The Effects of Caffeine and L-theanine Both Alone and in Combination on Cerebral Blood Flow, Cognition and Mood

2014-08-27 03:19:10 | BioPortfolio


Although the beneficial effects of caffeine on cognition and mood have been reported in a number of studies, relatively few studies have looked at the effects of caffeine in combination with other phytonutrients despite the fact that caffeine is seldom consumed in isolation. L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino-acid found in tea, and has been used historically as a relaxing agent (Haskell et al., 2008). Few have assessed the impact of l-theanine on cognition, but of those that have, the most interesting results were obtained when l-theanine was assessed in combination with caffeine (Haskell et al., 2008). It remains unclear what is underlying the reported effects.

Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) is an emerging neuroimaging technology that is capable of determining changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) by measuring the optical properties of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood (Bunce et al., 2006). No study to date has used NIRS to assess cerebral blood flow following treatment with either caffeine, l-theanine or a combination of both. It is anticipated that the proposed study will provide some insight into the mechanism of the previously observed effects both alone and in combination.

A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled, balanced crossover design study will assess the effects of 75mg caffeine, 50mg l-theanine and a 75mg caffeine/50mg l-theanine combination in 24 young healthy adults (18-35). Cognitive and mood assessments will take place at baseline and at 30 minutes following treatment whilst cerebral haemodynamics are measured via the technique of NIRS.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Basic Science


Cognitive Function


Caffeine and L-theanine


Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear
United Kingdom
Ne1 8ST




Northumbria University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:19:10-0400

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