Thorne Research PharmaGABA-250 - 60 Vegetarian Capsules
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major neurotransmitter widely distributed throughout the central nervous system. Because too much excitation can lead to irritability, restlessness, sleeplessness, and spasmodic movements, this excitation needs to be balanced with inhibition. GABA – the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain – can provide this inhibition, acting like a "brake" during times of runaway stress. In addition, studies also indicate GABA can promote relaxation and enhance sleep. It is thought that either low GABA levels or decreased GABA function in the brain may have an adverse impact on neurological health.
Stress is a normal part of life. Job pressures, family contention, financial insecurity, traffic, and time management are just a few of the stressors we are faced with on a daily basis. For some people, the effects can be overwhelming, leading to feelings of nervousness. Managing stress can exert beneficial effects on the cardiovascular, immune, and neuroendocrine systems.
- GABA regulates nervousness by calming excitatory neurotransmitter activity
- Increased GABA levels improve mental focus and relaxation, without drowsiness
- In at least one study, natural PharmaGABA decreased signs of stress; synthetic GABA did not
The natural GABA in Thorne's PharmaGABA-250 is produced via a fermentation process that utilizes Lactobacillus hilgardii, the bacteria used to ferment vegetables in the preparation of the traditional Korean cabbage dish known as kimchi. Clinical studies show this natural form of GABA can increase the production of alpha-waves in the brain, creating a profound sense of physical relaxation while maintaining mental focus. In contrast, the stress-related beta-waves in the brain are decreased. In addition to changes in brain waves, natural PharmaGABA has been shown to produce relaxation, as evidenced by reduced pupil diameter, heart rate, and two natural markers of stress – salivary cortisol and chromogranin A. In a head-to-head, double-blind trial of natural PharmaGABA versus synthetic GABA, synthetic GABA did not demonstrate these positive effects.
- available exclusively from Thorne Research
- non-habit forming, non-drowsy
- the only natural-source GABA
- promotes a calm, relaxed, focused state of mind
Dr. Michael Lebowitz D.C. Recommends:
This highly absorbable form of GABA is available only from Thorne. Dr. Michael Lebowitz finds it tests and performs much better than other forms (despite the higher amounts in many other forms). It tests positive in most cases of insomnia and high anxiety and produces physical relaxation without sacrificing mental acuity. In many cases it overlaps the symptom picture of patients needing L-Tryptophan or 5HTP, and your AK testing will show which of these product (either one or a combination) is needed.
Who Should Use PharmaGaba?
Anyone feeling overwhelmed or over-committed
Anyone coping with mental, emotional, or physical stress
People suffering from poor sleep quality
Athletes engaging in strenuous workouts (that tend to elevate cortisol levels and depress immunity)
The Science Behind PharmaGABA
Clinical studies have shown that natural PharmaGABA increases the production of alpha-brain waves, creating a profound sense of physical relaxation while maintaining mental focus. In contrast, stress-related beta-waves are decreased.
A small pilot study conducted at the University of Shizuoka in Japan enrolled 13 healthy volunteers, seven males and six females, ages 21-35. EEG tracings were recorded before and after each of three administrations of 200 ml distilled water:
only distilled water
distilled water containing 100 mg PharmaGABA
distilled water containing 200 mg L-theanine (an amino acid from green tea known to increase alpha-beta brain waves)
Tests of the three administrations were separated by seven-day intervals. EEG recordings were made before administration, then at 0, 30, and 60 minutes after each administration for five-minute recording sessions. Alpha and beta waves were calculated as a percentage, and pre-and post-administration values were compared. Alpha-to-beta ratios were calculated as a ratio between alpha and beta percentage values. GABA produced significant effects on both increasing alpha waves and decreasing beta waves, resulting in a highly significant increase in the alpha-to-beta wave ratio.
In addition to changes in brain waves, PharmaGABA has been shown to produce relaxation as evidenced by reduced pupil diameter, heart rate, and markers of stress - salivary cortisol and chromogranin A. In a head-to-head, double-blind trial of natural PharmaGABA versus synthetic GABA, the synthetic GABA did not demonstrate these effects.
A study on healthy male athletes using PharmaGABA added to a beverage showed a reduction in stress markers during and after exercise. Additional clinical studies with PharmaGABA yield further evidence of its anti-stress activity. Secretory IgA (sIgA) is am important antibody in saliva that helps support immune function. Typically, during times of stress salivary sIgA levels drop. In one study, subjects with acrophobia (fear of heights) traversed a long walk suspension bridge that spanned a 150-foot high canyon. Salivary sIgA levels decreased when subjects were given a placebo; however, when they were given PharmaGABA, salivary sIgA levels were maintained half-way across the bridge and actually increased upon completion of the crossing.
Thorne Research's Mission
At Thorne Research, their mission is to enhance the health and well-being of people by providing superior dietary supplements that have the highest level of quality and purity – thereby creating the most respected and valued company in the dietary supplement industry.
The Thorne Difference.
For more than 25 years, Thorne has relentlessly pursued the highest possible quality and bioavailability in dietary supplements. At Thorne, they actually manufacture products that they sell – a key difference that allows Thorne to control every aspect of the manufacturing process and ensure that every Thorne product is in pure, completely hypoallergenic form, and without the common additives, flowing agents, and binders used throughout the industry.
A few other companies have tried to do what Thorne does, and many others claim to have the same philosophy and quality, but nobody has been able to duplicate what Thorne's clients call "Thorne Quality." Thorne has changed the industry in many ways over the past two decades, and they continue to raise the bar and set new standards in product formulation, raw material purity, manufacturing, and quality control.
Thorne's Commitment to Purity
Practitioners have become accustomed to seeing the vague "We use only the purest ingredients" in the promotional materials of almost every dietary supplement company. Perhaps these companies truly believe that. Perhaps they don't know any better. Nevertheless, Thorne Research, for more than 25 years, has been the standard by which companies in the industry are judged for product purity. Practitioners rely on Thorne as the company they trust for their extremely allergic, chemically sensitive, and immune-compromised patients.
Purity Takes Extra Effort
For example, instead of purchasing prediluted vitamin D, as other companies do, Thorne performs its own dilution to avoid detrimental ingredients, such as the preservatives or lactose that are found in many commercially available dilutions. Why must vitamin D be diluted? Because in its pure form, it is too concentrated to safely blend into a vitamin product. Pure vitamin D is 40 MILLION International Units (IU) per gram. The RDA for adults is 600-800 IU per day. To ensure proper mixing, it must be made into a dilute powder that flows and does not lose potency. So, unlike companies that use prediluted vitamin D that contains unacceptable excipients and preservatives, at Thorne, pure pharmaceutical vitamin D is first blended with pure mixed tocopherol vitamin E, and the resultant stable vitamin D is then blended with hypoallergenic cellulose powder. The final powder is blended in a large tumble blender and subsequently analyzed. Not only is the final product stable; it is also hypoallergenic and can be mixed homogeneously and at a safe level with other powders. Just as with vitamin D, Thorne utilizes similar processes for other raw materials, such as vitamin K, leaving it to other companies to purchase commercially available raw materials filled with unacceptable ingredients and preservatives.
Ingredients You Don't Want
Magnesium Stearate: Good for speed-hungry encapsulating machines. Not necessarily good for you. Manufacturing encapsulated dietary supplements isn't easy. Pure powdered ingredients are difficult to mix because they are either extremely dry, sticky with botanical oils, or attract unwanted moisture. So most manufacturers add magnesium stearate and other agents such as lactose and dextrose to make the powder flow quickly and easily through their high-volume machines. Problem is, these additives may compromise the bioavailability of the nutrients in the supplement, and might cause allergenic problems. At Thorne, they take a different approach.
Thorne will never utilize large fatty acid excipients in its manufacturing processes – ingredients such as magnesium stearate or stearic acid. These excipients are utilized as flowing agents to ensure that maximum productivity is obtained from capsuling and tableting machines. There are documented detrimental effects directly attributed to long chain fatty acids utilized as manufacturing flowing agents. Every qualified pharmaceutical compounder recognizes that large fatty acids, such as magnesium stearate, can interfere with product dissolution and influence absorption. Virtually all companies, because of the economic impact, ignore this data. As with most industries, the bottom line dictates the level of quality. The dietary supplement industry has one exception: Thorne Research, the company that does not compromise. Nevertheless, if a company cannot manufacture products without using detrimental excipients, they should not allude to being either "hypoallergenic" or "pure."
The Bottom Line?
Thorne is the only hypoallergenic dietary supplement manufacturer with the highest degree of purity that you – and your most severely allergic, chemically sensitive, and immune-compromised patients – can truly trust.
Quality Ingredients: A Higher Standard
At Thorne, they are committed to setting a higher standard of quality when it comes to ingredients. To produce their truly hypoallergenic encapsulated supplements, Thorne uses only the purest and finest ingredients available.
Every manufacturer has two basic options when purchasing raw materials: purchase either truly pure raw materials, or purchase raw materials to which substances have been added to facilitate manufacturing. This fundamental dilemma translates to these very typical questions: "Do I purchase pure vitamin C or vitamin C with additives?" "Do I purchase pure B vitamins or coated B vitamins for taste masking?" "Do I purchase pure enzymes such as pancreatin, pepsin, and bromelain or enzymes diluted with lactose?"
There are few commercial sources for vitamins B12, D, K, or biotin that are not diluted with substances such as lactose, cornstarch, and preservatives such as BHT. That's why Thorne developed methods that allow them to use pure, undiluted sources of these nutrients – and many others. It's just one more example that when it comes to quality, what everyone else accepts as an industry standard isn't good enough. While some companies say they are raising their standards....at Thorne they set them.