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GABA tea – new research into possible health benefits, new teas on offer

 [ IMAGE: GABA oolong drunk from Jade cups ]

Recently, a number of new studies have investigated various aspects of GABA tea. Most of these have been published in the time since I published my initial post on GABA tea almost 3 years ago. As if that wasn’t reason enough to revisit this very special type of tea, I also have a more personal reason to share some more information about our Taiwanese GABA teas. As many of you will know, I’ve just returned from a tea-sourcing trip to Taiwan last month and finally managed to meet all the people involved in the production of our growing range of different GABA teas. I will introduce some of the main GABA personalities in Taiwan in a future blog post.

Recent studies into the health benefits of GABA tea

If you haven’t read my initial post on GABA tea, I recommend to read that post first, since it will give you some background information. But to quickly get you up to speed, I’ll just give you a quick definition of what GABA is:

GABA stands for gamma-amino butyric acid, an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. The role of neurotransmitters is to help nerve signals to ‘jump’ from one nerve cell (neuron) to the next – to transmit them, by firing a nerve impuls. GABA acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, it blocks nerve impulses. Since a high level of nerve signal transmissions constitute a state of anxiety, GABA is basically an anti-anxiety medication produced by the brain itself.

Reduce psychological and physical fatigue
Many studies have focused on the calming effect of GABA tea – a gentle way to treat anxiety. In a paper from 2011, Kanehira et al. investigated the effect of beverages containing GABA on occupational fatigue. The researchers found that intake of GABA-containing beverages can help reduce both psychological and physical fatigue and improve task-solving ability. These findings seem surprising at first, since GABA tea has a very calming, rather than an  uplifting effect. But at the same time, it induces a calm, focused state that encourages recovery.

Diabetes treatment and prevention
In a study by Shur-Hueih et al. (2014), the researchers looked into the effects of GABA tea on the heart in diabetic subjects. Their study on rats found that GABA tea effectively inhibited cardiac fibrosis (a thickening of the heart valves). Since cardiovascular complications are the leading cause of death in the diabetic population, these findings are of great importance. Their results also showed that GABA tea can potentially reduce elevated blood glucose in diabetic animals. Their findings suggest that GABA tea is a promising candidate for therapeutic treatment of myocardial fibrosis and progression of initiate myocardial injury induced by diabetes. Furthermore, their data showed that GABA tea has an antihyperglycemic effect. Their final conclusion reads like this “Thus, GABA tea may have beneficial properties that prevent diabetes and may be useful for developing anti-diabetic pharmaceutical and functional food.”

Protection against brain injury
A study by Chih-Yang et al. (2014) investigated the protective effect of GABA tea against diabetes-induced brain injury. They found that consumption of GABA tea dramatically reduced blood glucose and, thus, has the potential to prevent the onset of pathologies associated with hyperglycemia. They conclude with the statement that their results “suggest the protective effects of GABA tea on diabetic-induced cerebral cortex injury. GABA tea could be useful in prevention or treatment of apoptosis-associated diabetic encephalopathy.”

If you want to try some of these wonderful teas for yourself, have a look through our range of 5 GABA Oolongs, GABA Black Tea or GABA Green Tea.



Kanehira, T., Nakamura, Y., Nakamura, K., Horie, K., Horie, N., Furugori, K., et al. (2011). Relieving occupational fatigue by consumption of a beverage containing g-aminobutyric acid. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 57, 9-15.
Cherng, S. H., Huang, C. Y., Kuo, W. W., Lai, S. E., Tseng, C. Y., Lin, Y. M., … & Wang, H. F. (2014). “GABA tea prevents cardiac fibrosis by attenuating TNF-alpha and Fas/FasL-mediated apoptosis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 65, 90-96.
Huang, C. Y., Kuo, W. W., Wang, H. F., Lin, C. J., Lin, Y. M., Chen, J. L., … & Lin, J. Y. (2014). GABA tea ameliorates cerebral cortex apoptosis and autophagy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Journal of Functional Foods, 6, 534-544.

One Response to GABA tea – new research into possible health benefits, new teas on offer »»


  1. Comment by Roxy | 2014/12/11 at 09:32:52

    I’m interested in buying some Oolong GABA tea (organic) or Amber GABA oolong tea (organic). How do I go about ordering the tea?
    Also, what is the difference between the 2 types of GABA tea? Which one would you recommend to help with insomnia due to menopause and anxiety?
    Many thanks,

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