Monday, June 30, 2008

Black Tea And Theanine

I have been reading about Theanine an amino acid found in tea. It can be used to lower anxiety at a certain dose. Since I have anxiety problems I figured I would give this a try. This morning I went to Hannaford supermarket and bought 72 Decaffeinated Black Tea bags. Theanine is found in both green and black tea. I had a reaction to ginseng in green tea before so by default even though it was the ginseng I am scared of green tea. If you feel like trying this feel free to use green tea.

Theanine is also sold in pill form but I rather get it from a natural source such as tea. In order to get enough theanine from the tea everyday drink five to six cups of black tea in double dose. Here is how it works:

16 oz. of hot water and 2 tea bags. Let steep and drink. 8 hours or so later 2 tea bags in 16 oz of hot water, steep and drink. Before bed 1 tea bag in 8 oz. of hot water. (if you are doing 5 tea bags a day if 6 tea bags then before bed 2 tea bags in 16 oz. of water.)

The reason for decaffeinated tea is because you will be drinking a lot more tea than you normally would and also before bed so you don't want to feel more nervous or not be able to fall asleep.

Here is some information on theanine:

"Theanine is an amino acid commonly found in tea (infusions of Camellia sinensis). Theanine is related to glutamine, and can cross the blood-brain barrier.[1] Because it can enter the brain, theanine has psychoactive properties.[2] Theanine has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress"

"Theanine is speculated to produce these effects by increasing the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) production. Theanine increases brain serotonin, dopamine, GABA levels and has micromolar affinities for AMPA, Kainate and NMDA receptors.[6] It has also been found that injecting spontaneously hypertensive mice with theanine significantly lowered levels of 5-hydroxyindoles in the brain.[7] Researchers also speculate that it may inhibit glutamic acid excitotoxicity.[6] Theanine also promotes alpha wave production in the brain.[2]"

"Studies on test rats have shown that even repeated, extremely high doses of theanine cause little to no harmful psychological or physical effects.[8] Theanine showed neuroprotective effects in one rat study.[9]"

"L-theanine may help the body's immune response to infection by boosting the disease-fighting capacity of gamma delta T cells. The study, published in 2003 by the Brigham and Women's Hospital, included a four-week trial with 11 coffee drinkers and 10 tea drinkers, who consumed 600 milliliters of coffee or black tea daily. Blood sample analysis found that the production of anti-bacterial proteins was up to five times higher in the tea-drinkers, an indicator of a stronger immune response.[10]"

If you are on any medications ask your doctor or pharmacist if drinking this much tea can interfere with your medications.

This is how I am starting. Today I had 2 black tea bags in 16 oz of water. Tomorrow I will have 4 total and then the 3rd day drink 5 tea bags. This way I will allow my body to get use to drinking that much tea. I don't expect a cure but am hoping for at least 5% reduction in anxiety. :-)

1 comment:

Pete said...

There is no need to be concerned about drinking "pure" green tea. I have been drinking black tea for years and have experimented with green tea from time to time. Green tea is much more effective as a "tranquilizer" than black tea, although both contain theanine. For that reason, I have not been able to drink it on an ongoing basis. I have found that too much tranquilization can cause depression, so that should be kept in mind when drinking either tea-- especially in large quantities or for a long period of time. By the way, white tea may be even more effective than green tea as a tranquilizer.