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A Little ”Sun” May Help You Shine and Sleep

For individuals who need help approaching the evening sleep cycle, I believe supplementation can help you sleep better and feel more rested. The goal is to achieve restful sleep, and wake up refreshed and ready for the day.

Suntheanine® is an enzymatically fermented version of the amino acid L-theanine, which is commonly found in green tea. It is this natural compound which makes some tea drinkers less jittery than coffee drinkers. Following data from laboratory, animal, and human clinical studies, researchers have identified this compound and then isolated it, determining that it does in fact have beneficial results.

After learning about the potential benefits of L-theanine, and specifically reading studies that were completed using the Suntheanine® brand manufactured by Taiyo Kagaku Co, Japan, I am pleased to bring this compelling information to your attention.

Julie Thibeau, Director of Marketing, NutriScience Innovations, LLC, the exclusive distributor of the Suntheanine® ingredient, attests to the success of this particular L-theanine, saying, “It is one of the most effective natural sleep ingredients on the market today.” One of the most notable features of Suntheanine® is its safety. Thibau stressed that it is not habit forming or addictive. “It can improve the quality of your sleep without lengthening it. It aids in relaxation and stress management.” Most recently, the US FDA confirmed the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) affirmation allowing for its use in the food and beverage categories.

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Unlike a drug, the FDA allows certain structure-function claims for dietary supplements. Suntheanine® has achieved a favorable list of acceptable health claims (not seeking to treat a disease, but rather providing health benefits). Some of these include :

Ø Promoting relaxation without drowsiness

Ø Reducing stress

Ø Reducing restlessness

Ø Reducing nervous irritability

Ø Relief of occasional sleeplessness

Ø Helping restore mental alertness or wakefulness when experiencing fatigue or drowsiness

Ø Supporting a normal, healthy attitude during premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and diminishes normal symptoms of PMS

PMS is a normal physiological process, and this ingredient can help support women during PMS and menstrual cycles. But Thibeau explains, “There are social and emotional effects of PMS that Suntheanine® can actually lower, such as irritability, tiredness…that overall feeling that makes you not want to go to work in the morning.”

I don’t receive compensation from the company that manufactures this ingredient; it’s just that I feel very confident in the research studies associated with this particular phytochemical. In addition, the origin of this L-theanine is pure L-isomer and not D-isomer. Other manufacturers may incorporate a combination product, and your body does not utilize the D-amino acid version. Suntheanine® is pure L-theanine. As a testament to its success, Suntheanine® was awarded the “Food Ingredient Research Award” at the 1998 Food Ingredients Europe and “Best New Product of 2000” at Nutracon. It is also a component of NYTEX® sleep supplement, which won the 2006 Alive® Silver Award for Best New Natural Product in Canada. These are heavily researched products and have the testimonials from the medical community as well as consumers.

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Jacob Pallathra, President of NutriScience Innovations, highlighted that “Alpha waves is an indicator of relaxation. Suntheanine® helps generate alpha waves in the brain, and is the major reason for the relaxant effect. A majority of ailments in society can be attributed to lack of good quality sleep. The human clinical study concludes that with 200 mg of Suntheanine® taken 30 minutes prior to going to bed helps in fatigue recovery and in reducing the severity and frequency of bad dreams.”

Sleep is nourishment and provides a safe opportunity for you to heal, rebuild, think, process, and be alert to make good decisions during the day. This amino acid offers an ability to stay focused, make calm decisions, and feel a sense of restfulness.

Scott Smith, Vice President of Taiyo International, emphasizes “In addition to the relaxation benefits, Suntheanine has no known side effects or contra-indications. There are many safety studies available for this unique ingredient. The self-affirmed GRAS status confirmed by FDA is evidence to the safety profile. During the day, Suntheanine® also helps in improving focus and concentration without causing drowsiness. Students should find this to be a safe and efficacious product during their studies.”

The NIH sponsored study by Eschenauer, et al., published in Am J. Health Syst Pharm in 2006, describes in more detail the pharmacologic and therapeutic uses of L-theanine. In addition, there are several papers available through www.PubMed.gov which describe the health benefits. Human clinical studies have shown beneficial increases in alpha waves within an hour after taking 50 to 200 mg of L-theanine, possibly through balancing dopamine and serotonin levels. This benefits users by improving sleep efficiency, quality of sleep and the mental state of being refreshed upon awakening.

Here are some healthy ways to put Suntheanine® ingredient to use:

Consider taking 50 mg to 200 mg one hour prior to bedtime for sleep initiation and relaxation.
Consider taking 50 mg to 200 mg during episodes of stress.
Consider taking 50 mg to 200 mg to diminish the normal symptoms of PMS.
For individuals with attention problems, consider taking 50 mg to 200 mg to offer more focus and less distraction.

Sleep is an influential part of behavior, health, and wellness, and it is important that we are attentive to our body’s needs. The next time you seem stressed or ready to “lose it,” consider getting some “sun,” and try the amino acid L-Theanine (Suntheanine®) as a supplement.

Wishing you a healthy and sleep sound New Year!

Dr. Nikos

Nikos Linardakis, M.D. is a physician executive based in Salt Lake City, and is the author of Ten Natural Ways to a Good Night’s Sleep. Visit www.DrNikos.com and www.Suntheanine.com

Amanda Hanley is a recipient of the Tharos Laboratories 2008 Internship Award Program, and is a writer and student at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.