Alzheimers Home > Benefits of L-Theanine

There appear to be numerous benefits of L-theanine, but some have absolutely no scientific basis. L-theanine is claimed to be useful for treating high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease, and anxiety. It may increase serotonin and GABA levels, lower norepinephrine levels, and protect brain nerves from damage caused by Alzheimer's. It is important to know, however, that these reported L-theanine benefits have not been confirmed.

What Benefits Can L-Theanine Provide?

L-theanine (also known as just theanine) is an amino acid found in tea. It is not essential for human nutrition. L-theanine supplements are often claimed to be beneficial for the following conditions:
 
There is also some interest in using L-theanine to boost the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy medications for treating cancer. Early research is also evaluating L-theanine for preventing liver damage due to excessive alcohol poisoning.
 
Although some of the benefits of green tea may be attributed to L-theanine, it cannot be assumed that L-theanine provides all the benefits of green tea (since green tea contains many different active compounds).
 
Some of these claimed benefits of L-theanine may be more valid than others (see Does L-Theanine Work? for more information), and some have absolutely no scientific basis. As with many supplements, claims for the benefits of L-theanine are sometimes exaggerated, and such claims must be evaluated critically. Most importantly, it is essential to remember that natural products should not be used carelessly, as many natural products can be quite toxic (for instance, many poisons are natural products).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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