Benefits of GABA


Recently, I always keep one bag on my desk at work.

I previously posted an entry about germinating brown rice, in which I talked about how enzymes in brown rice become activated during a process of being germinated while being cooked. I also pointed out that brown rice contains lots of GABA and what its health effects as well. By the way, don’t you hear about the term “GABA” quite often? I’ve recognized not only supplementary tablets, but also some soft drinks or chocolates contain “GABA” as it’s printed on their packages. So I did a little research on GABA.

First of all, what is GABA? GABA is one type of natural amino acids that is produced in brains and spines of the mammals and works as a chemical messenger. It affects on our parasympathetic nervous system and calms us down, leads us to a relaxing state, and regulates our autonomic balance. Also, it takes away pains, stress, and fear as well as controls our moods. GABA gets synthesized in the brain when we are asleep at night as it promotes hormone productions and provides us with good sleep.

In other words, if GABA decreases, we are more likely to become irritated, short-tempered, and emotionally unbalanced. All of these traits could result in poor sleep leading to sleep shortage which eventually causes GABA to decrease more.  

GABA is very helpful in preventing high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, heart diseases, brain strokes and other serious diseases. GABA is also effective in suppressing hyper-tension and behaviors of children and in improving symptoms of those being depressed.

Considering above, GABA is an inevitable element for us to remain healthy mentally and physically. Desirable amount to take depends on individual’s health and mental conditions; but in general, it’s 10mg~20/30mg per day. GABA can be found in various kinds of food. For example, in grains. Especially, germinating brown rice contains 10mg GABA per 100g. This is almost 10 times more than white rice. That means if we eat one serving of brown rice for one meal a day, we can take the minimum amount of GABA per day. In addition to GABA, brown rice should be referred as a superfood that can enrich us with abundant nutrition.

Other foods containing GABA are fermented products such as tsukemono, fermented fresh vegetables, miso, or natto, vegetables like tomatoes and sprouts, and dried small fish. Seeing this food list tells us that the basic Japanese food consisting of rice, soups with three side dishes is such an ideal healthy food.

Now that it is changing seasons when the fiscal year switching, whoever is suffering from nonsense irritation, fatigue, or unclear mind should review their diet. Be conscious to take GABA on a daily basis. It shall develop our night sleep and eventually encourage us to become more active during daytime.

Green Tea Benefits on Metabolism

Last Updated: Aug 16, 2013 | By Michele Turcotte, MS, RD Green Tea Benefits on Metabolism


The tea plant is naturally high in a group of antioxidants known as catechins. Green tea offers more catechins than black tea because its production involves less processing and fermentation. The health benefits of green tea are vast and include cancer prevention and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. There is another important benefit of green tea. In many research studies, green tea extract has been shown to significantly alter body composition by increasing metabolism.

How can Catechins aid in Weight Loss?

Catechins are powerful antioxidants that may aid weight loss in two ways. They inhibit the breakdown of fats and the production of an inflammatory substance that triggers hunger. Drinking as few as three glasses of green tea daily can contribute to a reduction in body weight and weight circumference (women with a waist of more than 35 inches and men with a waist of more than 40 inches are at a much greater risk of cardiovascular disease than their slim-waisted counterparts) by almost five percent in three months. Catechins are found in green tea (one cup offers 142 milligrams), chocolate (four ounces offers 53 milligrams) and black tea (one cup contains 27 milligrams). However, only green and black tea are calorie-free.

Green Tea Catechins and Fat Oxidation

A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated whether the green tea extract (containing caffeine and the catechin known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EG), could increase 24-hour energy expenditure (EE) and fat oxidation (burning of fat) in humans. On three separate occasions, 10 healthy men were randomly assigned to receive one of the following at breakfast, lunch, and dinner: green tea extract (50 milligrams of caffeine and 90 milligrams of EG), caffeine (50 milligrams) and placebo. The conclusions of this study were that green tea promotes fat oxidation beyond that which could be explained by its caffeine content.

Physical Activity Increases Effect

A study published by the Journal of Nutrition revealed that consumption of green tea catechins enhances exercise-induced changes in abdominal fat and serum triglyceride (blood fat) levels. One-hundred thirty two (132) participants were randomly assigned to two groups. The first group were given a beverage containing 625 milligrams of catechins and 39 milligrams of caffeine, while the second group were given a control beverage (39 milligrams of caffeine, no catechins) over a 12-week period. Their diets remained constant but they participated in at least 180 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise.

Body composition, abdominal fat and serum triglyceride levels were measured at baseline and after 12 weeks. There was significantly greater weight loss, percent change in total abdominal fat, subcutaneous abdominal fat, and fasting serum triglyceride levels in the group that consumed the catechin-rich beverage. While this evidence appears convincing, many more studies are needed to draw conclusions which would lead to specific recommendations.

Women active a few times weekly have lower risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots


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Released on EurekAlert! on 16 FEB 2015 American Heart Association Middle-aged women who are physically active a few times per week have lower risks of heart disease, stroke and blood clots than inactive women, according to research in the … Continue reading

Women retain insulin sensitivity better than men

It’s all because of a protein, says study


Released on EurekAlert! on 17 MAR 2015

20150519Hamilton, ON (March 17, 2015) – It’s long been known that obese men are more likely to develop type two diabetes than obese women, but researchers at McMaster University have discovered it may be related to a difference between the sexes in the activity of a protein in the muscle.

As people become overweight, their skeletal muscle develops insulin resistance that can lead to type two diabetes. In a paper published by Scientific Reports today, the research team found the activity of this protein, called PTEN (for Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10), is different between men and women.

When PTEN is active, it prevents insulin from signaling properly in muscle, which reduces the amount of sugar a muscle takes. This ‘muscle insulin resistance’ increases the chance of developing type two diabetes.

“In our study, women’s muscle appeared more efficient in neutralizing this protein, and this allows insulin to work better to move sugar from circulation to muscle,” said lead author Dr. M. Constantine Samaan, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and pediatric endocrinologist at the McMaster Children’s Hospital

“This protein is one explanation of why women are relatively protected from type two diabetes, despite having more body fat content compared to men at a given weight,” said Samaan, adding that this is important as it provides a therapeutic target to improve muscle responses to insulin to treat and prevent diabetes. The team is now working on finding out how PTEN is regulated in different cells.


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Japanese Name for May


Fresh green has started to appear here and there and the sunlight is becoming brighter. Same for people who started new fiscal year or school year a month ago, May is when they start to feel accustomed to their new routine and become active and enthusiastic. The month of May is called “Satsuki” in Japan.

May is in the middle of a season when buds are seen in the ground after a long, cold winter season. This is the time rice planting begins all over Japan. The Japanese name for May, “Satsuki,” a letter of “Sa” means farming and a Chinese character for the letter “Sa” is “,” which solely indicates “rice plant” for god. The ancient Japanese are said to have named May as “Satsuki” for “a month to plant rice to offer to god” wishing for the rich harvest for the upcoming year.

Just like the other ancient names for months, in ancient times, months are not just to count by Arabic numbers. In fact, months are richly expressed by the concepts of nature and seasons that our ancestors had fostered in their daily lives.