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    L-Theanine: Is Suntheanine the best? 
    #1
    Question
    I've been using L-Theanine for a while now with great benefits. When I'm shopping for it, I would always see the "Suntheanine" brand and it's much more expensive than the other L-Theanine products. This made me wonder if it's more expensive just because of the name brand or if there is an actual difference in the makeup of the L-Theanine. Well, I guess it's both.

    According to some consumer reviews, regular L-Theanine can lead to side effects such as headaches. While Suntheanine does not. Also I looked this up on the net and came across this article:

    Study Reveals Difference Between Suntheanine® and Other Brands

    Dr. Daniel Armstrong, a Caldwell Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University, and his analysis team reviewed a number of commercially available brands that claimed to contain pure L-theanine. Results revealed that a number of brands contained ingredients other than L-theanine.

    "We found all of those tested that are made through chemical synthesis or claiming to be extracted from green tea actually have about 50 per cent present as D-theanine," explains Dr. Armstrong, adding that "the only material that proved to be pure L-theanine was the Suntheanine® brand, produced via biofermentation, which had more than 99.95 per cent L-theanine, our current detection limit".

    Suntheanine® is the patented form of L-theanine and the trademark of Taiyo International, the company that originally isolated the amino acid into an effective supplement for consumers.
    Then there is this article:
    L-theanine Must be Pure for Proper Absorption, Study Finds
    A new study finds that L-theanine must be administered in its pure form rather than as the mixture of D-theanine and L-theanine found in many nutritional supplements in order to be absorbed by the body.

    Researchers from Iowa State University orally administered to rats pure L-theanine, pure D-theanine, and an ingredient commercially marketed as ?L-theanine? that actually was a racemic mixture (a 50:50 split between D- and L-theanine). They then measured blood concentrations, urinary excretion, and a marker of theanine metabolism in the blood.

    The results show that the animals? bodies had a preference for pure L-theanine and that the pure form is better absorbed in the gut. The concentration of L-theanine seen in the blood was greater with the pure L-theanine than it was with the racemic mixture. There was also a trend toward greater urinary excretion of L-theanine when consumed as the racemic form.

    The majority of clinical and animal studies determining the bioavailability of L-theanine have used Suntheanine, a form of pure L-theanine.

    Simple HPLC analysis cannot discriminate between D- and L-theanine yet a number of companies are relying upon this method to assert that they have the pure L-isomer, declared Scott Smith, Vice President of Taiyo Kagaku, the manufacturer of Suntheanine in Minneapolis. The patented enzymatic synthesis method locks in the L-isomer and thus gives us pure L-theanine every batch. Suntheanine is an elegant example of where chemistry dictates biology.?
    Reference:
    Desai MJ, Gill MS, Hsu WH, Armstrong DW. Pharmacokinetics of theanine enantiomers in rats. Chirality. 2005 Mar;17(3):154-62
    Well, according to these articles Suntheanine is better. But I would like to see more studies on this. I'd also like to know which products contain 100% L-Theanine and which ones are a racemic mixture.

    Does anyone here have any info on this? Or any studies?

    This would be a great help. Thanks!
     

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    #2
    Ex-Bluelighter Gaian Planes's Avatar
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    what effects do you get? I don't get any effects whatsoever that I can discern. I'm pretty calm though and don'thave problems with anxiety or anything.

    I'm just puzzled that anybody would buy this stuff since it has such little (no) effect on me. Although everybody is different.

    I bought it in bulk from a trusted source (so I measure out my own doses).
     

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    #3
    Bluelight Crew negrogesic's Avatar
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    Yea, I never noticed much of anything...
     

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    #4
    Bluelighter grue's Avatar
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    I noticed effects from suntheanine. Unfortunately tolerance was quite rapid.

    So, is it purely L-theanine in green tea...?
     

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    #5
    ^^
    Yes, Green Tea contains "pure" L-Theanine. On average about 20 mg per cup.
     

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaian Planes
    what effects do you get? I don't get any effects whatsoever that I can discern. I'm pretty calm though and don'thave problems with anxiety or anything.

    I'm just puzzled that anybody would buy this stuff since it has such little (no) effect on me. Although everybody is different.

    I bought it in bulk from a trusted source (so I measure out my own doses).
    Some people don't feel a thing, but for some people it helps em' out tremendously. Personally, it relieves my anxiety greatly. I also notice an increase in concentration and focus. I always keep some chewable tabs on me just in case I need em'. Also, I always make sure to take it in the morning when I wake up. Kinda just gets me off to the right start for the day. A lot of people try to take a whole bottle to see if they can get a benzo feel. It's NOTHING like benzos IMO. I've never taken excess amounts though because I certainly don't find it recreational. I don't look for a "benzo" feel, because IMO it's very different. When used as needed though, it makes a very useful addition to my daily supplements.

    This website contains tons of user reviews from people who use it for Chronic Fatigue, Anxiety, Depression, you name it.

    EDIT: Here's a link to a post on Edot that people may find useful.
    Last edited by mitragyna; 30-08-2008 at 07:22.
     

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    #7
    I would have thought this was hogwash marketing, but those studies are real. I'm surprised that the FDA hasn't cracked down on them for improper labelling. You can't claim something is L- but is actually racemic!
     

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    #8
    That's exactly my thought! I don't think the FDA regulates "dietary supplements" in the US. But regardless, you can't legally sell something on the market claiming it's something when it's not. I'll look a little further into this, see if I can figure anything out.

    I just wish I knew which brands other than Suntheanine actual contain 100% of the L isomer. Well, I guess there really isn't a way other emailing the companies, but they prob wouldn't admit it if it wasn't 100% L-Theanine.
     

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    #9
    It sure does something for me, especially when combined with piracetam, it's a very stoney relaxed kind of sensation but for some reason I can't sleep after taking a dose of it (or I'll sleep, but only for an hour or two then wake up). I mixed about 200mg with a mild dose of DXM the other day and it made the DXM feel more subjectively psychedelic and potentiated it (and also made me a bit more anxious, strangely).
     

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    #10
    Ex-Bluelighter Gaian Planes's Avatar
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    k gonna try some more now. You take 200mg nuke? I've tried that and got nothing. I'll try 400mg or so. Maybe its just different enzymes we have or something?

    na na na I got more enzymes than you! (or less maybe )
     

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    #11
    Yeah, 50-75mg is nootropic for me, 100-200mg is active but very stoning. This was when I took it for concentration at class, where I'd also usually consume it with lecithin, piracetam (~1g), cocoa (25g) and green tea. But, yeah, it was active, if I dosed above 100mg and went to class I had difficulty paying attention because of the sedation.

    I am a poor 2D6 metabolizer but I don't know if that has much to do with anything.
     

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    #12
    I always figured it would be a good potentiator - DA/5HT/GA/NMDA so essentially you could mix it with ANY kind of drug for great enhancement
     

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaian Planes
    k gonna try some more now. You take 200mg nuke? I've tried that and got nothing. I'll try 400mg or so. Maybe its just different enzymes we have or something?

    na na na I got more enzymes than you! (or less maybe )
    400 mg is my typical morning dose. Then throughout the day I'll take 100-150 mg as needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by (zonk)
    I always figured it would be a good potentiator - DA/5HT/GA/NMDA so essentially you could mix it with ANY kind of drug for great enhancement
    Exactly. It's odd, it seems the only time I can nod on Suboxone is when it's taken with L-Theanine. Also, when dosed with Amphetamines it can really take the edge off and make it a much more comfortable experience.
     

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    #14
    Ex-Bluelighter Gaian Planes's Avatar
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    i feel...zero.

    nothing comparable to phenibut or piracetam (which quite obviously affects me).
     

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    #15
    Bluelighter grue's Avatar
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    Exactly. It's odd, it seems the only time I can nod on Suboxone is when it's taken with L-Theanine. Also, when dosed with Amphetamines it can really take the edge off and make it a much more comfortable experience.
    I'll have to try it again. Perhaps this time the memantine I take daily could help offset my rapid tolerance to the stuff.

    I'm curious, do you notice much of a tolerance problem?
     

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    #16
    ^^
    I'm assuming you're referring to L-Theanine and not Amphetamines. Yes I do notice a tolerance, but it's really quite minimal. For example, I used to (about a year ago) take 200 mg every morning. Now I take 300 for adequate benefits. So you can see that tolerance has developed much at all. Although I think reading a few other people's reports and they said they developed tolerance quite rapidly.

    Truly, the effects of L-Theanine differ widely from person to person.
     

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    #17
    what if one were to take an excessive dose such as around 1g?
    Does it potentiate amphetamines? I figured since it was both a mild DARI and an NMDA antagonist it would to some degree. I figure since it works on both DA+5HT that MDMA would be greatly enhanced
     

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    #18
    ^ ^
    What if one were to take an excessive dose such as around 1g?
    To be honest I don't thing I've ever taken 1g in a single sitting. That's a good question though, I may have to try that soon, once my new shipment of bulk powder arrives
    Does it potentiate amphetamines?
    I certainly believe so, but it's different than any other amphetamine-potentiator I've used. I definitely increases the euphoria. It kinda takes the edge and any excess tension side-effects away but leaves the euphoria (and adds to it). Which is why Theanine is especially handy when taking large doses of amps, really smooths things out. Theanine + Amps make a great study combo. Theanine + Amps + Buprenorphine is one of my favorite recreational combos. Add some coca leaf in there to chew on and I'm in euphoric heaven.

    Being an NMDA Antagonist like you said, it may be effective for keeping tolerances down. And about the MDMA, I can't comment on that since I've never taken them together. It would seem that it would be a good combo though.

    I wonder what L-Theanine's affinities are for the receptors it acts upon...anyone know?
     

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    #19
    Bluelighter grue's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you're referring to L-Theanine and not Amphetamines. Yes I do notice a tolerance, but it's really quite minimal. For example, I used to (about a year ago) take 200 mg every morning. Now I take 300 for adequate benefits. So you can see that tolerance has developed much at all. Although I think reading a few other people's reports and they said they developed tolerance quite rapidly.

    Truly, the effects of L-Theanine differ widely from person to person.
    Aye, thanks a lot for the info.

    I certainly believe so, but it's different than any other amphetamine-potentiator I've used. I definitely increases the euphoria. It kinda takes the edge and any excess tension side-effects away but leaves the euphoria (and adds to it). Which is why Theanine is especially handy when taking large doses of amps, really smooths things out. Theanine + Amps make a great study combo.
    Interesting. In other threads recently I've been talking about guanfacine as an adjunct to my d-amp to reduce both physical/peripheral and certain cognitive side effects (some loss of flexibility, a tendency towards perseveration) which I relate to edgy excess adrenergic stimulation.

    If memantine (the other thing I take) can help with my previous rapid-tolerance problem, as it has, tremendously, with my amphetamine, then I bet theanine could work as well as guanfacine. Perhaps with even less chance of weakening the positive amphetamine effects.

    Theanine + Amps + Buprenorphine is one of my favorite recreational combos.
    Bupe is another thing I wanted to add and experiment with.
     

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    #20
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    warning guys

    i experiment with nootopics/supplements with stimulants.

    A)Theanine BLUNTS out psychedelics.


    i take 1g of theanine when i cant sleep when i taken lsd or mdma...


    only way to "potentiate" stimulants is selective enzyme inhbitors (Quercetin)
    or, piracetam.

    also if anyone was wondering Selegiline (deprenyl) blunts out a lot of the "positive" effects of d-amphetamine/meth, but potentiates mdma
     

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    #21
    Potentiating psychedelics is surely accomplishable via many other techniques. How about using the inactive PEAs or Trypts?

    I'm sure some of these are really only activating part of what's required for a 5HT2a psychedelic.
     

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    #22
    Bluelighter grue's Avatar
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    A)Theanine BLUNTS out psychedelics.


    i take 1g of theanine when i cant sleep when i taken lsd or mdma...
    Well, 1g is a pretty high dose. I know of a couple people who, pre-tolerance, feel drunk from 400mg theanine, so it's not surprising that psychedelic effects might be blunted from a higher dose. It is sedating after all.

    One probably irrelevant thought about your experience is I always considered Periactin (cyproheptadine) to have a somewhat similar profile to L-theanine in terms of overall functional effect, enough for me to suggest it to someone as a replacement for theanine. Periactin, like theanine, is dopaminergic (via serotonin receptor antagonism) and sedating. If someone finds theanine to be a good sleep aid, they might have good results with Periactin as well, Periactin being found to increase sleep quality. It also apparently inhibits CA++ outflow, which is kind of like NMDA antagonism (come to think of it I'm not sure how theanine goes about doing that). They have similar half-lives. Periactin definitely blocks psychedelic effects from 5HT2a agonists (this is borne out in research), as it antagonizes 5HT2A. Although I am in the camp that says that 5HT2A agonist psychedelics are functionally antiserotonergic also.

    only way to "potentiate" stimulants is selective enzyme inhbitors (Quercetin)or, piracetam.
    There are plenty of other ways to "potentiate" stimulants IMO. Basifying the urine ... mu opioid agonists potentiate stimulant-induced behavior in studies ... memantine potentiates things for me in a way ... novel situations ... etc.

    also if anyone was wondering Selegiline (deprenyl) blunts out a lot of the "positive" effects of d-amphetamine/meth
    I take selegiline and I find it very significantly potentiates my d-amp, providing motivation and focus. However, I take very low doses -- around .325 mg orally or .150mg sublingually -- with or without dextroamphetamine, higher doses make me extremely jittery and emotionless with overfocusing perseveration. I know of at least two other people who need to take similarly low doses. I suspect the mechanism making higher doses uncomfortable for us is not the highly trace amphetamine metabolites, but a somewhat mysterious positive interaction of selegiline with adrenoreceptors:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum
     

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    #23
    Advanc3d- I'd agree with grue also. There are many other ways of potentiating stimulants other than what you listed. And I have to completely disagree with "Selegiline (deprenyl) blunts out a lot of the "positive" effects of d-amphetamine/meth". I take Selegiline like grue, and it's probably the most effective 'poteniator' I've come across.

    Surprisingly, I'm on 12 mg daily of transdermal Selegiline. And I know that it can be very unsafe but I've started very low with my amphetamine dosing and now I've worked my way up to about 30-40 mg amphetamine daily (mostly due to tolerance).
     

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    #24
    Some interesting reads:
    The acute effects of L-theanine in comparison with alprazolam on anticipatory anxiety in humans.
    [My paper] Kristy Lu, Marcus A Gray, Chris Oliver, David T Liley, Ben J Harrison, Cali F Bartholomeusz, K Luan Phan, Pradeep J Nathan
    Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory, Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne, University of Technology, Victoria, Australia.
    L-Theanine (delta-glutamylethylamide) is one of the predominant amino acids ordinarily found in green tea, and historically has been used as a relaxing agent. The current study examined the acute effects of L-theanine in comparison with a standard benzodiazepine anxiolytic, alprazolam and placebo on behavioural measures of anxiety in healthy human subjects using the model of anticipatory anxiety (AA). Sixteen healthy volunteers received alprazolam (1 mg), L-theanine (200 mg) or placebo in a double-blind placebo-controlled repeated measures design. The acute effects of alprazolam and L-theanine were assessed under a relaxed and experimentally induced anxiety condition. Subjective self-reports of anxiety including BAI, VAMS, STAI state anxiety, were obtained during both task conditions at pre- and post-drug administrations. The results showed some evidence for relaxing effects of L-theanine during the baseline condition on the tranquil-troubled subscale of the VAMS. Alprazolam did not exert any anxiolytic effects in comparison with the placebo on any of the measures during the relaxed state. Neither L-theanine nor alprazalam had any significant anxiolytic effects during the experimentally induced anxiety state. The findings suggest that while L-theanine may have some relaxing effects under resting conditions, neither L-theanine not alprazolam demonstrate any acute anxiolytic effects under conditions of increased anxiety in the AA model.
    The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-L-Glutamine):A Possible Neuroprotective and Cognitive Enhancing Agent.
    [My paper] Pradeep J Nathan, Kristy Lu, M Gray, C Oliver
    , PO Box 13F, VI, 3800, Australia, Pradeep.Nathan@med.monash.edu.au.
    L-theanine (<i>N</i>-ethyl-L-glutamine) or theanine is a major amino acid uniquely found in green tea. L-theanine has been historically reported as a relaxing agent, prompting scientific research on its pharmacology. Animal neurochemistry studies suggest that L-theanine increases brain serotonin, dopamine, GABA levels and has micromolar affinities for AMPA, Kainate and NMDA receptors. In addition has been shown to exert neuroprotective effects in animal models possibly through its antagonistic effects on group 1 metabotrophic glutamate receptors. Behavioural studies in animals suggest improvement in learning and memory. Overall, L-theanine displays a neuropharmacology suggestive of a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent and warrants further investigation in animals and humans. doi:10.1300/ J157v06n02_02.
    Theanine, an ingredient of green tea, inhibits [(3)H]glutamine transport in neurons and astroglia in rat brain.
    [My paper] Takami Kakuda, Eiichi Hinoi, Akihiro Abe, Ayumu Nozawa, Masato Ogura, Yukio Yoneda
    Central Research Institute, Itoen Ltd., Makinohara City, Shizuoka, Japan.
    We have previously shown that theanine (=gamma-glutamylethylamide), an ingredient of green tea, has a protective effect against ischemic neuronal death in the hippocampal CA1 region of the gerbil brain without affecting ligand binding to ionotropic receptor subtypes of the neurotransmitter glutamate structurally related to theanine. The neurotransmitter pool of glutamate is thought to be fueled by the entry of the other structural analog glutamine (Gln) and subsequent cleavage by glutaminase. Although theanine did not inhibit [(3)H]glutamate accumulation, [(3)H]theanine was actively accumulated in a temperature-dependent and saturable manner in rat brain synaptosomal fractions. The accumulation of [(3)H]theanine was markedly inhibited by Gln in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas [(3)H]Gln accumulation was inhibited by theanine vice versa. Both [(3)H]theanine and [(3)H]Gln accumulations were decreased after the replacement of sodium chloride with choline chloride, along with similarly high distribution profiles in telencephalic structures. A similar equilibrium was observed within 30 min at 30 degrees C for the accumulations of both [(3)H]theanine and [(3)H]Gln in cultured rat neocortical astroglia as well as neurons, whereas theanine inhibited [(3)H]Gln accumulation in a concentration-dependent manner at 0.1-10 mM. Furthermore, sustained exposure to 10 mM theanine led to a significant decrease in the level of extracellular glutamate released from cultured neurons. These results suggest that the green tea ingredient theanine would be an inhibitor of different transporters capable of transporting Gln across plasma membranes toward the modulation of the glutamate/Gln cycle required for the neurotransmitter pool of glutamate in neurons. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Involvement of GABA(A) Receptors in the Neuroprotective Effect of Theanine on Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Mice.
    [My paper] Nobuaki Egashira, Kazuhide Hayakawa, Megumi Osajima, Kenichi Mishima, Katsunori Iwasaki, Ryozo Oishi, Michihiro Fujiwara
    We investigated the involvement of gamma-aminobutyric acid(A) (GABA(A)) receptors in the neuroprotective effect of gamma-glutamylethylamide (theanine), a component of Japanese green tea, following a 4-h middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion in mice. Theanine (1 mg/kg) reduced the size of the cerebral infarct and alterations of NeuN, GFAP, and Iba 1 expression levels at 24 h after MCA occlusion. This neuroprotective effect of theanine was prevented by bicuculline (GABA(A)-receptor antagonist, 10 mg/kg) but not 3-mercaptopropionic acid (glutamate decarboxylase inhibitor). These results suggest that the neuroprotective effect of theanine is mediated, at least in part, by GABA(A) receptors.
    The effects of l-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood.
    [My paper] Crystal F Haskell, David O Kennedy, Anthea L Milne, Keith A Wesnes, Andrew B Scholey
    l-Theanine is an amino acid found naturally in tea. Despite the common consumption of l-theanine, predominantly in combination with caffeine in the form of tea, only one study to date has examined the cognitive effects of this substance alone, and none have examined its effects when combined with caffeine. The present randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced crossover study investigated the acute cognitive and mood effects of l-theanine (250mg), and caffeine (150mg), in isolation and in combination. Salivary caffeine levels were co-monitored. l-Theanine increased 'headache' ratings and decreased correct serial seven subtractions. Caffeine led to faster digit vigilance reaction time, improved Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) accuracy and attenuated increases in self-reported 'mental fatigue'. In addition to improving RVIP accuracy and 'mental fatigue' ratings, the combination also led to faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy. 'Headache' and 'tired' ratings were reduced and 'alert' ratings increased. There was also a significant positive caffeinexl-theanine interaction on delayed word recognition reaction time. These results suggest that beverages containing l-theanine and caffeine may have a different pharmacological profile to those containing caffeine alone.
    Theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, increases neurotransmission concentrations and neurotrophin mRNA levels in the brain during lactation.
    [My paper] Takashi Yamada, Takehiko Terashima, Keiko Wada, Sakiko Ueda, Mitsuyo Ito, Tsutomu Okubo, Lekh Raj Juneja, Hidehiko Yokogoshi
    Theanine (r-glutamylethylamide) is one of the major amino acid components in green tea. Recent studies suggest that theanine affects neurotransmission, especially inhibitory neurotransmission. In this study, we investigated whether theanine affects brain development in infant rats, because inhibitory neurotransmission is required for mature brain function. Mother rats were fed theanine ad libitum after confinement. The body weight gain rate of infants was not different from control infants. We detected theanine in the infant serum and measured neurotransmitter concentration and nerve growth factor (NGF) mRNA level in the infant rat brain. Some neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, glycine and GABA concentration, increased in the infant brain and NGF mRNA level increased in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. However, these differences were lost by the end of nerve maturity. These results suggest that theanine enhanced synthesis of nerve growth factor and neurotransmitters during a nerve maturing period and promoted central nerve system maturation (CNS). Thus, theanine accelerated maturation. In conclusion, theanine may assist in healthy brain function development.
     

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    #25
    That study says L-Theanine in the absence of caffeine decreases your ability to substract from seven?

    Odd.
     

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