L-Theanine, a unique free form amino acid found in green tea and various mushrooms has been shown to increase tranquilizing Alpha waves without inducing drowsiness. Clinical studies have shown it to be effective in single dosages of 100 to 200 milligrams, one to three times daily, or as needed depending on stress and anxiety level. For those seeking a continuous mood elevating effect, one capsule can be taken four times throughout the day.
Based on results of clinical studies, L-Theanine is most effective in the range of 50-200 milligrams with the effect being felt within thirty minutes and lasting for eight to ten hours. Individuals with high stress levels may increase their dosage to at least 100 mgs, with no more than 600 milligrams being taken in a six hour period.
FDA recommends a maximum dose of 1,200 mgs daily, although the reason for this limit is not clear, due to its demonstrated safety. There are no known adverse reactions to L-Theanine and, no drug interactions have been reported. (Please see chemotherapy caution)
L-Theanine is not affected by food and may be taken any time, as needed. Because it has a mild taste, capsules may be opened and dissolved in water. Although it is probably safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers, we discourage its use by them pending conclusive research.*
L-theanine is a derivative of L-glutamic acid. It is a water-soluble solid substance with the molecular formula C7H14O3 N and a molecular weight of 160.19 daltons. L-theanine is also known as gamma-ethylamino-L-glutamic acid, gamma-glutamylethylamide, r-glutamylethylamide, L-glutamic acid gamma-ethylamide and L-N-ethylglutamine. The chemical structure is:
Theanine is a unique amino acid found in the leaves of green tea (Camellia sinensis). Theanine is quite different from the polyphenol/ and catechin antioxidants for which green tea is typically consumed. In fact, through the natural production of polyphenols, the tea plant converts theanine into catechins. This means that tea leaves harvested during one part of the growing season may be high in catechins (good for antioxidant benefits), while leaves harvested during another time of year may be higher in theanine (good for anti-stress and cortisol-controlling effects). Three to four cups of green tea are expected to contain 100-200 mg of theanine.
Theanine is a caffeine antagonist, meaning that it does the opposite. The effects can readily be seen in EEGs of rodents given caffeine, then theanine. One of the things that theanine changes is GABA — a brain chemical known for its calming effect. Theanine increases GABA, while caffeine decreases it. GABA doesn’t just relax, it also creates a sense of well-being. Theanine’s ability to increase this brain chemical can put you in a better mood by changing biochemistry. Theanine also increases levels of dopamine — another brain chemical associated with mood-enhancing effects and increased feelings associated with sex drive.
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