L-Theanine Improves ImmunityL-Theanine, the tea-derived substance known to act as an anti-anxiety agent, also improves immunity, according to a recent study.
Researchers conducted the study to see how L-Theanine affected T-cells, the white blood cells that help the body resist viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitical infections. T-Cells also defend the body from tumor cells. Bacteria, viruses and other harmful organisms as well as non-invading, healthy cells all have antigens, cellular nametags that T-Cells use to determine if the cells are foreign invaders or natural inhabitants. Tea and other plant compounds also produce antigens.
Researchers exposed T-cells both in vivo and in vitro to tea with L-Theanine. They then exposed the cells to bacteria. They discovered that treating the cells with L-Theanine caused the cells to have a better immune response once the cells were exposed to the bacteria. The cells treated with L-Theanine were better able to recognize the foreign antigens. L-Theanine also triggered the release of virus-destroying lactoferrin in the cells.
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