Psychoactive Probiotics! – 2024 Update for GABA

A reader asked me to do an update of my 2016 post Psychoactive Probiotics! There has been a lot of recent literature as shown on PubMed. Note that often these are strain specific and not generalized for species cited below. If you cannot find the strains specified in the studies, it may be worthwhile trying different brands of the species (with the most studied species being most probable).

Excessive GABA may be associated with Huntington’s disease, epilepsy, and certain types of encephalopathies. Insufficient GABA may be associated with Anxiety Disorders, Epilepsy, Sleep Disorders, Mood Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Movement Disorders, Neuropathic Pain and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

“Metagenomic analyses suggest that the genomes of many gut bacteria encode glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme that catalyzes GABA production.” [2023]

“Stress exposure induced a decline in Lactobacillaceae abundance and hence γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) level in mice.” [2023]

Note: monosodium glutamate (MSG) can increase the production of GABA [2024]

Effect of Probiotic Therapy on Neuropsychiatric Manifestations in Children with Multiple Neurotransmitter Disorders: A Study[2023] The results indicate that psychobiotics have a significant impact on reducing hyperactivity and aggression, and improving concentration

Probiotic Catalog

NOTE: The current official name is used below. Most L. species were known as Lactobacillus with older names.

Note: Gamma aminobutyric acid production by commercially available probiotic strains [2023] cites that the best are: Levilactobacillus brevis LB01 [Source], Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299v [Jarrow Formulas Ideal Bowel Support].

Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299v is the most available with many suppliers. A dosage of 10-60 BCFU per day is recommended.