Green tea Extract plus L-Theanine boosts memory in those who need it the most

May 09, 2011

Daily supplements of Green Tea Extract plus L-Theanine boost mental alertness and enhance memory, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study from Korea. The combination was associated with improvements in immediate and delayed recall, and general memory, according to findings published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods.

L-Theanine, an amino acid concentrated from tea leaves helps reduce stress, improves focus and promotes relaxation and at night improves the quality of sleep. L-Theanine is found in tea leaves in low concentrations (less than 2 percent), which means that effective dosage levels (of 100 – 200mg/day) cannot be delivered from drinking tea.

Ninety-one participants with mild cognitive impairment – a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease – were recruited and randomly assigned to receive either the Green Tea Extract with L-Theanine combination or placebo daily for 16 weeks. A number of tests were used to assess memory and attention. Results showed that volunteers receiving the Green Tea/ Theanine supplement exhibited improvements in memory with ‘Marginal’ improvements were observed with regards to the delay in recognition, and ‘significant’ increases in memory regarding recall of word reading.

Electroencephalograms (EEG) were recorded in 24 volunteers, and these scans showed improvements in indicators of mental alertness in specific parts of the brain. The study is published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, Volume 14, Issue 4, Pages 334-343