L-Theanine and 5HTP improve the behavior of children from traumatic backgrounds

January 21, 2011

Researchers in the Department of Psychology at Texas Christian University write that increasing numbers of children are at-risk for behavioral and emotional disorders. This often leads to treatment with prescription medication. The use of drugs has unwanted side effects spurring the search for more natural and safer remedies.

In the present study researchers tested the effects of L-Theanine and 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) with children adopted from traumatic backgrounds. The supplements improved the levels of serotonin (for depression and anxiety) and GABA (for stress and anxiety) coupled with significant decreases in parent reports of the children’s behavior problems. The conclusions are that the initial findings are encouraging and are consistent with a growing number of studies indicating the effectiveness of nutritional approaches to help behaviourally at-risk children. The study is published online ahead of print in the December 20th, 2010 issue of the journal Child: Care Health and Development.