Widely prescribed by doctors for anxiety and stress is a class of drugs know as benzodiazepines with common brand names like Xanax, Librium, Valium and Ativan. This drug binds to the GABA receptors in the body which treats these conditions but with a list of side effects like drowsiness, lethargy and fatigue. Taking too much can result in impaired motor coordination, dizziness, vertigo, slurred speech, blurry vision and erratic behavior.
So what is the alternative? L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea and some mushrooms, according to studies significantly increases brain activity in the alpha frequency band which is associated with relaxing the mind without inducing drowsiness. Its results in studies, show a reduction in stress indicators within 15 minutes, heart rate reduction, significantly reducing anxiety and reducing blood pressure increases in high-stress response situations. The studies used between 100-200 mg of L-theanine daily. No adverse side-effects were found.
Supplementation with L-theanine also helped mental focus and reduced error rates by improving the processes of filtering out redundant or unnecessary stimuli in the brain from all possible environmental stimuli. Although this is a great alternative to drugs, and if you are currently taking them don’t just stop, but talk to a physician who is tuned in to both drugs and natural supplements.
-excerpted from Supplement Science by Gene Bruno, MS, MHS. Vitamin Retailer August 2015