L-Theanine Benefits on Brain

L-Theanine is an amino acid found almost exclusively in green tea. One of the L-Theanine benefits is to produce its anti-anxiety effects without producing sleepiness or impairing motor behavior.

L-Theanine is an amino acid found almost exclusively in green tea.  L-Theanine is known to produce its anti-anxiety effects without producing sleepiness or impairing motor behavior.
Discoveries during recent years added more benefits to the brain:

– L-Theanine protects brain cells and promotes cognitive function*.

– L-Theanine reduces the elevation of stress hormones and oxidative damage to the brain**.

– Stress significantly reduces performance, memory, increases oxidative stress in the brain, and elevates levels of stress-response hormones. During a scientific test, treating animals with L-theanine before the stress is applied, results were in reverse, in both cognitive and stress hormones, and oxidative damage.

– L-Theanine lowers stroke risk and the damaging effects if a stroke has occurred.  L-Theanine provides two stroke-preventing mechanisms:

1. Improves nitric oxide production in endothelial cells and aids a signal to relax muscles and enhance blood distribution***.

2. Inhibits TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and reduces the risk of an artery-blocking clot that produces a stroke****.

– L-Theanine protects the body from damage after the abrupt loss of circulation during a stroke. Animal studies show that the administration of L-Theanine up to 12 hours after a stroke protects brain cells and reduces the size of the damaged brain areas.*****

– L-Theanine prevents damage to brain cells induced by aluminum******.

Which tea is rich in L-Theanine?  Shade-grown teas are high in L-Theanine, as sun exposure converts L-Theanine into Catechin antioxidants.

Gyokuro and Matcha are shade-grown teas. The higher grade, the richer in L-Theanine, as the higher grade is covered in the shade for a longer period of time.

Resources
 
* Nathan PJ, Lu K, Gray M, et al.  The neuropharmacology of L-theanine (N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent.  J Herb Pharmacother.  2006;6(2):21-30
 
**Kandimalla R, Vallamkondu J, Corgiat EB, et al.  Understanding Aspects of aluminum exposure in Alzheimer’s disease development.  Brain Pathol.  2015.
 
***Siamwala JH, Dias PM, Majumder S, et al. L-theanine promotes nitric oxide production in endothelial cells through eNOS phosphorylation.  J Nutr Biochem. 2013;24(3):595-605
 
****Yamagata K, Xie Y, Suzuki S. et al.  Epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits VCAM-1 expression and apoptosis induction associated with LC3 expressions in TNFalpha-stimulated human endothelial cells.  Phytomedicine.  2015;22(4):431-7
 
*****Zukhurova M, Prosvirnina M, Daineko A, et al.  L-Theanine administration results in neuroprotection and prevents glutamate receptor agonist-mediated injury in the rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion.  Phytother Res.  2013;27(9):1282-7
 
*****Sumathi T, Shobana C, Thangarajeswari M, et al.  Protective effect of L-Theanine against aluminum-induced neurotoxicity in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum of rat brain – histopathological, and biochemical approach.  Drug Chem Toxicol.  2015;38(1):22-31
 
Disclaimer:  The above statement has not been evaluated by FDA.  It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, and cure any diseases