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Effect of oral γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration on sleep and its absorption in humans

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The effects of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on sleep and its levels in blood after oral administration were investigated in humans. A randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled crossover-designed study was conducted to evaluate the effect of GABA on sleep. Sleep was evaluated by electroencephalography (EEG) after oral GABA administration. GABA significantly shortened sleep latency and increased the total non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep time. Questionnaires showed that subjects receiving GABA realized its effects on sleep. In addition, the blood level of GABA after administration was investigated, and the absorption and metabolism rates of GABA were determined. GABA was quickly absorbed, and the blood level of GABA was the highest 30 min after oral administration, with a subsequent decrease in concentration. As GABA strongly affected the early stage of sleep, the effect of GABA on sleep may be connected to its levels in blood.

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Correspondence to Yusuke Yamashita.

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Yamatsu, A., Yamashita, Y., Pandharipande, T. et al. Effect of oral γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration on sleep and its absorption in humans. Food Sci Biotechnol 25, 547–551 (2016).

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