There have been numerous studies conducted as to the claims for benefits of L-Theanine as well as extensive research conducted to determine if there are also L-Theanine side effects. Theanine is a supplement extracted from tea and believed to be key to many vital functions including that of focus, sleep, immune system strength and even blood pressure control. The research into the benefits of Theanine was very productive and this will be discussed in greater depth. The research conducted in order to find any negative side effects to L-Theanine was less successful with researchers unable to find any links between L-Theanine and negative side effects.
L-Theanine was the subject of a paper 1999 published by Food Science and Technology. Individuals were given 50 – 200 mg of Theanine weekly. Their brain waves were measured and those who received the highest dosages of Theanine produced the most alpha waves. Alpha waves are the calm and yet alert brain state required to focus on complex tasks as opposed to Beta waves which are a state of high activity but also possibly excited and stressed states.
Four different animal studies indicated that Theanine produces dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone that produces a sense of well being; it is released during pleasurable activities such as sex or eating. In 2004, a study was conducted by Harvard medical school that indicates that Theanine acts as an immune booster and that it increases the body’s resistance to colds and flu.
Theanine has been studied in conjunction with cancer treatments, specifically with patients undergoing chemotherapy. The results are nothing less than amazing since it appears to concentrate the chemotherapy drugs around the unhealthy cells and reduce concentrations in otherwise healthy cells. Additionally the side effects of chemotherapy were felt to be somewhat less because of the calming effect of L-Theanine.
L-Theanine benefits are not limited simply to the immune system or calming the mind while relaxing the body they also extend to the vascular system. L-Theanine has been proven to lower blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure. Unlike some medications though, it has no effect upon normal blood pressure. The caveat (item to beware of) is that L-Theanine in conjunction with blood pressure medications “might” lower the blood pressure too far, but that is not proven.
In 2002, another paper was published concerning Theanine benefits to cholesterol levels and studies conducted on both humans and gerbils. The indication is that Theanine could help LDL concentrations to remain normal instead of undergoing oxidation. In short, that means keeping good cholesterol in balance with bad cholesterol.
There are very few supplements that can claim as many proven benefits as L-Theanine and in as many areas. Not only does L-Theanine cross the blood brain barrier to increase alertness and stimulate neurons and dopamine production but it also strengthens the immune system, and may have a very high impact on overall heart health.
L-Theanine benefits are many; it is an impressive supplement with very few apparent drawbacks. On the other hand, it is generally wisest to consult with a doctor before adding any supplement particularly in the case of pregnant women, children and those individuals with health complications.