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

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Neurol Ther. 2021 Sep 25. doi: 10.1007/s40120-021-00284-x. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Stress is a complex life occurrence essential for survival and goal achievement but can be damaging in excess. Because of the high prevalence of stress in North America, a safe supplement that effectively reduces stress is in demand. The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of AlphaWave® L-Theanine on whole-scalp and frontal alpha power, midline theta power, and salivary cortisol in healthy, moderately stressed adults.

METHODS: This was a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study that consisted of two study periods with a 7-day washout. A single dose of AlphaWave® L-Theanine (200 mg) or placebo was administered. To induce stress, a mental arithmetic test (MAT) was administered before and after the dose. Electroencephalogram, salivary cortisol, blood pressure, heart rate, self-reported stress, adverse events, clinical chemistry, and hematology were assessed to evaluate efficacy and safety.

RESULTS: Increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and self-reported stress and state anxiety indicated that participants experienced stress during the MAT. AlphaWave® L-Theanine led to a greater increase in frontal region and whole-scalp alpha power 3 h post-dose compared to placebo (p ≤ 0.050). Within groups, there were increases in alpha power, at 3 h with AlphaWave® L-Theanine, over the whole recording and during the eyes-open portions (p ≤ 0.048) of the alpha task. The changes in alpha wave activity are supported by greater decreases in salivary cortisol 1 h post-dose (p < 0.001) with AlphaWave® L-Theanine compared to placebo.

CONCLUSION: This study was conducted during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which has had a rapid and significant effect on both physical and mental health around the world. A single dose of AlphaWave® L-Theanine significantly increased frontal region alpha power compared to placebo in response to an acute stress challenge. These changes are indicative of relaxation in the brain and suggest a calming response. AlphaWave® L-Theanine was found to be safe and well tolerated by participants.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04706494.

PMID:34562208 | DOI:10.1007/s40120-021-00284-x