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Theanine Balancing the Brain Chemistry

Theanine Balancing the Brain Chemistry

This ingredient is contained in Nuvoxil, a popular Neuroscience product.

One of the most common problems associated with old age is memory impairment. However, it can be caused by other factors like depression and stress. Although many would say that these are only psychological states, depression and stress can cause significant physical changes in the body’s chemistry, particularly brain chemistry.

Glucocorticoids are known as the stress hormones. These are stimulated by both depression and stress. As a result, it causes biochemical imbalances in the brain chemistry that interferes with memory and mood.  Glucocorticoids can disrupt the production of certain neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin and other brain chemicals. Antidepressant drugs like Wellbutrin® and Prozac® target these neurotransmitters. It has also been shown that glucocorticoids can affect the efficiency of Prozac® and other drugs. Worse is that it can also cause the shrink the brain. That is why it is important that glucocorticoids are controlled.

Drugs that can block glucocorticoids and have been suggested as potential treatment for depression include ketoconazoe (Nizoral®), an antifungal drug. Another is theanine, a dietary supplement that can cross the blood brain barrier.

The link between theanine and glucocortioid suppression is through glutamate. Though glutamate is not associated with depression, it is a major natural component of the brain chemistry. People suffering from depression have imbalanced gluatamate levels. Results of preliminary studies demonstrate that glutamate can block certain signals in the brain and can be as effective as the recommended antidepressants. Theanine, on the other hand, act as an antagonist. Experts believed that the antagonist receptors for glutamate may offset the dangerous effects of high glucocorticoid levels. In addition to that, these antagonists can protect the brain cells against acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases. 

Not only that theanine can affect the mood but it can also affect learning and memory, both of which have similar biochemical reactions in the brain. If one cannot remember, then he or she cannot learn. Diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and alcohol intake can all cause memory loss by disrupting the glutamate related signals that prevents the brain from retrieving and storing information. 

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