What Taylor Swift should know about anxiety supplement L-theanine

22 April,2024 07:03 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  IANS

When Taylor Swift announced to the world that she was taking L-theanine, a natural supplement to help with stress and anxiety, Swifties weren`t the only ones to sit up and take notice

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When Taylor Swift announced to the world that she was taking L-theanine, a "natural supplement to help with stress and anxiety," Swifties weren't the only ones to sit up and take notice.

Years later, despite only limited research on this substance's benefits, online retailers offer a wide range of different L-Theanine products in powder or capsule form.

Most products promise a calming effect, less anxiety and stress, as well as better concentration and sleep. But does this amino acid, mainly found in green tea leaves, really mean reduced stress levels?

Previous research has suggested that this green tea amino acid may help with anxiety and stress. "L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness," one study in 2008 suggested.

And yet authors believe further research is also needed to clinically prove any potential benefits. What's more, any potential risks or side effects from prolonged usage of this supplement have not been clinically ruled out.

Advertising health-related claims in the European Union is not permitted for this amino acid, and the European Commission EFSA has denied claims submitted for L-theanine such as improved concentration and relaxation.

Interest in L-theanine has spiked since Taylor Swift wrote about it in 2019. "I take L-theanine, which is a natural supplement to help with stress and anxiety," she said in a piece for Elle magazine.

The good news is that there are plenty of other - clinically proven - ways to help with stress and anxiety. These include special breathing techniques and meditation exercises such as the "body scan" technique or the method of progressive muscle relaxation.

And if you're lucky sometimes you work out on your own how to get rid of all those fears - like Swift herself did in "Out of the Woods" when she found out that the monsters turned out to be just trees.

Also Read: How higher cortisol levels impact skin's barrier function

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