Does L-Theanine Work?
As with many dietary supplements, many people may question, "Does L-theanine work?" Some studies show that the amino acid can help people feel more tranquil, while others suggest that it could increase the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy medications. However, much more research is needed before the effectiveness of L-theanine can be determined.
L-theanine (also known as just theanine) is an amino acid used in dietary supplements. It is a natural component of tea. As with most supplements, people use L-theanine for a number of different uses. L-theanine supplements are sometimes claimed to be helpful for the following purposes:
- Alzheimer's disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Cancer treatment (to boost the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy medications)
- Alcohol poisoning prevention.
L-theanine studies are generally lacking. Research is in early stages, and much more research is necessary before L-theanine can be confirmed to be safe and effective for any use.
One study demonstrated that L-theanine could help healthy people (with no anxiety problems) to feel more tranquil. This should be interpreted to mean that it also will be effective for treating anxiety disorders. Early evidence suggests that L-theanine could increase the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy medications and may actually decrease some of the side effects of such medications. Animal studies suggest that L-theanine may be effective for lowering blood pressure and for protecting against liver damage from alcohol poisoning, but human studies are needed to confirm such findings.
Very preliminary research suggests that L-theanine may work for several conditions. However, much more research is needed to confirm that L-theanine is indeed effective (and safe) for any use. It is important to remember that L-theanine is classified as a dietary supplement (not a drug) and is, therefore, less strictly regulated than drugs.