muscaria to play with gaba levels. The idea is that amanita muscaria in itself contains mostly ibotenic acid that is toxic (but can eventually be use as a tonic in small dosages) but that you can transform it in a decarboxylation reaction (by means of cooking, adding acidic compounds or fermenting it) to produce muscimol.
Muscimol is a strong gabaergic compound you can use in microdose to manage social anxiety or in strong dose to produce a kind of psychedelic state who's especially interesting because of the "afterglow effect" most people report. Some people on the internet claim they used muscimol type preparation to "treat" their benzodiazepin addiction or at least to mitigate withdrawal effects. They have their own community and I'm sure you can find more information by yourself if you're interested in the practicality of it.
Still more classics gabaergic compounds with subtler effects like ashwagandha, saffron or passiflora helped me as well to manage social anxiety, insomnia and/or stress in more healthy way than using alcohol, benzo or opiate.
Hope my answer can help you or someone else.
As with all neurotransmitters and hormones I think that if we can find:
What is it?
How it work?
By which pathway is it produce?
The role our microbiome play in synthesis/catabolism
How can we help such production (precursor/cofactor/behavior)
How can we change the way it is used (which compound/behavior change which quantities in which way in which tissues)
Which metabolites are finally produced and what impact it has on other neurotransmitter/hormones?
We'll finally live our life to the fullest cognitively and chemically speaking.