GABA, GABA, GABA, hey the ringing’s not so bad anymore


GABA supplements had an unexpected effect on my tinnitus.

Three brass bells.
(Illustration by MRhea using Leonardo.Ai.)

In this post about tinnitus I referred to a report linking low GABA levels and tinnitus, and then forgot about until I tried it for sleep.

Read more: GABA, GABA, GABA, hey the ringing’s not so bad anymore

I used GABA supplements for nine months or so, in two different formulations, for sleep issues. The first time I tried plain old GABA, in maybe a 1,000 mg dose — I don’t piddle around — the ringing cut out completely, with a sort of wwwwwOP! sensation, for about a minute. It does that every 18 months or so anyway, but still.

From relaxed to too relaxed

The straight GABA made me sleepy but, as I mentioned here, made it hard to breathe. (Now I’m wondering if this was because I wasn’t taking it with a truckload of P5P. Yet another experiment to revisit.) So I switched to GABA Calm and settled on three tablets a night. More than three and I was a zombie the next day. The ingredients in one tablet are magnesium 5 mg, gaba 125 mg, glycine 50 mg, N-acetyl L-tyrosine 25 mg, taurine 20 mg. On two occasions I’ve quit taking it for a week or so. Both times, after two or three days, I was startled again by worsening tinnitus. It was as if it suddenly got significantly worse. The tinnitus had not disappeared on this supplement, but it had stopped being a distraction and I stopped thinking about it.

Reminder: stop-start produces valuable info

This is yet another demonstration of the valuable lesson I learned from my orthomolecular self-experimenting parental unit (OSEPU): evaluate a supplement by how you feel when you’re on it AND on how you feel when you stop it.

The sorbitol is a no-go

Unfortunately the artificial sweetener in this supplement is now a problem and I need to find a new GABA formulation.

Publish and update info

This post was first published on March 14, 2013 and updated in August 2023.

4 thoughts on “GABA, GABA, GABA, hey the ringing’s not so bad anymore

  • Khan Shusnis

    What time of day would you suggest taking GABA for tinnitus? Should it be taken with food?
    I am considering trying plain GABA, no other ingredients, for my tinnitus. Does it work better with something else? Is there anything to avoid when taking it?

  • isidora

    thank you very much for writing this info.
    it would be more than great to know how did this finally worked in time after that years.

    • Marjorie

      I started reacting badly to the sorbitol in the GABA supplement I was taking, and stopped the experiment. I have not tried again but really should soon.

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