L-theanine finds itself in many patient programs at Sanctuary. It has a good track record in clinical care even if the list of scientific studies is less. For patients needing something to relax whether to help with sleep or just settle anxiety, this non-essential amino acid works through GABA and alpha waves to both relax and improve cognitive function. Our bodies do not incorporate this amino acid into any proteins that we make but this green tea derived chemical benefits in many ways.
Sleep: While not acting as a true sedative, the relaxed state of mind encouraged by this chemical allows many patients to fall into a restorative sleep.
Anxiety: By helping one to relax while avoiding excessive sedation, theanine works for many patients who need daytime anti-anxiety benefits.
Cognitive Enhancement: By promoting alpha brain waves and relaxation, studies indicate that it can improve cognitive function.
Sleep & Anxiety:
L-theanine, unique amino acid of tea, and its metabolism, health effects, and safety.
Türközü D, et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017.
Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(19):2876-2905. doi: 10.2174/1381612823666170105151800.
Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition.
Dietz C, Dekker M.
Nutr Rev. 2014 Aug;72(8):507-22. doi: 10.1111/nure.12120. Epub 2014 Jun 19.
Acute effects of tea constituents L-theanine, caffeine, and epigallocatechin gallate on cognitive function and mood: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Camfield DA1, Stough C, Farrimond J, Scholey AB.
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-8.
L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state.
Nobre AC1, Rao A, Owen GN.
Review Neuroprotective effects of theanine and its preventive effects on cognitive dysfunction.
Kakuda T Pharmacol Res. 2011 Aug; 64(2):162-8
Protective effect of the green tea component, L-theanine on environmental toxins-induced neuronal cell death. Cho HS, Kim S, Lee SY, Park JA, Kim SJ, Chun HS
Neurotoxicology. 2008 Jul; 29(4):656-62.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more… offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.