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What are the benefits and effects of theanine respectively?

Apr 17, 2024

  Theanine is an amino acids discovered by Japanese researchers in 1950 from Yuluo green tea, which is capable of giving off the flavor component of green tea. Represented by chewing gums and candies, theanine has been used in many food and beverage products, including soft drinks and supplements. In recent years, theanine has gradually gained attention for its anti-stress and sleep quality-enhancing effects, and several studies and experiments have been conducted on the ingredient.

  Previous studies have shown that L-theanine can act on the human brain and exert the effect of inhibiting the excitatory effect of tea caffeine. It is well known that the caffeine contained in tea and coffee has the effect of causing nerve excitation and waking up the brain. The L-theanine in tea is believed to release the excitatory effect of caffeine, and it has been proven that the beta wave (i.e., the brain wave that occurs in the state of excitation) that occurs when drinking caffeine is suppressed by L-theanine.

  In humans, the parasympathetic nerves are stimulated when drinking water, which in turn produces a relaxing effect. However, in the case of drinking water, the relaxation effect comes and goes quickly, and the relaxation effect lasts for nearly an hour when drinking theanine-containing water. Regarding the testing of the relaxation effect, here are the results of a study conducted by the Sun Chemical Company's General Research Institute and Aichi Shukutoku University. In this study, eight volunteers were randomly divided into a water drinking group containing 50mg of theanine and a water drinking group containing 200mg of theanine. The results of the study showed that in the theanine 200mg drinking group, alpha waves appeared in the back of the head and the top of the head regions of the subjects, and in the theanine 50mg drinking group, the power value of the alpha band domain in the high anxiety domain cluster increased. From this study, it can be concluded that theanine has a relaxing effect.

  In order to explore the anti-stress effects of theanine, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Shizuoka Prefectural University issued a research report. When mice were fed drinking water containing theanine under face-to-face rearing conditions, no acceleration of aging was observed. Therefore, it can be seen that theanine can relieve stress and thus inhibit the acceleration of aging by ingesting theanine.

  Theanine is also effective for difficulty in falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night. Sun Chemical and the Japan National Psychiatric Nervous Center Mental Health Research Institute jointly released the results of a study on the effect of theanine in improving sleep. Although the difference was not particularly significant, the trend of showing a better fall-asleep elapsed assessment in the L-theanine condition, although the effect was not very strong, implies that L-theanine is likely to have a sleep-promoting effect. In terms of sleep efficiency, compared to 93.8% in the placebo group, the L-theanine condition showed a significant improvement of 96.6%. This result suggests that L-theanine not only prolongs sleep duration, but also shows potential to enhance sleep quality.

  The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves memory function and memory accuracy, and in the case of memory topics reduces distraction-induced inattention, among other things.

  There have been no reports of health damage or side effects of theanine in Japan. In addition, the safety of the theanine has been confirmed during a short period of oral intake. In one study, subjects were given 200 mg of L-theanine once a week for 3 months, and no side effects were observed. However, the Japanese industry believes that reliable information on human safety is currently insufficient and will need to be discussed in detail in the future.

  In China, tea theanine was approved as a new food ingredient in 2014, with an intake of ≤0.4 g/day, excluding foods for infants and young children. It should be noted that there is also insufficient reliable information on safety during pregnancy and lactation. Therefore, avoid use during pregnancy and lactation.

  With regard to drug-drug interactions, in the case of use with antihypertensives, it has been reported that the effects of the drug can be increased. In addition, in the case of concomitant use with stimulants such as caffeine, there is a possibility of weakening the effect of the latter.

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