The effects of stress in life today cannot be overstated.
The American Psychological Association in their 2022 Stress in America report stated that: “The US population has experienced an intense range of stressors over the past few years as the COVID-19 epidemic, racial injustice, and political divisiveness have dominated news cycles and social media.”
The report goes on to say that “around 3/4 (76%) of adults said they have experienced health impacts due to stress in the prior month”.1
This stress exposure also increases the risk for a range of health problems and concerns such as mental health and cardiovascular issues, and can even dampen the immune system, increasing susceptibility to both colds and common infections.2
Pharmaceuticals provide a number of answers to stress, but often they come with negative side-effects, so it’s no surprise that many people today are looking for more natural or drug-free approaches to this problem. As a result, stress-relief has become a leading focus in the supplement category.
Alpha brainwaves and the power of relaxed wakefulness
Alpha brainwaves, as measured by electroencephalography (EEG), are associated with a state of relaxed wakefulness, typically observed when a person is awake but in a relaxed state, such as during meditation.3 Research has also shown that alpha brainwaves play a positive role in a variety of cognitive processes including attention, memory and creativity.4 Higher levels of frontal region and whole scalp alpha power have also been linked to reduced anxiety and stress.
AlphaWave L-Theanine clinical studies show significant increase in alpha brainwave levels.
Ethical Naturals’ (ENI) AlphaWave® L-Theanine has now been the subject of two clinical studies that confirm its ability to increase alpha brainwave activity that results in significant relaxation benefits.
The most recent study, ‘A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study to investigate the efficacy of a single 200mg dose of AlphaWave® L-Theanine on stress in a healthy adult population’ was published in Neurology and Health, September 2021.5
In this study, following a task-induced stress protocol, a 200mg single dose of AlphaWave® L-Theanine showed significant increases in both whole-scalp and frontal region alpha power, and reductions in salivary cortisol (an objective measurement of stress). These changes were not observed when the participants received placebo.
The observations and conclusions of this study paralleled those found in the first study conducted at The Wellington Sleep investigation Center, U. of Otego, Wellington, New Zealand.
L-Theanine was originally identified as a component of tea and is often considered to account for its calming qualities. However due to the low percentage of L-Theanine in green tea and the complexity of concentrating and isolating the compound, AlphaWave® L-Theanine is produced by a proprietary fermentation and purification process and is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) affirmed.
The randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled study design is the gold standard for product investigation.
The authors of the most recent study, published in Neurology and Health conclude: “A single dose of AlphaWave® L-Theanine improved the physiological indicators of acute stress in response to the MAT test compared to the placebo, including frontal region alpha power and salivary cortisol, in moderately stressed but otherwise healthy adults. This is significant, as increases in brainwave alpha power are considered to reflect relaxation in the brain, suggesting a calming effect of AlphaWave® L-Theanine.
“The randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled study design is rigorous and is the gold standard for investigating the efficacy of an investigational product. A single dose of AlphaWave® L-Theanine was found to be efficacious, safe, and well tolerated, and should be considered as a nutraceutical supplement to manage acute stress.”
Cal Bewicke, co-founder and CEO of ENI states: “As the studies confirm, AlphaWave® L-Theanine is a truly experiential product; that's why so many people use it on a daily basis, or when they experience raised levels of stress in their lives.”
ENI supplies AlphaWave in several forms: powder, granular and as a finished product (encapsulated and bottled), for private label use.
1. American Psychological Associate. The Harris Poll.
2. Yaribeygi, H.; Panahi, Y.; Sahraei, H.; et al. (2017). The impact of stress on body function: a review. EXCLI J. 1057–1072.
3. Lee, D.J.; Kulubya, E.; Goldin, P.; et al. (2018). Review of the neural oscillations underlying meditation. Front Neurosci. 2018;12:178.
4. Lustenberger, C.; Boyle, M. R.; Foulser, A. A.; et al. (2015). Functional role of frontal alpha oscillations in creativity. Cortex. 67, 74–82.
5. Evans, M.; McDonald, A. C.; Xiong, L.; et al. (2021). A Randomized, Triple-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study to Investigate the Efficacy of a Single Dose of AlphaWave® L-Theanine on Stress in a Healthy Adult Population. Neurology and therapy. 10(2), 1061–1078.