L-Theanine for Weight Loss

Green tea is more than a tasty beverage. Certain components of green tea, such as L-theanine, may provide a number of health benefits, such as promoting relaxation and sleep, aiding weight loss and preventing fat accumulation. If you're not a fan of drinking tea, theanine can be found in capsule and tablet form. Consult your doctor before using any dietary supplements, particularly if you have a medical condition or take medications.

About L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in all types of tea made from the Camellia sinensis plant, including green, black and oolong tea. It is also found in mushrooms. In addition to its potential uses as a weight loss aid, theanine may also provide a number of additional health benefits, including acting as an antioxidant, a compound that fights the damaging effects of free radicals on your body. It may also reduce stress, improve memory and increase the anti-tumor effects of two cancer-fighting drugs, doxorubicin and idarubicin, according to New York University's Langone Medical Center.

How It Works

Which Herbs Reduce Uterine Fibroids?

Learn More

L-theanine may help promote weight loss in both a direct and indirect manner. Indirectly, theanine's ability to calm the nervous system may help weight loss by preventing anxiety and stress, thereby reducing the likelihood of emotional overeating. In "The Ounces Countdown Weight Loss Approach," author Patrick Hafner reports that theanine increases the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward, which may also help weight loss by decreasing overeating. Directly, the combination of theanine and catechins, a type of antioxidant found in green tea, may increase thermogenesis and decrease triglyceride levels, which may promote fat oxidation, although this result has only been confirmed in animal studies.

Clinical Evidence

A review article published in the August 2011 issue of the "Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture" reports that theanine has been linked to improved weight loss and increased feelings of relaxation. Another review article, published in 2006 in the "Journal of Herbal Psychopharmacology," reports that theanine has been shown to have a relaxing and calming effect on the nervous system and may increase concentrations of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.


The Side Effects of Magnolia Bark Extract

Learn More

There are no reported safety issues associated with taking L-theanine, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center. Theanine may potentially increase the side effects associated with the use of certain medications, such as lipid-lowering medicines or sedatives. Drink green tea in moderation. Excessive tea consumption may cause upset stomach, jitteriness and other undesirable effects due to caffeine. Consult your doctor before using dietary supplements, especially if you take any over-the-counter or prescription medications or have a health condition.