June 16, 2009
Image of L-Theanine 3D Image of L-Theanine

L-Theanine, or L-2-amino-4-(ethylcarbamoyl)butyric acid, is found in tea leaves and the mushroom Boletus badius. A May article in the Los Angeles Times suggests that L-theanine can help you improve your concentration and mental stamina. The amino acid has been added to some SoBe, Vitamin Water, and Gatorade products.

MOTW update: 
December 5, 2022

L-Theanine1, the Molecule of the Week for June 15, 2009, is a natural amino acid found in tea leaves and a species of mushroom. It is purported to have beneficial psychological effects; but this past month, Wei Xu, Wen-Jun Xiao, and co-workers at Hunan Agricultural University (Changsha, China) described a potentially more significant medical breakthrough. They found that L-theanine modulates intestine-specific immunity in mice, which, if it acts similarly in humans, can lead to treatments for combating severe allergies caused by ovalbumin, the main protein in egg whites.

1. CAS Reg. No. 3081-61-6.

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