L-Theanine, naturally occurring in green tea, proves effective in dealing with anxiety symptoms and providing anxiety relief
Anxiety is a state of intense fear, uncertainty, uneasiness, or apprehension due to anticipation of an imagined or real threatening future event. Anxiety can be both physically and psychologically devastating to the Anxiety sufferer’s life. Anxiety is often sub-categorized according to the focus of the perceived threat. There is social anxiety, separation anxiety, dating anxiety, performance anxiety, math anxiety, etc. Stress and anxiety often go hand in hand and can result in anxiety depression as the individual feels powerless to receive any anxiety help.
There are a variety of anti-anxiety treatments to consider in overcoming anxiety. For some, anxiety medications prove to be a source of anxiety relief. Other’s prefer not to use any of the anti-anxiety drugs and opt for more natural cures for anxiety management. These may include herbs for anxiety, acupuncture anxiety treatments, anxiety vitamins, aromatherapy for anxiety relief, even hypnosis has has proved beneficial overcoming anxiety.
This article discusses the perhaps little known amino acid L-Theanine as a natural remedy for anxiety relief.
L-Theanine is a unique free form amino acid found only in the tea plant and in the mushrooms Xerocomus badius and certain species of genus Camellia, C. japonica and C. sasanqua. Often drinkers of green tea report a feeling of calmness they feel after ingesting a cup or two even though green tea has roughly half the caffeine of coffee. This is due to the high L-Theanine content.
In addition to reducing anxiety symptoms, studies have shown L-Theanine may be effective in promoting concentration, supporting the immune system, improving learning performance, lowering blood pressure, increasing formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, and increasing brain dopamine levels among other positive benefits with no known downside.
Studies in cooperation with Taiyo Kagaku Co., The University of Shizuoka, and The Family Planning Institute of Japan have shown that women taking 200 mg L-Theanine daily have lower incidence of PMS symptoms. These symptoms include physical, mental, and social symptoms. Overall, a significant alleviation of PMS symptoms by L-Theanine was observed.
While still under investigation, L-Theanine appears to have a role in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA). GABA blocks release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, playing a key role in the relaxation effect.
Everyone knows the effects stress and anxiety can have on an individual’s physical state of well-being. Fascinating neurochemistry research has revealed that given a shot of GABA essentially turned back the clocks in the brains of older monkeys, whose brain function briefly operated at levels normally seen in monkeys less than half their age.
GABA, or gamma-amino butyric acid, is a neurotransmitter chemical that is essential for optimizing how brain cells transmit messages to each other and acts to put a damper on unwanted brain signaling activity. Although GABA’s age-related decline has not been documented in humans, a host of studies in mammals, including other primates, suggests that a similar process is at work in people.
Monkeys ages 26 and 32 — considered old age for monkeys — that got GABA directly delivered to their neurons responded to visual patterns, such as flashing vertical and horizontal lines, in much the same way as monkeys aged 7 to 9 years old did.
Without GABA delivery, the monkeys’ aged brains had more difficulty firing neurons that specifically gauge various aspects of depth perception, motion and color. Instead, older monkeys have more random firings that make it difficult to observe visual nuances. In younger monkeys, GABA had no effect since their brains already had optimal GABA functioning.
L-Theanine is considered to be safe based on its historical use as a component of tea and on favorable toxicology studies. Tea is the most consumed beverage worldwide after water, and has been consumed for thousands of years by billions of people. It is estimated that a heavy tea drinker (6-8 cups daily) will consume between 200 to 400 mg of L-Theanine daily.
While dosage for depression and anxiety disorder remain individual, it is recommended to take 100 to 200 mg 1 to 3 times daily for anxiety relief. Based on the results of clinical studies, it has been established that L-Theanine is effective in single dosages in the range of 50-200 mg. It is suggested that subjects with higher levels of anxiety take a dose at the higher end of the effective range (100 – 200 mg) for overcoming anxiety.