mental-health

Matcha contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to reduce physiological and psychological stresses. L-theanine also improves cognition and mood in a synergistic manner with caffeine, and promotes alpha wave production in the brain
Matcha contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to reduce physiological and psychological stresses. L-theanine also improves cognition and mood in a synergistic manner with caffeine, and promotes alpha wave production in the brain

Recent Research Papers on
mental-health

L-theanine and caffeine improve task switching but not intersensory attention or subjective alertness

Author: Einöther SJ, and Martens VE, and Rycroft JA, and De Bruin EA

Tea ingredients l-theanine and caffeine have repeatedly been shown to deliver unique cognitive benefits when consumed in combination. The current randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over study compared a combination of l-theanine (97 mg) and caffeine (40 mg) to a placebo on two attention tasks and a self-report questionnaire before, and 10 and 60 min after consumption. The combination of l-theanine and caffeine significantly improved attention on a switch task as compared to the placebo, while subjective alertness and intersensory attention were not improved significantly. The results support previous evidence that l-theanine and caffeine in combination can improve attention.

 

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The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood

Author: Haskell CF, and Kennedy DO, and Milne AL, and Wesnes KA, and Scholey AB

L-Theanine is an amino acid found naturally in tea. Despite the common consumption of l-theanine, predominantly in combination with caffeine in the form of tea, only one study to date has examined the cognitive effects of this substance alone, and none have examined its effects when combined with caffeine. The present randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced crossover study investigated the acute cognitive and mood effects of l-theanine (250 mg), and caffeine (150 mg), in isolation and in combination. Salivary caffeine levels were co-monitored. l-Theanine increased ‘headache’ ratings and decreased correct serial seven subtractions. Caffeine led to faster digit vigilance reaction time, improved Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) accuracy and attenuated increases in self-reported ‘mental fatigue’. In addition to improving RVIP accuracy and ‘mental fatigue’ ratings, the combination also led to faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy. ‘Headache’ and ‘tired’ ratings were reduced and ‘alert’ ratings increased. There was also a significant positive caffeine × l-theanine interaction on delayed word recognition reaction time. These results suggest that beverages containing l-theanine and caffeine may have a different pharmacological profile to those containing caffeine alone.

 

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The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness

Author: T. Giesbrecht, and J.A. Rycroft, and M.J. Rowson and E.A. De Bruin

The non-proteinic amino acid L-theanine and caffeine, a methylxanthine derivative, are naturally occurring ingredients in tea. The present study investigated the effect of a combination of 97 mg L-theanine and 40 mg caffeine as compared to placebo treatment on cognitive performance, alertness, blood pressure, and heart rate in a sample of young adults (n = 44). Cognitive performance, self-reported mood, blood pressure, and heart rate were measured before L-theanine and caffeine administration (i.e. at baseline) and 20 min and 70 min thereafter. The combination of moderate levels of L-theanine and caffeine significantly improved accuracy during task switching and self-reported alertness (both P < 0.01) and reduced self-reported tiredness (P < 0.05). There were no significant effects on other cognitive tasks, such as visual search, choice reaction times, or mental rotation. The present results suggest that 97 mg of L-theanine in combination with 40 mg of caffeine helps to focus attention during a demanding cognitive task.

 

 

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The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood

Author: Gail N. Owen, and  Holly Parnell, and Eveline A. De Bruin and Jane A. Rycroft

The aim of this study was to compare 50 mg caffeine, with and without 100 mg L-theanine, on cognition and mood in healthy volunteers. The effects of these treatments on word recognition, rapid visual information processing, critical flicker fusion threshold, attention switching and mood were compared to placebo in 27 participants. Performance was measured at baseline and again 60 min and 90 min after each treatment (separated by a 7-day washout). Caffeine improved subjective alertness at 60 min and accuracy on the attention-switching task at 90 min. The L-theanine and caffeine combination improved both speed and accuracy of performance of the attention-switching task at 60 min, and reduced susceptibility to distracting information in the memory task at both 60 min and 90 min. These results replicate previous evidence which suggests that L-theanine and caffeine in combination are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks.

 

 

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L-theanine promotes nitric oxide production in endothelial cells through eNOS phosphorylation

Author: Siamwala JH, and Dias PM, and Majumder S, and Joshi MK, and Sinkar VP, and Banerjee G, and Chatterjee S

Consumption of tea (Camellia sinensis) improves vascular function and is linked to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Endothelial nitric oxide is the key regulator of vascular functions in endothelium. In this study, we establish that l-theanine, a non-protein amino-acid found in tea, promotes nitric oxide (NO) production in endothelial cells. l-theanine potentiated NO production in endothelial cells was evaluated using Griess reaction, NO sensitive electrode and a NO specific fluorescent probe (4-amino-5-methylamino-2',7'-difluororescein diacetate). l-Theanine induced NO production was partially attenuated in presence of l-NAME or l-NIO and completely abolished using eNOS siRNA. eNOS activation was Ca(2+) and Akt independent, as assessed by fluo-4AM and immunoblotting experiments, respectively and was associated with phosphorylation of eNOS Ser 1177. eNOS phosphorylation was inhibited in the presence of ERK1/2 inhibitor, PD-98059 and partially inhibited by PI3K inhibitor, LY-294002 and Wortmanin suggesting PI3K-ERK1/2 dependent pathway. Increased NO production was associated with vasodilation in ex ovo (chorioallantoic membrane) model. These results demonstrated that l-theanine administration in vitro activated ERK/eNOS resulting in enhanced NO production and thereby vasodilation in the artery. The results of our experiments are suggestive of l-theanine mediated vascular health benefits of tea.

 

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Stress, hippocampal plasticity, and spatial learning

Author: René Garcia

During the last two decades numerous studies have been conducted in an attempt to correlate the mechanisms of long-term potentiation (LTP) of hippocampal synaptic transmission with those required for spatial memory formation in the hippocampus. Because stressful events block the induction of hippocampal LTP, it has been suggested that deficits in spatial learning following stress may be related to suppression of LTP-like phenomena in the hippocampus. Here I review these studies and discuss them in light of the emerging view that stress may induce changes in thresholds for synaptic plasticity necessary for both LTP induction and spatial memory formation. This phenomenon, known as metaplasticity, may involve a glucocorticoid modulation of calcium homeostasis.

 

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The coming out of the brain mineralocorticoid receptor

Author: Joëls M, and Karst H, and DeRijk R, and de Kloet ER

Corticosteroids - secreted after stress - have profound effects on brain and behavior. These effects are mediated by mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors, which are abundantly expressed in limbic neurons. The role of mineralocorticoid receptors in higher brain functions has never been well understood. Here we argue that the recently discovered low-affinity membrane version of the mineralocorticoid receptor contributes to the initial phase of the stress reaction; this is complemented by the glucocorticoid receptor which terminates the stress response. This concept may explain why human carriers of a mineralocorticoid receptor gene variant display enhanced neuroendocrine and autonomic responsiveness to a psychological stressor.

 

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Protective effect of l-theanine on chronic restraint stress-induced cognitive impairments in mice

Protective effect of l-theanine on chronic restraint stress-induced cognitive impairments in mice

Author: Tian X, and Sun L, and Gou L, and Ling X, and Feng Y, and Wang L, and Yin X, and Liu Y

The present work was aimed to study the protective effect of l-theanine on chronic restraint stress (CRS)-induced cognitive impairments in mice. The stress was produced by restraining the animals in well-ventilated polypropylene tubes (3.2 cm in diameter ×10.5 cm in length) for 8 h once daily for 21 consecutive days. L-theanine (2 and 4 mg/kg) was administered 30 min before the animals subjected to acute immobilized stress. At week 4, mice were subjected to Morris water maze and step-through tests to measure the cognitive function followed by oxidative parameters and corticosterone as well as catecholamines (norepinephrine and dopamine) subsequently. Our results showed that the cognitive performances in CRS group were markedly deteriorated, accompanied by noticeable alterations in oxidative parameters and catecholamine levels in the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex as well as corticosterone and catecholamine levels in the serum. However, not only did l-theanine treatment exhibit a reversal of the cognitive impairments and oxidative damage induced by CRS, but also reversed the abnormal level of corticosterone in the serum as well as the abnormal levels of catecholamines in the brain and the serum. This study indicated the protective effect of l-theanine against CRS-induced cognitive impairments in mice.

 

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Unique Induction of CA1 LTP Components After Intake of Theanine, an Amino Acid in Tea Leaves and its Effect on Stress Response

Author: Atsushi Takeda and Haruna Tamano and Miki Suzuki and Kazuhiro Sakamoto and Naoto Oku and Hidehiko Yokogoshi

Theanine, γ-glutamylethylamide, is one of the major amino acid components in green tea. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of theanine intake on long-term potentiation (LTP) induction at hippocampal CA1 synapses and exposure to acute stress. Young rats were fed water containing 0.3% theanine after birth. Key findings: Serum corticosterone level was markedly decreased by theanine intake. Because this decrease can modify synaptic plasticity, the effect of theanine intake was examined focused on CA1 LTP induction. CA1 LTP induced by a 100-Hz tetanus for 1 s was almost the same extent in hippocampal slices from theanine-administered rats, whereas that induced by a 200-Hz tetanus for 1 s was significantly attenuated. 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV), an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, significantly attenuated CA1 LTP induced by a 200-Hz tetanus in the control rats, but not in theanine-administered rats. Interestingly, APV completely blocked CA1 LTP induced by a 100-Hz tetanus in the control rats, while scarcely blocking it in theanine-administered rats. These results indicate that theanine intake reduces NMDA receptor-dependent CA1 LTP, while increasing NMDA receptor-independent CA1 LTP. Furthermore, neither 100-Hz tetanus-induced LTP nor 200-Hz tetanus-induced LTP was attenuated in theanine-administered rats after exposure to tail suspension stress, suggesting that the lack of NMDA receptor-dependent CA1 LTP by theanine intake is involved in ameliorating the attenuation of CA1 LTP after tail suspension. This study is the first to indicate that theanine intake modifies the mechanism of CA1 LTP induction.

 

 

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L-Theanine intake increases threshold for limbic seizures but decreases threshold for generalized seizures

Author: Anneleen Schallier, and Katia Vermoesen, and Ellen Loyens, and Joeri Van Liefferinge, and Yvette Michotte, and Ilse Smolders

l-Theanine, an ethylamide derivate of glutamate found in abundance in green tea, has been shown to exert beneficial actions in animal models for several neurological disorders. We here investigated for the first time the effect of l-theanine intake on seizure susceptibility using acute pilocarpine and pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) mouse models for studying, respectively, limbic seizures or primarily generalized seizures. Moreover, we studied the effect of l-theanine intake on extracellular hippocampal and cortical glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels, using in vivomicrodialysis. Feeding mice with a 4% l-theanine solution significantly decreased their susceptibility to pilocarpine-induced seizures whereas susceptibility to PTZ-induced seizures was increased. The latter effect was linked to decreased extracellular GABA concentrations in frontal cortex.

 

 

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