Several mood-altering human neurotransmitters originate from microbes in the digestive tract. Now science is starting to dig into which bacterial strains are responsible. Around 80 percent of all B. adolescentis strains are capable of producing GABA with B. adolescentis PRL2019 and B. adolescentis HD17T2H being particularly high producers, according to new research. These strains increased GABA production when tested in living models. Intriguingly, non-GABA producing B. adolescentis strains also caused increases in GABA production suggesting that they are capable of favorably impacting other species that can produce GABA.
What does GABA do? GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter that counteracts excitatory gluatamate activity in the brain. It supports calm relaxation, improved mood and better sleep. Many anti-anxiety drugs activate GABA pathways. Too much GABA, however, can cause daytime sleepiness.
Other natural sources of/support for GABA: green/black tea, cruciferous vegetables, soybean, adzuki beans, peas, tomato, spinach, mushrooms, buckwheat, oats, rice, sweet potato, valerian. Sprouting beans increases their GABA content. Magnesium supports GABA activity. You can also support healthy GABA levels through meditation and exercise.