Brain Talk

Taylor on the Brain

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Your brain is your greatest resource—use it by design to help you achieve health, happiness, and success!

—Arlene R. Taylor PhD

 

Meet L-Theanine

©Arlene R. Taylor, PhD

 

xMy cell phone vibrated into life and I heard a voice say: "I understand IMPaX World Inc has released a product by the name of delta-E™—is it just another energy drink like so many on the market today?” 

“Hello, Steve,” I said, recognizing the voice as belonging to a colleague of many years. “I consider delta-E™ to be light years beyond the typical energy drink."

I explained that there is a big difference between doing something to strengthen your brain function as compared to a taking a stimulant that simply binds to receptor molecules in the brain and makes you think you have more energy, at least temporarily. Most energy drinks, so-called, trigger a sugar or caffeine high followed by a low. This roller-coaster effect does nothing to improve brain function and may result in negative outcomes in the long-term.

"So," Steve continued, "do you take this product?"

"I do," I replied. “Every day, because it contains B-12 and L-theanine, both of which benefit my brain. As Gary W. Arenda PhD, Research Professor at Florida Alzheimer’s Research Center, put it: In order to optimize brain function over your lifespan, high amounts of brain nutrients are required from both food and supplements."

Our conversation reminded me of college days when some of my classmates routinely downed No Dose tablets in an effort to stay up all night cramming for exams and/or to avoid falling asleep during the actual test. They may have been awake, but at a price. Many of them would crash like clockwork at the end of test week in absolute exhaustion. On top of that, a goodly number of them would come down with a cold or other illness that negatively impacted their school break.

And it’s not just college kids. Many people take a variety of stimulants in an effort to help them keep going or to enhance their alertness. Unfortunately, many stimulants tend to suppress theta and alpha brain waves (an increase in alpha brain waves is considered an index of relaxation) while promoting beta waves. According to some sources, this can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and depressed immune system function—not exactly what they were going for in the first place.

I understand their motivation. Keeping the brain working optimally is not only desirable but also critical, especially as the brain ages and gradually loses energy. There is a better way. Enter L-theanine, a neurologically-active non-protein amino acid found in green-tea leaves. Unlike the majority of amino acids, L-theanine may be taken at any time, with or without food and is emerging as quite a player!

Studies and anecdotal observations have shown that L-theanine may:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation by increasing the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety and promotes relaxation. Human studies with volunteers have demonstrated this calming effect within 30-40 minutes after ingestion, if not sooner.
  • Promote a sense of well-being and confidence by increasing levels of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, and serotonin, a transmitter associated with avoiding depression.
  • Heighten mental acuity by producing an increase in alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves are associated with creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to that achieved through meditation. Alpha brain waves are also associated with an increase in mental focus and creativity, as well as improved concentration—without causing drowsiness—which can lead to improved learning ability and memory functions.
  • Strengthen nervous-system function through stimulating the release of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This protein not only increases growth of neuron dendrites but also is needed by cholinergic brain cells that use acetylcholine for signaling and retaining alertness.

So what’s the problem? The problem has been that L-theanine makes up only 1-2% of the dry weight of green-tea leaves. In the past that meant people needed to drink a great deal of green tea in order to realize the benefits from L-theanine. In the process, they risked experiencing side-effects that often accompany the over-consumption of caffeine.

No longer! Working with scientists and specialists around the world, Greg Im, Founder and CEO of IMPaX World Inc, developed a unique extraction process for L-theanine. The resulting synergistic delta-E™ formula contains only 75 mg of specially prepared caffeine, about the amount usually found in half a cup of regular coffee. And there may be more good news on the horizon. Current areas of ongoing research with L-theanine include its use:

  • As an alternative to Ritalin
  • In the treatment of PMS
  • For mood alteration in depression

Anecdotal reports indicate some success in these areas, as well as in helping individuals, who are showing signs of early dementia, to think more clearly.

“Nothing for the immune system?” asked Steve, teasingly. “When you talk about the brain you often mention the immune system, too.”

“There’s good news there, too,” I replied. “Generally what is beneficial for the brain tends to strengthen the immune system, as well. L-theanine has shown some antibacterial-like activity against disease-causing organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.”

“Hmm-m-m,” said Steve. “No rain in your brain!” I laughed out loud. But he was on the right track.

Two nutritional products go with me wherever I travel in the world: Delta-E™ and EnerPrime™—with its salad of green superfoods and micronutrients. They have been part of my daily brain-friendly lifestyle for years and I believe they are helping me move toward my goal of living to be at least 122 years of age with good mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual function. In fact, I am creating 'Club 122 Longevity'--named after a French woman who lived 122 years 164 days--to encourage people to get on board with a Longevity Lifestyle. It matters

There's no rain in my brain.

How about yours?

 

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