Theanine (L-Theanine)

Theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid in green tea, crosses the blood brain barrier and helps to produce a calming effect, inducing a feeling of relaxation and well-being. An increase in alpha waves has been documented, and the effect has been compared to getting a massage or taking a hot bath. Theanine does not cause drowsiness or interfere with the ability to think. Animal studies have shown that theanine actually enhances the ability to learn and remember possibly by reducing the tendency to worry.

Theanine neutralizes the action of caffeine somewhat. The effects can readily be seen in EEGs of rodents given caffeine, then theanine. This is why tea does not have the same stimulating effect of the same amount of caffeine. Theanine increases GABA, while caffeine decreases it. GABA not only relaxes, it also creates a sense of well-being. Theanine also increases levels of dopamine, another brain chemical with mood-enhancing effects.

The safety of L-Theanine has been well established, as it occurs naturally in tea which has been consumed for centuries, and has been approved in Japan for addition to any food, except baby food. It takes effect within 30 minutes after consumption and has no known cautions or drug interactions.

Based on the results of clinical studies, it has been established that L-theanine is effective in single dosages in the range of 50-200mg. It is suggested that subjects with higher levels of anxiety take a dose at the higher end of the effective range (100-200 mg) for best results. It is estimated that a heavy tea drinker (6-8 cups daily) will consume between 200 to 400 mg of L-theanine daily. 100 to 200 mg 1 to 3 times daily is suggested as needed depending on stress and anxiety levels. L-theanine can be taken in capsule form or added to any liquid where it readily and completely dissolves.

 


Theanine (L-Theanine) can help with the following

Circulation  

Hypertension

High blood pressure is a feature of stress that can be lowered by lowering the stress. The simple act of drinking a cup of tea (which contains theanine) can lower blood pressure by forcing a person to slow down and relax.



Mental  


 


 


Uro-Genital  

Premenstrual Syndrome PMS A (Anxiety)

Theanine (100-200mg daily) can induce a state of relaxation and have a continuous mood-elevating effect.



 

Premenstrual Syndrome / PMDD

Japanese researchers have discovered that theanine works for PMS. Using a distress questionnaire, they tracked the reactions of 20 women taking the new supplement for 2 months. 100mg of theanine bid caused documented reductions in mental, social and physical symptoms when taken during symptomatic periods.



Key

May do some good
Likely to help

Glossary

Amino Acid

An organic acid containing nitrogen chemical building blocks that aid in the production of protein in the body. Eight of the twenty-two known amino acids are considered "essential," and must be obtained from dietary sources because the body can not synthesize them.

GABA

The amino-acid derivative GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is a calming substance. Tranquilizers like Valium and Librium owe their soothing effects to the fact that they stimulate GABA receptors in the brain.

Dopamine

A neurohormone; precursor to norepinephrine which acts as a stimulant to the nervous system.

Milligram

(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Anxiety

Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.

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