L-theanine is a protein-forming amino acid usually found in green tea and in a strain of mushroom known as Bay Bolete. Mostly extracted from green tea, L-theanine use dates back to the sixth century where Buddhist monks used green tea to keep themselves awake during the long hours of meditation and enhance their mental focus during the meditation period.
In the modern world, research has shown that the compound L-theanine has numerous health benefits. As a result, L-theanine health supplements have been created so as to harness the amazing benefits of this remarkable natural compound.
Research has shown L-theanine to be particularly beneficial when it comes to overall brain health and functionality. The following overview on the health benefits of L-theanine on the brain and other benefits will help shed more light on this amazing tea constituent.
Anxiety and Stress Reliever
This is perhaps one of the most remarkable benefits associated with L-theanine. When ingested, L-theanine has the capacity to effectively reduce and even eliminate any form of physical or mental stress and anxiety. L-theanine does this by inducing a sense of tranquility and deep relaxation without bringing about any form of drowsiness or chemical dependence.
L-theanine is one of the few natural compounds that has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier; it is through this action that it brings about tranquility and relaxation. It normally works by altering the level of dopamine, serotonin and Gamma-amino-butyric acid ( GABA) to induce a state of relaxation and well-being.
L-theanine generally uses a combination of 4 processes to achieve this. It will stimulate the brain to produce alpha waves, reduce the heart rate, lower blood pressure and finally, increase the level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.
According to research, Gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) helps to reduce the level of noradrenaline: a hormone associated with stress. L-theanine stimulates the production of GABA and as such, effectively minimizes if not eliminate stress and anxiety.
Increases Brain Activity
This is another remarkable benefit of L-theanine on the brain. L-theanine has a cognitive effect which gives it the ability to increase brain activity resulting in better concentration and attention.
L-theanine helps protect brain cells from being damaged by preventing overstimulation of brain cells and protecting the brain cells when oxygen levels within the brain are low. L-theanine also promotes the production of new brain cells by stimulating the body to produce proteins necessary for nerve growth.
According to a study published in the journal ` Neurotoxicology’ , July 2008 issue, L-theanine has the capacity to alleviate symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. The study showed that L-theanine has the capacity to inhibit the production of dieldrin and rotenone: compounds usually associated with Parkinson’s disease and found in elevated quantities in patients having the disease.
A combination of L-theanine and caffeine is very effective when it comes to increasing energy levels and brain alertness while at the same time helping an individual avoid caffeine-induced jitters. L-theanine does this by increasing the production of GABA: a calming neurotransmitter.
According to a tissue culture study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in July 2012, L-theanine also has anti-oxidant properties. These anti-oxidant properties help to improve cardiovascular health by preventing the oxidation of LDL and cholesterol. L-theanine also promotes the production of nitric oxide that causes dilation of blood vessels and in so doing reduces blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Protection From Stroke
After an individual suffers a stroke, there is usually an excess of the hormone glutamate in between cell receptors within the brain. This hormone usually causes increased neuronal death. According to laboratory tests, no neuronal damage occurs in subjects who had some amount of L-theanine within their system. As such, L-theanine has the capacity to protect an individual from extensive brain damage brought about by a stroke.
Research has shown that neural damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease is as a result of the glutamate toxicity. L-theanine has the capacity to inhibit the production of this compound and can help, to an extent, minimize symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
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