Brain GABA

I have been reading recently on brain GABA and find it a slightly interesting contradiction for us Mavvers.

We all have the list of foods to avoid that potentially cause migraine or can be a trigger for it. And then at the same time a lot of us rely on Benzo’s (Valium, Xanex, Ativan, Klonopin etc) to increase the GABA in our brains in order to keep us calm whether it’s from the dizzies or anxiety or both! (GABA is the brain’s natural anxiety chemical and balance check for other neurotransmitters).

Yet I’ve been reading about having a diet by eating foods that are GABA rich and increase this chemical naturally in the brain. The thing I find odd is that most of these foods appear on our no-go list!

Foods include:
•Almonds, tree nuts
•Beef Liver
•Brown Rice
•Oats, whole grain
•Oranges, citrus fruits
•Rice bran
•Whole wheat, whole grains

Just throwing that out there as food for thought (pardon the pun) :stuck_out_tongue:

They say meditation and yoga are good for stimulating GABA too. Sadly, taking the supplement, “GABA”, doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier. so save the money.


The whole diet thing confuses me as some docs live by it while others seem to think that it is not that important. I was reading the Migraine Brain by Carolyn Bernstein, who is a headache specialist. She says keep your kitchen stocked with healthy foods that keep your migraines at bay and includes examples such as, peanut butter, nuts, yogurt, and whole grain items. I thought these were all off limits! Yes , she does say to identify triggers, but says forget so called migraine diets, as there is no food plan that prevents migraines for all of us. I have been on a total elimination diet, and am doing okay but wondering if it is worth it, as I still feel dizzy even when I have been good to my body.

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I’m also really confused… The only migraine diet iv seen is in heal your headache and therefore I thought whole grains, brown rice and broccoli were ok. Am I wrong?

A few of us English folk are under the care of Dr Surenthiran, Medway Maritime Hospital, Kent and he has provided us with a list - in his opinion - that his patients do better when eliminating the 6 C’s.

  1. Caffiene (decafe ok)
  2. Chocolate (anything containing chocolate)
  3. Citrus (all fruits/drinks)
  4. Chianti (red wine and the like)
  5. Cheese
  6. Chinese food (or any foods containing MSG)

The foods I listed above in my original post help promote GABA - which is what we need, or certainly a lot of us rely on the synthetic version to boost the GABA in our brains to calm everything the hell down. But books like Heal Your Headache say some of these foods are triggers so rather than calming the brain, they’re aggravating and irritating it.

I personally follow the above 6 C’s list and avoid here and there other bits out of Heal Your Headache.

A lot of the foods on the migraine diet are naturally high in histamine or as part of the food processing cycle, greater levels of histamine occur. For example, foods that are left to mature have higher levels, fresh meat is fine but once it’s been processed the levels go right up, pizza, cheese, alcohol, some veggies like spinach, toms, pumpkin, broccoli, certain fruits, nuts etc…

Is this why antihistamines such as Periactin and Promethazine help some of us so much…?

Either way - my brain is still doing backflips each day and I’d like to cut my head off :mrgreen: