It is also found in plants, and the tea plant is one of them.
This chemical is naturally produced in the brain and acts as a tranquilizer. Although this would have many applications as a supplement, there is one problem: research has proved that orally ingested GABA can’t cross the blood-brain barrier.
But it has another application. Studies have shown that GABA can lower blood pressure, so there has been an interest in GABA rich teas.
Tea in general has low amounts of GABA. However, in 1987 Dr. Tsushida Tojiro discovered that if the picked tea leaves where exposed to anaerobic conditions, such as filling the room with nitrogen gas, the glutamic acid in the leaves turns into GABA.
The process works for green, oolong and black teas. GABA teas have at least 150 mg of GABA per 100 grams of tea leaves, and they can be found both in loose leaf and powder form.
There seem to be many GABA products in the market, but in my opinion most of them exaggerate the health benefits of GABA.
If you want to see my review of a GABA tea, click here.