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September 20th, 2017

Supplement of the Month: L-Theanine

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

September is officially here, and we all know what that means: school is back in session. For parents, this means taking your children to football, dance, cheerleading, swimming, piano lessons, tennis, tutors and much more. Your kids become overwhelmed with homework, reading, working on book reports, and studying for daunting tests. As a result, we are more vulnerable to stress and anxiety. Sometimes we need an extra boost, and luckily, L-Theanine can provide just that.

What is L-Theanine?

L-Theanine is a relaxing and non-dietary amino acid found pretty much exclusively in teas Camellia sinensis (mostly green and black tea) and is known to promote relaxation without sedation. The crucial difference seems to be not in whether the tea is green or black, but how young the tea leaves are at harvest. Theanine is found in highest concentrations in the buds and young leaves of the tea plant (1). It is available as a supplement that helps relieve anxiety. Theanine should be considered as a herbal remedy rather than a supplement, since it’s not found naturally in your body. As a result, like many herbs, it works to boost your body’s functioning in a natural way.

If you’re wanting to boost GABA levels in your brain (which will reduce anxiety for many people) then taking theanine might just be the perfect way to do it. Not only does theanine boost GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter), it also tones down some of the stimulating neurotransmitters that make you anxious (2). Moreover, it boosts brain dopamine – which is one of the “feel good” neurotransmitters – which may be the reason many people report feelings of well-being and mental focus when they take theanine.

Can’t I just drink tea instead??? Of course you can!! Some people do not like the taste of tea or they do not have the ability to make tea (at work or out and about throughout their day) and prefer to take a capsule or in liquid form. It is easy to travel with and you do not have to worry about carrying tea bags.

What are the Side Effects?

After 50 years of continual research, there are no known side effects(3). Thus, the only precaution would be if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or wanting to become pregnant. However, this applies to any supplement or vitamin, and therefore, you should always consult with your doctor. There have been no known interactions of theanine with other prescriptions or over the counter drugs. Past studies have found that theanine helps improve the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs by enhancing their effectiveness and reducing their side effects. Altogether, once a patient is able to relax mentally,  they will allow their bodies to focus on self-healing.

 

Dr. Jordan and Dr. Jade are offering a FREE consultation to see if taking L-Theanine can work for you. By mentioning this blog you can receive our L-Theanine liquid for 20% off until the 30th of September!! Call today at 847-362-4476.

 

  1. Liu, Zhi-Wei, et al. “L-Theanine Content and Related Gene Expression: Novel Insights into Theanine Biosynthesis and Hydrolysis among Different Tea Plant (Camellia Sinensis L.) Tissues and Cultivars.” Frontiers in Plant Science, Frontiers Media S.A., 7 Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5383724/.
  2. Nobre, A C, et al. “L-Theanine, a Natural Constituent in Tea, and Its Effect on Mental State.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328.
  3. “L-Theanine Uses, Benefits & Side Effects – Drugs.com Herbal Database.” Drugs.com, Drugs.com, www.drugs.com/npc/l-theanine.html.

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