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L-Theanine: For Brain Health

L-theanine is the “go-to” supplement for brain health and issues such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, and stress. It even helps sleep.

Theanine Supplement

Theanine Supplement

Before I tell you about L-theanine, I want to talk about glutamate, a key neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters (NT) are a very important group of molecules that activate or inhibit brain and nerve function.

The Glutamate-GABA Connection

Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in your brain. It is crucial for learning and memory. Low levels can lead to fatigue, “brain fog,” and poor memory. Increased levels of glutamate, on the other hand, cause numerous symptoms and can even kill your brain cells.

MSG or monosodium glutamate is a nasty food additive found in many restaurant and packaged foods. It may not say MSG on the label, but it is hidden as other names. For a complete list, click here.

Glutamate imbalance has been shown to be involved in many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, delirium, depression, OCD, and autism.

Your natural counterbalance to excess glutamate is the amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Most of the nervous system disorders mentioned above are associated with elevationed glutamate and low levels of GABA.

So this is why we recommend testing your neurotransmitter levels.

By testing urine and saliva, we can determine why you feel:

1) Wired- high cortisol and high neurotransmitters

2) Wired and tired- low cortisol/high NT or high cortisol/low NT

3) Just plain tired- low cortisol/low NT


  • Directly mimics the calming effects of your natural GABA
  • Helps you make more GABA
  • It is believed that L-theanine’s effects are due to its ability to block glutamate receptors

It has been recognized for centuries as having relaxant properties. A unique amino acid, L-theanine is the biologically active constituent of green tea, which has been widely studied for its ability to produce a calming effect and prevent over-stimulation.

Because it supports GABA activity, L-theanine is a solid treatment consideration when your calming neurotransmitters (GABA and serotonin) levels have been documented to be low. Additionally, L-theanine promotes both neuroinhibitory and parasympathetic responses. As a result, it is useful for elevationed excitatory neurotransmitters including dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.

Furthermore, L-theanine promotes the release of serotonin and dopamine, two molecules that relax the brain.

Importantly, L-theanine helps you relax without making you drowsy or fatigued.

Get rid of the MSG and get on L-theanine and get on with your life.

© 2024 Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC | Wolfson Integrative Cardiology | All Rights Reserved.6560 N. Scottsdale Rd Suite 125 Scottsdale, AZ 85253