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GABA: Give stress an outlet

March 13, 2023

Whether it is in the smash hit Japanese TV series or in real life, we can always see the busy figure of Japanese people either hurrying on their way or burying their heads in their work. High-intensity work and fast-paced life have made Japan a world-renowned and veritable "stress country". Today, China, which is developing rapidly, seems to be taking over Japan's "baton of great pressure power". According to the latest survey results released by Regus, a world-renowned office solution provider: the pressure suffered by office workers in mainland China in the past year ranks first in the world. In the survey of 16,000 professionals in 80 countries and regions around the world, 75% of mainland China and 55% of Hong Kong accounted for higher pressure than last year, ranking first and fourth respectively, both of which greatly exceeded the global average. The value is 48%. Among them, Shanghai and Beijing are at the forefront of the surveyed cities with 80% and 67% respectively.


The so-called "pressure is motivation". While the rapidly developing society brings pressure to people, it also provides unlimited business opportunities for businesses. The development of anti-stress products has attracted more and more attention from businesses, and currently the ingredient that has been clinically verified and has a large number of successful development cases in relieving stress and assisting in improving concentration is undoubtedly GABA.


Why is it called "soul vitamin"

The Chinese name of GABA is γ-aminobutyric acid, also known as amino acid, which is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid, widely present in animal brains and natural plants in nature. As far as the human body is concerned, GABA can be converted from glutamic acid in the brain under the action of a highly specific glutamic acid decarboxylase, but with the increase of age and mental stress, the accumulation of GABA becomes more and more difficult . Although tomatoes, pears, asparagus, pumpkins, cucumbers, courgettes, oranges, pickles, kimchi and other vegetables and fruits and partially fermented foods contain GABA, the GABA content in plants is low. Therefore, if you want to fully experience the functionality of GABA, you need to take 50-100mg GABA from nutritional supplements.


Since it is highly respected by the industry, how does GABA regulate and balance the body and mind?

It turns out that under long-term stress, the human body will cause autonomic nervous disorders, resulting in symptoms such as lack of energy, depression, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, inattention, and low immunity. And GABA can inhibit the excitement of sympathetic nerves; reduce the secretion of excitatory substances endorphin and dopamine, thereby reducing the damage of stress to the human body. It is worth mentioning that, unlike other refreshing foods, general refreshing foods are easy to stimulate the nerves and keep the nerves in an excited state. Long-term use is not conducive to the balance of the body. The mechanism of GABA is the opposite. It can calm the nerves that have been excited for a long time, calm the state of anxiety and tension, and make the body rest effectively, which is conducive to maintaining a healthy state.


Specifically, GABA is an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, mainly present in the brain and spinal cord, and plays an important role in the human cerebral cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, basal ganglia and cerebellum, and has a variety of effects on the body. Function has a regulating effect. About 50% of the central synapses in the human body use GABA as the transmitter. When people relax and meditate, α brain waves will run at a cycle frequency of 8-12 per second. At this time, GABA promotes the parasympathetic nervous system by increasing α waves, making people calm; at the same time, GABA also passes Reduce β brain waves to reduce the activity of sympathetic nerves, balance emotions, and reduce excitement.


To sum up, on the one hand, GABA balances the over-excitement of nerve cells, making the body and mind calm, peaceful and relaxing, thus playing a stress-relieving effect; And this is why GABA is called "stress-relieving food", "healing food", "spiritual vitamin", and "neurotrophic factor".


In conclusion:

1. The alpha waves of the experimental group and the control group both increased;

2. In the experimental group, the amount of β waves (13Hz, waves that make people excited) was suppressed.

Taking GABA can not only increase the appearance of α waves, but also inhibit the appearance of β waves, so GABA has a very good stress-relieving function.


Note: Published by the Japan Agricultural Chemical Society in 2003



Countless success stories

Due to its good stability, GABA can be processed into general food such as chocolate, bakery food, candy, milk drink, puffed food, health wine, seasoning, beverage, etc.; it can also be used as a functional ingredient in capsules, solid drinks, and nutrition bars and other dietary supplements; and health products such as tablets, granules, and oral liquids are also the preferred "useful places" for GABA. Of course, in Japan and even in the world, functional beverages with GABA as a functional factor are still the largest application field.


Taking Japan as an example, GABA Cool Water adds 50mg of GABA. This product can not only replenish water, but also help people to calm down quickly. The zero-calorie formula allows consumers to drink it when they are working, reading, or exercising; each bottle of Score Aid produced by Okura Chemical contains 100mg GABA. Candidates’ healing drinks mainly focus on the consumption appeal of "the decisive point for good grades is the normal mind", emphasizing the effects of lowering blood pressure, suppressing excitement, and relieving anxiety; and SONIQ launched by Kirin is just like the meaning contained in its brand, " Sonic + IQ = Sonic", that is, in addition to supplementing water and physical strength, it also supplements intelligence. Highlighting GABA helps consumers calm down and improve judgment.


In addition, Aquarius Sharp Charge developed by Coca Cola is undoubtedly the "star product" among many functional drinks with GABA as the core material. The target group of this product is office workers aged 30-50 who are in the "core stress zone", and each bottle of product is added with 50mg GABA. With the appeal of "Mental Care", the product aims to make office workers think more clearly and think more sharply. In order to match the launch of this beverage, Coca Cola has worked hard on marketing promotion and research experiments.