Tag Archives: theanine

Table of Amino Acid Abbreviations

Students and teachers come together with terms like “Amino acid abbreviations” – but scientists use these abbreviated forms to refer to the 20+ names of amino acids as well.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and they can be gotten from food. Before we get into the amino acid abbreviations you may want to know that there are two main types of amino acids (with a few exceptions)…

Essential and Non-essential amino acids

Essential amino acids does not mean they are “essential” as in necessary… it simply means that they can only be gotten from the food you eat so must be included through diet or dietary supplementation. Protein foods like meats (beef, chicken, pork, etc.) and eggs, as well as fish, are excellent sources of amino acids. Many meat-eating Americans actually eat an overabundance of protein compared with what the human body requires, which can lead to acidity (which leads to disease), cardiovascular and other diseases.

Non-essential amino acids are those that your body can produce naturally. Occasionally, someone is born with a deficiency in their body’s ability to produce the amino acids necessary for proper functioning, leading to diseases or disorders where people have trouble breaking down certain amino acids. An example of the latter is Maple Syrup Urine Disorder (MSUD) which is what newborn babies are screened for soon after birth.

There are 22 different amino acids in all (some of them semi-essential), but about 20 of them are more common. Their names, 3-letter, and 1-letter amino acid abbreviations follow.

Table of amino acid abbreviations

Amino Acid

3-Letter

1-Letter

Alanine

Ala

A

Arginine

Arg

R

Asparagine

Asn

N

Aspartic acid

Asp

D

Cysteine

Cys

C

Glutamic acid

Glu

E

Glutamine

Gln

Q

Glycine

Gly

G

Histidine

His

H

Isoleucine

Ile

I

Leucine

Leu

L

Lysine

Lys

K

Methionine

Met

M

Phenylalanine

Phe

F

Proline

Pro

P

Serine

Ser

S

Threonine

Thr

T

Tryptophan

Trp

W

Tyrosine

Tyr

Y

Valine

Val

V

Aspartic acid or Asparagine

Asx

B

Any amino acid

Xaa

X

Termination codon

TERM

For more information on amino acid abbreviations or more detailed information on amino acids in general, please see other articles at the Amino Acid Information Center. There are also many excellent resources on the Internet or in encyclopedias.

Reference:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Class/MLACourse/Modules/MolBioReview/iupac_aa_abbreviations.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amino_acid#In_human_nutrition

http://www.newbornscreening.info/Parents/aminoaciddisorders/MSUD.html

19 Natural Remedies for Anxiety – Including L-Theanine

The following article first appeared at Health.com and was written by Robert Barnett.  We have included the section here that discusses the amino acid L-Theanine, but please read the whole story to discover the other 18 natural remedies for anxiety.

You’re anxious, worried, freaked. You’re upset about (pick one): money, health, work, family, love. Your heart is beating fast, your breathing is shallow and rapid, your mind is imagining doom, and you wish you could just relax…now! Whether you have a full-blown anxiety disorder or are just freaking out, you may not want to try medication—at least not yet.

There are many safe nondrug remedies for anxiety, from mind-body techniques to supplements to calming teas. Some start working right away, while others may help lessen anxiety over time.

L-theanine (or green tea)

They say Japanese Buddhist monks could meditate for hours, both alert and relaxed. One reason may have been an amino acid in their green tea called L-theanine, says Mark Blumenthal, of the American Botanical Council.

Research shows that L-theanine helps curb a rising heart rate and blood pressure, and a few small human studies have found that it reduces anxiety. In one study, anxiety-prone subjects were calmer and more focused during a test if they took 200 milligrams of L-theanine beforehand.

You can get that much L-theanine from green tea, but you’ll have to drink many cups—as few as five, as many as 20.

L-Theanine Health Benefits — Ease Anxiety, Enhance Mood, Prevent Strokes

L-Theanine is an analog of the non-essential amino acid, glutamate. This particular amino acid is naturally found in (Camellia sinensis) or what is more commonly known as the tea plant. It is credited as the main natural ingredient that gives green tea its soothing quality. It may also be found in mushrooms specifically in bay boletes (Boletus badius).

Widely known for its relaxing effect, L-Theanine is made available in supplements and as an ingredient in beverages other than green tea, to ease anxiety and enhance mood. An article in the LA Times at http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/04/health/he-theanine4 points out that though many drinks are marketed for their energy boosting properties, there are times when that boost is not exactly what people need. In fact, Dr. Michael Breus of the Huffington post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/energy-drinks-health_b_1496915.html outlines some of the side effects of these energy drinks including anxiety, restlessness, heart palpitations and insomnia.

Sometimes people just want the ability to focus, a bit of calm and a good night’s sleep. This is where L-Theanine proves to be highly valuable. A frequently cited study of Lyon MR, Kapoor MP and Juneja LR found that young boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who took L-Theanine had better sleep than the group of boys who did not.

There are many studies that explore L-Theanine’s benefits apart from stress and anxiety relief. Researchers are finding promising results of L-Theanine’s effectiveness in reducing weight, preventing stroke and helping in cancer treatments.

No conclusive evidence has shown L-Theanine’s negative side effects but it is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers refrain from its use. For tablets, there are also recommended doses depending on age, weight and other health conditions. It is always best to consult a doctor when planning to take a new supplement. Otherwise, it is believed to be safe.

Theanine Amino Acid Improves Sleep Quality For ADHD Children

Fantastic news for parents of ADHD children: the amino acid L-theanine will help their children sleep. A recent Canadian study proved that L-theanine significantly improves sleep quality in ADHD children, which benefits the entire family.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by either significant difficulties of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness or a combination of the two.

As many as 50% of ADHD children experience sleep problems. ADHD children often resist going to bed, and take a long time to fall asleep. They wake at night, and may also suffer from restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea. And because they don’t get enough sleep these ADHD children are not alert in the mornings, and are tired during the day.

A Canadian study by researchers (M Lyon, M Kapoor, et al) from the University of British Columbia hoped to prove that a synthesized product of the amino acid L-theanine improved sleep quality in ADHD children.

Theanine is an amino acid primarily found in green tea leaves. It can cross the blood–brain barrier—in fact EEG results show L-theanine inducing changes in brain waves. The amino acid makes our brains produce alpha waves, which are associated with relaxation.

ADHD sleep quality improved by amino acid L-theanine

93 children with ADHD completed the UBC trial. They were given four chewable, fruit-flavored  L-theanine tablets, or a placebo, every day during the 10-week clinical trial. Their sleep quality was measured, using a wristwatch-like monitoring device measuring sleep activity levels, sleep duration, nocturnal awakenings and sleep patterns. In addition, the parents completed a pediatric sleep questionnaire.

Results showed the children who had taken L-theanine tablets had a significantly higher sleep percentage and reduced nocturnal motor activity compared to the placebo group. They slept longer, with less moving around. This improves their attention, memory, emotion and behavior during the day.

L-theanine supplements are valuable new therapies for helping children with ADHD get enough sleep.

Please remember to visit our other health news portals, Medicinal Mushroom Information Center at http://medicinalmushroominfo.com Vancouver Health News at http://VancouverHealthNews.ca and http://todayswordofwisdom.com.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22214254