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L-theanine Supplement Improves Concentration Among Highly Anxious People

April 19, 2011: 04:13 AM EST
Researchers in Japan who studied the effects of the amino acid L-theanine on students with either low or high anxiety ratings found that a daily supplement of the compound may improve concentration among anxious people. Found in tea, L-theanine is “directly or indirectly involved at the neurochemical level and thus it is impacted by a number of neurotransmitter systems,” the researchers wrote. Eighteen healthy participants were divided into two groups, depending on their anxiety levels. Groups received either water alone or water with L-theanine, and were then tested. Highly anxious students who consumed the L-theanine had a slower heart rate, improved attention and better reaction times, compared to the placebo group. One student with low anxiety showed no benefit from the supplement.
A. Higashiyama, et al. , "Effects of L-theanine on attention and reaction time response", Journal of Functional Foods, April 19, 2011, © Elsevier Ltd
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