More than likely, you haven’t even heard of this amino acid. Or if you have, you are unfamiliar with what it is and what it does. Scientists and nutritionist have always searched for better foods and supplements to enhance wellness and treat medical conditions. As such, they have encountered a number of theanine benefits. These have the potential to greatly improve your health. With these functions and characteristics, it is no wonder that scientific research has proven so many benefits from theanine. Let’s take a closer look at 10 of those benefits that you should know.
10 Theanine Benefits You Should Know
1. Protects Against Liver Damage
The liver is an extremely vital organ with a number of critical functions and protecting it against damage is one of the benefits of theanine. Chinese scientists report that theanine is especially effective at protecting the liver against ethanol (alcohol) induced fatty liver disease, but is also effective at eliminating the fat droplets associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well.
2. Treatment of Depression
Because of its ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, theanine is also effective in the treatment of depression. Research conducted in Japan concluded that theanine was effective in reducing the symptoms associated with depression.
3. Weight Loss Assistance
Those who are struggling with weight loss issues might be interested to learn this. Yet another benefit of theanine is related to losing weight and treating obesity. The reduction of serum lipids (fats in the bloodstream), especially when combined with caffeine, saw a significant decrease in the application of theanine in the diet of subjects in a separate Japanese study.
4. Treatment of Gastric Ulcers
Gastric ulcers can also benefit from theanine according to Indian scientists. Their study asserts that the administration of l-theanine was able to perform a natural neuroprotective function on gastric ulcers, restoring gastric tissues to a proper antioxidant balance at a cellular level.
5. Cancer Treatment
Though not a cure for cancer, theanine has become a critical addition to other cancer therapies. Chinese experiments concluded that l-theanine is an effective repressive agent for hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) growth and is also effective at preventing the migration of cancer cells to other parts of the body by inhibiting a number of protein expressions in the neurological pathways they tend to follow.
6. Treatment of Schizophrenia
Israeli scientists have also linked theanine with effective treatment of schizophrenia. According to their research, l-theanine is not only tolerable but also effective at improving active anxiety in patients with schizophrenia and disorders associated with schizophrenia.
7. Improved Sleep
Another benefit of theanine can be found in improved sleep. In a study of boys with ADHD, l-theanine supplementation not only helped the test subject fall asleep faster but was able to produce greater long-term and substantive rest in research conducted by Canadian scientists.
8. Improved Heart Health
Theanine also contributes to improved heart health. German researchers concluded that the l-theanine, present in the catechins of green and black tea, contribute to the pronounced production of nitric oxide (NO), which serves as a stimulator for aortic vasodialation. Vasodilation helps improve blood pressure and prevents atherosclerosis.
9. Enhanced Memory Function
Improved cognitive function and enhanced memory function is another excellent benefit of theanine to keep in mind. Cognitive alertness as well as improved recall showed marked improvement with the administration of l-theanine as we supplement, according to research conducted in Korea.
Stress reduction and relaxation are another proven theanine benefit that effects nearly all aspects of your health. Studies conducted by Japanese researchers concluded that the oral administration of l-theanine is effective at producing relaxation, but without the added side effect of drowsiness associated with most relaxation supplements.
What Is Theanine?
Theanine, or more properly l-theanine, is an amino acid that exists in tea leaves and fungi of various types. It has a chemical structure very similar to glutamate. The latter is a naturally occurring amino acid associated with the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain. In many ways, theanine reacts in a similar fashion to glutamate and in others, it has a glutamate blocking effect.
What Does Theanine Do?
Theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier in order to directly affect the brain. Because of that, it can be used to manipulate, enhance or regulate certain nervous system functions. Theanine is known to increase the levels of serotonin, dopamine and GABA (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the body). Theanine helps to increase alpha brain wave activity promoting relaxation and sleep. It also increases glutathione levels, which is an important antioxidant molecule in the immune system.
A Note of Caution
Theanine is safe when you take it by mouth over a short-term for up to 3 weeks and exhibits no measurable side effects. That does not mean that you can’t use it long-term, but that there are no studies over a longer term to determine that there are inherent dangers in long-term usage. Most of the notes of caution associated with theanine are related to its interaction with other medications.
Because theanine helps to lower blood pressure, taking theanine along with blood pressure lowering medication might cause you blood pressure to drop too low. In addition, stimulant dugs, which act to speed up the nervous system, do not work well with theanine due to the fact that theanine tends to slow down the nervous system, so it counteracts the effectiveness of those medications.
Though people use theanine typically in doses between 50 mg and 200 mg per day, proper dosage and information concerning the possible side effects of long-term use, as well as drug interactions, are concerns that you should discuss with a health care professional.
You can improve your health and the treatment of a number of critical conditions through the use of supplementation of the l-theanine amino acid. Consider the 10 proven theanine benefits discussed above as a means of improving your overall wellness and take advantage of this potent supplement. In addition, be sure to leave questions and comments in the section provided below.
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