Suntheanine shown to help grad students manage the pressure to achieve

An overload of chronic stress just isn’t healthy. It may lead to everything from depression to cardiovascular disease. When Japanese researchers wanted to study the calming effects of the amino acid L-theanine on chronic stress, they chose an ideal subject group: Graduate students who were facing the anxiety and pressures of new learning situations. Rather than having their students load up on energy drinks, or worse prescription stimulants, parents here in the U.S. may be inspired to send care packages with this supplement to their college students, and also stock up on a supply for themselves.

Study details
The single-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted by researchers at the University of Shizuoka’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Their goal: to investigate the effects of L-theanine on the stress responses of 20 fifth-year pharmacy students who were assigned to practice in a hospital or drug store setting for 11 weeks. “Such a long-term commitment in new environment provides a stressful condition for young students,” noted the researchers.

The students were given either 200 mg. of L-theanine twice daily or a placebo for a total of 17 days: one week prior to establish a baseline plus the first 10 days of their practice program, because those days were assumed to be the most stressful. Suntheanine, a pure form of L-theanine, was used in this study. Researchers then assessed several stress markers, including the amount of the stress enzyme amylase present in their saliva, which is an indicator of psychological stress, and the amount of the students’ sleeping time.

Researchers found that while all participants reported that they felt less stressed toward the end of their 11-week practice, those who initially took Suntheanine were able to get more sleep and experienced less anxiety.

The study was published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.

Previous studies have shown that Suntheanine supports alpha brain waves, a state often achieved by meditation where one is deeply relaxed and mentally alert. It does not cause grogginess, and has no known side effects. Additional research information, and a detailed list of products containing Suntheanine, can be found at

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