Chris Kresser: Carol asked, “Looks like NeuroScience discontinued making Kavinace in 2019. Kavinace OS, [which] they now make, has no GABA, but has magnesium, zinc, selenium, melatonin 5 mg, and a blend of L-theanine and resveratrol.”
Yes, that was unfortunate. I understand why they did it. There is a form of GABA called phenibut, which, unfortunately, people were abusing. At high doses, it has almost a narcotic effect, and people were taking it in really large amounts and ending up in the ER, so the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] decided to bring it under their umbrella as a regulated substance and make it illegal to obtain over the counter, so any product that had phenibut (including Kavinace) was taken off the market. It’s a bummer because it worked really well and I never had a case in my practice where a patient was abusing it, at least that I know of, but we don’t have access to that anymore. Some people do okay with the Kavinace OS formula that they use as a replacement, but I have to say, to be frank, I haven’t found anything that works quite as well as Kavinace did for a greater number of people. A lot of the other things that we talk about and some of the nutrients that are in this formula itself like L-theanine [and] higher doses of glycine 3 to 4 g a night can work pretty well, but the actual form of GABA is no longer available. Other forms of GABA I also have not found to be as effective. There is a form called Pharma GABA, which Natural Factors uses. There are a couple of other brands that use it. That can be helpful in some cases, too, but not quite as effective as the phenibut.