September 22, 2004, Minneapolis – Could green tea offer the promise of being an effective weight loss agent? Several research investigations suggest this and a myriad of dietary supplement companies have been betting on this. New research hints L-theanine, an amino acid found in abundance in green, oolong, and black tea, may itself have a role in weight loss.
A study published this year in the peer-reviewed journal In Vivo assessed the weight loss-inducing effects of green tea, and several of its constituents, alone or in combination, in young mice. “We were curious about the individual contributions of green tea constituents to weight loss,” offered Dr. Kazutoshi Sayama of Shizuoka University, one of the co-investigators of the study. “We were surprised to find that Suntheanine®, the only chirally pure L-theanine, alone, or in combination with caffeine, prevented body weight and abdominal fat gain compared to a control diet lacking any green tea components, without any apparent effect on appetite,” he added.
Previous animal studies have shown a combination of green tea catechins with or without caffeine to have possible anti-obesity effects, possibly exerted through increased thermogenesis. Dr. Lekh Raj Juneja, a co-investigator in the current study and Vice President of Taiyo Kagaku, the manufacturer of the patented Suntheanine, stated that the mice fed Suntheanine tended to eat less. “Of the 10 different dietary treatments the greatest trend for reduced food intake was seen with L-theanine added to the diet. We know that L-theanine may have an effect on brain chemistry and these results seem to align with this,” said Dr. Juneja.
Suntheanine has been the subject of a variety of pre-clinical and clinical studies. Its primary application has been for promoting relaxation, based upon the findings of several clinical trials. “We have been exploring a variety of uses for Suntheanine, ranging from immunomodulation to premenstrual syndrome, and are intrigued by this new research. We will continue to sponsor investigations into novel areas of use for Suntheanine, linked to market demand and unmet needs,” said Scott Smith, Vice President of Taiyo International in Minneapolis. The study was supported in part by Taiyo Kagaku Co., Ltd.
Taiyo International is the North American sales office for Taiyo Kagaku Japan, a leading manufacturer of functional ingredients for the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries. Taiyo focuses on the development of innovative ingredients, derived from natural sources, to further develop the body’s ability to protect and manage one’s health.
Suntheanine is Taiyo’s exclusive brand of pure L-theanine, supported by extensive clinical trials. Suntheanine is protected by over 40 U.S. and international patents for its various physiological efficacies and L-isomer-specific production processes.
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