GABA: Liver Benefits and Side Effects

GABA is a chemical neurotransmitter produced in the brain. Also, it has various functions affecting other organs such as the liver in high concentrations.

Woman holding liver

The brain’s chill neurotransmitter, Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA is your main inhibitory neurotransmitter that neutralizes excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. The liver is your body’s chemical processing factory.  This article will talk about GABA liver benefits.

GABA is a chemical neurotransmitter produced in the brain. It functions by sending chemical messages to the nerve signal to the central nervous system act opposite from the excitatory neurotransmitter. This is a calming neurotransmitter because it reduces the activity of the nerves resulting in both mind and body’s relaxation, lower stress, calm mood, pain relief, reduced anxiety, promotes sleep, and prevents seizures. The brain naturally produces GABA but can be taken orally as a supplement. The benefits of GABA make it a popular supplement because its food sources are limited to fermented foods like kimchi.  It plays a part in the healthy function of the immune system, endocrine system, controls appetite and metabolism.

Lower GABA activity leads to:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Stress
  • Depression
  • Trouble in concentrations and cognitive difficulties
  • Headaches and muscular pains
  • Trouble sleeping and problems
  • A decrease in GABA activity is linked to substance use disorders

GABA And Liver: What’s The Link?

The liver is one of the important, largest intestinal organs and glands in the human body and has many functions. It has two sources of blood, portal vein, and hepatic artery. The hepatic artery brings in oxygenated blood from the heart and the portal vein carries nutrient-rich blood coming from the digestive system. Functional unit lobules are made up of hepatocytes cells. The liver’s main function is to filter the blood from the digestive tract before passing it to the other body parts. It is responsible for various chemical reactions that the body needs to function, it acts as a storage unit, breaks down, and detoxifies substances.

The amino acid neurotransmitter GABA also has various functions affecting other peripheral organs such as the liver in high concentrations. It is regulated by the hepatic metabolic conduits and transport system that is sodium-dependent. The liver has GABA that produces receptors and generates signals in cells, biological signaling ionotropic type A (GABA ) and metabotropic type B (GABA).  The GABAa receptors are a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain when activated can influence cell proliferation.

Ionotropic receptors are ligand-gated transmembrane molecules that can open or close passage that small ion particles inside and outside of the cells. The Metabotropic receptors are also a ligand-gated transmembrane without a channel, but are linked to another chemical ‘G-protein to activate other molecules referred to as “secondary messenger”. Ionotropic receptors act fast as compared to metabotropic receptors which will take longer to produce a response.

GABA Liver Benefits

May decrease liver cancer in humans, Hepatocellular carcinoma. This type of liver cancer starts with hepatocyte which is the main type of liver cell.

May protect the liver from alcohol cytotoxicity. Ethanol is commonly called alcohol, and consuming alcohol in excessive amounts may lead to acute liver failure and other liver-related diseases.

May control liver cell proliferation and differentiation. Cells quickly multiply fast when there is a tumor condition. When in the process of cell proliferation, the cell increase in number copying its DNA into two and cellular differentiation is the process where the cell changes into another cell type. When the cell undergoes differentiation, it losses its ability to replicate itself.

May improve liver functions and reduce hepatocytic glycogen depletion. The liver is the main organ that regulates and distributes nutrients glucose and glycogen which is a liver stores glucose through the blood reaching other tissues. Glucose serve is the primary source of energy for the body and brain when there is a shortage of glucose from food the body will use the stored glycogen. At least ¾ of glycogen is used by the brain and the central nervous system, once glycogen is depleted you will feel fatigued.

Decrease GABA signaling enhances hepatic regeneration from exposure to toxins. GABA signaling activation protects this regeneration function preventing injury.

Increase GABA signaling reduces hepatic regeneration. The liver is the only organ that can do regeneration. It has the capacity to replace lost tissues after chemical injury or surgery. An increase in hepatic GABA side effects the liver capacity for regeneration.

GABA is a neuroinhibitory that is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and is also found abundant in the liver. It passes to the blood-brain barrier in patients with liver damage and interacts with GABA receptors. GABA side effects liver in increased and decreased state, and plays a key role in hepatic encephalopathy and other liver abnormal conditions. No wonder that in ancient Greek history, the liver is believed to be the seat of life, soul, and intelligence.

GABA and Liver

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