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Nadia

L-Theanine for anxiety, insomnia

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Nadia

See this report in Life Extension Magazine.

 

"Stress hormones known as glucocorticoids are activated by both stress and depression. In turn, they cause imbalances in brain chemistry that interfere with mood and memory.23-26 The effect is biochemical. Glucocorticoids disrupt serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and other brain chemicals.27,28 These “neurotransmitters” are the target of prescription antidepressants such as Prozac® and Wellbutrin®. And it has been shown that glucocorticoids can interfere with the ability of Prozac® and other drugs to work.29 Worse still, glucocorticoids can cause the brain to shrink.30,31 Counteracting glucocorticoids is extremely important.

 

Drugs that block glucocorticoids have been proposed as a treatment for depression, and strangely enough, people have been treated successfully with ketoconazole (Nizoral®), an antifungal drug with the side effect of suppressing glucocorticoids.32,33 Theanine also suppresses glucocorticoids, and it is one of the few dietary supplements that crosses the blood-brain barrier.

 

Theanine’s connection to the suppression of glucocorticoids is through glutamate. Researchers have discovered that this natural component of brain chemistry, which is not traditionally associated with depression, in fact plays a major role.34 In people who are depressed, glutamate levels are out of balance.35 Preliminary studies show that blocking certain signals in the brain activated by glutamate may be as effective as prescription antidepressants.36,37 L-theanine may act as a glutamate antagonist.38 Researchers believe that glutamate receptor antagonists may offset the harmful effects of high glucocorticoid levels and offer neuroprotective effects against both acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases.39"

 

I wonder if anyone here has tried it?

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Barbarannamated

I have talked to a nutritionist and author from Palm Desert about this and have tried it, although not regularly enough to give good feedback. Since talking to that nutritionist, I've noticed theanine mentioned quite a bit.

As I recall (this was before realizing I was experiencing protracted withdrawal), he said it was a precursor to dopamine AND should be calming and to take before sleep. That didn't fit into my thinking at the time as I associated DA with activation/alerting. Ill have to go over this with him.

Steven Stahl, MD @ UCSD discusses the 'glutamate connection' to depression in his psychopharm texts. Sounds like that is the next target of antidepressants.

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Phil

This is whats in green tea isnt it?

 

Ive tried green tea and didnt like the effect it had on me. Hard to describe.

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Nadia

Yeah, it's what's in green tea... except I'm not touching green tea because of the caffeine!

 

I read about the glutamate connection for the next generation of antidepressants as well. Alas, they won't stop their quest. A whole new generation of guinea pigs.

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Phil

I'm not sure they'll get as far as another generation of guinea pigs, considering what a disaster the current situation is.

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alexjuice

Of course, many have postulated that glutamate greatly influences w/d. The framework of this theory makes sense to me, though I am not a neuro-scientist and, I've discovered, can't become one in a few weeks through a few books.

 

As to this, I not too familiar with it, L-Theanine.

 

How would you try L-Theanine? Is there a food source or a food supersource?

 

Alex.i

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Phil

 

 

How would you try L-Theanine? Is there a food source or a food supersource?

 

Alex.i

 

Green tea is the only one I can think of.

 

From wikipedia:

 

"Theanine is a glutamic acid analog or amino acid derivative commonly found in tea (infusions of Camellia sinensis), primarily in green tea,[1] and also in the basidiomycete mushroom Boletus badius and in guayusa.[2]"

 

There's also this about glutamate:

 

"Researchers also speculate it may inhibit glutamic acid excitotoxicity.[11] Theanine also promotes alpha wave production in the brain.[6]

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alexjuice

I've looked at the grocery store for decaf green tea (bottles not tea bags) and have not yet found it. Does it exist?

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Altostrata

You can get it as a supplement, which is probably a better way than in green tea, which contains caffeine.

 

And in a supplement, you can control the amount you take. As with everything, start with a fractional dose to see how it affects you.

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Phil

Have you tried it yourself, Alto? Just curious, would be nice to know if it's helped anyone.

 

Alex - you can get decaf green tea, but I agree with Alto probably best to try the supplement in a small dose.

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Altostrata

I tried it but can't remember what it did. I didn't stick with it so I guess it didn't help.

 

I've always found that decaf green tea made me feel weird, and I used to enjoy green tea before I had to swear off caffeine.

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Phil

Decaf green tea makes me feel weird too, even just half a small cup.

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Altostrata

Plus, it tastes like dirt.

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Phil

Haha, good point!

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ajay

I tried a supplement with theanine in it, but it had a bunch of other stuff in it as well (B vitamins, tryptophan, etc) so I don't know how much I can interpret my reactions to the theanine.

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Nadia

There are lots of things I can't get here in Mexico, but when I'm in Canada next month for that job, I plan to order some and I'll let you guys know if it helps. Not that it will be a controlled study by any means... I'm trying so many different things it's really hard to tell what works and what doesn't, unless it has an immediate effect, like the wonderful acupunture session I just got.

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Barbarannamated

Just came across a line of beverages using theanine and other amino acids/supps --NEUROBRANDS from Santa Monica (not a surprise). NeuroBliss, NeuroGasm, etc. Amazing what's out there. I believe there is another line using theanine, also from SoCal (Venice, perhaps).

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Nadia

Hmm... I'll be trying a conservative dose of the pure substance (I hear it really matters what brand you get, too)... I need to be able to isolate it's effect from the other stuff!

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Phil

I tried some Theanine yesterday, I had about 40mg. After about half an hour I started to feel calmer and a bit more relaxed.

My focus and cognition improved. My friend commented that I appeared more relaxed in my body language than usual.

 

The only downside was that it seemed to affect my breathing slightly, like I had to take deeper breaths than usual or something.

 

Overall, I would try it again sparingly for situations I usually find difficult and anxiety-provoking such as going to the supermarket.

 

Has anyone else tried it?

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alexjuice

That looks like a really interesting site. A resource I'd not before seen. Thanks for sharing.

 

The theanine experiment is going well. It does seem to enhance benzo effect -- which is not good for my reflux, possibly due to relaxation of the LES or some other reason. However, I think I foresee promising possibilities in alleviating some misery in my eventual benzo taper.

 

I have a great resource at home to test my sensitivities. My mother whose is 62 and in terrific health. If something seems to really affect me, for instance mag glycinate, I've had her try it. I attributed the mag glycinate's potency to my hypersensitiity. However, my however also found it extremely sedating at a reduced dose.

 

In the case of l-theanine. She took 100mg (most theanine supps come in 250mg/capsule). She experienced at good boost of energy and concentration. In fact, we have family coming to town (my sister and her husband) and mom was stressing about her messy house, which actually isn't very messy but that's beside the point.

 

After the theanine, she got going and really felt motivated to go through her piles of mail and clean the toaster and stuff like that. Her ""hypomania"" was contagious so I joined her and got four loads of laundry done myself. After this she relaxed with Murder She Wrote, as she is wont to do.

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Barbarannamated

Just noticed Phil's mention of supermarket anxiety -- that is the worst DP/DR places for me •

The disorientation is intense --i wondered if it may have something to do with fluorescent lighting which generally makes my mood plummet even in small doses ~

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Barbarannamated

Alex ~

LOL

Always good to have a control handy :-)

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Nadia

Hmmm... I have a friend coming into town who is willing to bring me supplements I can't get locally. I think I might order some of this (as I didn't before). That and lactium and niacinamide. Worth a try.

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laineyk

I want to know if anyone has used it and if it helped at all with anxiety...I was told that I can take it while on zoloft & klonopin...just was hoping to hear from others who have used it

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alexjuice

I've taken it. It had an odd affect. Caused calmness when anxious but gave mild energy when lethargic. If I recall I think the effect tapered off and I didn't want to raise the dose. I just bought some recently but have been taking glycine for sleep instead.

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laineyk

so I have tried it several times and for the most part it did calm me....but it was while I was off the zoloft....now that I am in RI I want to make sure its still safe to take. I take 2 pills equals 200mgs...you can take it up to three times a day

 

but with still being on klonopin I worry, although the nature store where I purchased it says its completely safe

 

 

was really wanting to hear from others who actually are taking it now

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tezza

You have to watch those store clerks in the herb stores, they will usually say everything in the store is safe and harmless. I can't agree with that. Something that is safe for one may not be safe for all.

 

A popular doctor show had some kind of specialist on and he was recommending SAM-e along with other supplements.

 

I've learned the hard way to check things out. Still learning :blink:

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Ellen

I had been taking L-theanine(Suntheanine) for a couple of years for heart palpitation due to too much caffeine in coffee or chocolate.  This past summer I experienced anxiety attacks due to some stressful events.  I went to the doctor for a prescription for Ativan but held off taking it because I feel herbal remedies are safer.

 

I continued to research and discovered higher dosages of L-theanine(extract of green tea) are for anxiety.  I now take 200mg with breakfast, 200 with lunch, and 400mg for sleeping. I have read the L-theanine is what cancels out the caffeine in products so it actually calms you.  I believe it is different from taking concentrated green tea, not sure.  As far as I researched, the FDA, although they do not officially approve herbal remedies, has stated up to 1280mg of L-theanine a day will not hurt you, if I remember correctly.  It supposedly has no interactions or side effects.  

 

If it had not been for this product I would be on anti anxiety medicine by now.  I have read to get a pure brand, you need to search it as Suntheanine and make sure that is printed somewhere on the bottle.  I am not sure about the validity of that either.

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Altostrata

Hello, Ellen. Thanks for the tips about theanine.

 

You might seriously consider reducing caffeine as well, if it's causing a worsening of heart palpitations and anxiety.

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Janie

I tried L-Theanine (Vitamin Shoppe brand) one time and said never again.  It made me feel very weird - in the brain .  Sort of like a hang over/ headache/ foggy thinking - very unpleasant.  Holistic doctor had recommended it.  It took a few hours to wear off. It was not for me. 100 mg capsule. Maybe that was too much?

 

I think someone told me benedryl is a glucocorticoid. Is that true? 

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Jemima

I had been taking L-theanine(Suntheanine) for a couple of years for heart palpitation due to too much caffeine in coffee or chocolate.  This past summer I experienced anxiety attacks due to some stressful events.  I went to the doctor for a prescription for Ativan but held off taking it because I feel herbal remedies are safer.

 

I continued to research and discovered higher dosages of L-theanine(extract of green tea) are for anxiety.  I now take 200mg with breakfast, 200 with lunch, and 400mg for sleeping. I have read the L-theanine is what cancels out the caffeine in products so it actually calms you.  I believe it is different from taking concentrated green tea, not sure.  As far as I researched, the FDA, although they do not officially approve herbal remedies, has stated up to 1280mg of L-theanine a day will not hurt you, if I remember correctly.  It supposedly has no interactions or side effects.  

 

If it had not been for this product I would be on anti anxiety medicine by now.  I have read to get a pure brand, you need to search it as Suntheanine and make sure that is printed somewhere on the bottle.  I am not sure about the validity of that either.

 

Welcome to the forum, Ellen.  I see that this is your first post.  I hope you'll soon find the time to post about yourself in the 'Introductions and updates' discussion.

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Nadia

I still have not tried l-theanine, but met a woman who swears it helps her with insomnia.

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Jemima

Since I'm still struggling with anhedonia, I decided to try Suntheanine, the only patented version of L-theanine, which supposedly means that it's a standardized dose. A cup or two of decaffeinated green tea seemed to perk me up, so I thought it was worth a try.

 

Well, forget it. I took it for two days, feeling okay at first, but then experiencing neuro-emotions such as strong anxiety and mild depression which have decreased over four days but haven't completely abated.  RATS.

 

I'm embarrassed, having given some members the business about trying unproven supplements, but I wanted to post my experience.  I recommend staying away from this stuff. I'm twenty-two months out from my last dose of Lexapro, and this supplement stimulate all the wrong things.

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tryingtosurvive

Hi. I went in to a nutrition center and they said L-theanine with lemon balm for anxiety relief and mental focus... what do you say about that ?

Anyone tried this? she said the effect should come after 20 minutes...

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Meimeiquest

It seems people have had mixed reactions, it did help my anxiety but made me sort of manic-y and agitated in the end.

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