L-Theanine (gamma-glutamylethylamide) is an analog of glutamate and glutamine that is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. It is a form of L-Glutamic acid which is able to help increase and modulate alpha brain waves. These brain waves help to produce a feeling of calm, relaxed alertness. In addition to occurring naturally in Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), L-Theanine is present in certain types of mushrooms. The chemical structure of this substance is similar to that of L-Tryptophan. This is a precursor to the neurotransmitter Serotonin (which helps to influence sleep cycles and feelings of relaxation). If you drink Green tea you have L-Theanine to thank for some of the characteristic flavor you enjoy on a regular basis. A 2004 study conducted by Harvard medical school indicates that this supplement also acts as an immune booster and helps increase the body’s resistance to colds and flu. Theanine has a number of different benefits for mood, cognitive function and general health. The main effects are a general feeling of relaxation and peacefulness. An overall sentiment of well-being and optimism is often the result. This supplement may even protect the brain and support better maintenance of brain cells. Although the specific mechanisms of action for L-Theanine are not fully understood, this substance does have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. It is very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and is very fast-acting. It begins by targeting a number of different neurotransmitters. These include Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA, and Norepinephrine. These are all powerful brain chemicals which have a number of effects upon cognitive processes, sleep and relaxation cycles, and even pleasure and the brain’s reward system.
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