Green Tea – A hidden solution for ADHD?

If you were interested in a completely natural solution for ADHD or a natural nootropic, recent studies would suggest you have a closer look at that simple, or perhaps not so simple, cup of green tea. A growing number of studies are promoting the beneficial properties of the natural amino acid present in the tea leaves, L-theanine. L-theanine is reported to have a calming effect on the central nervous system, as well as improvements in cognitive function including learning and memory (*1). Green tea also contains the world’s most widely consumed stimulant, caffeine. The most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD are also CNS stimulants (such as Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine). L-theanine is reported to reduce the negative side effects associated with the CNS properties of caffeine such as increased anxiety. It then comes to no surprise why there have been numerous studies on the combination of both L-theanine and Caffeine.

Here are just three examples where the combination of caffeine and L-theanine have been studied, and in each of them when they gave the test cases this combination in a ratio of approximately 2:1 of L-theanine : caffeine, all reported cognitive improvements to attention or cognitive abilities.

A fascinating discovery from something we have had access to for so many years. So with the well-known dangers associated with the risk of addiction from the use of the strong amphetamine/methylphenidate based stimulants which are prescribed even to  young children, the possibility of what might be a far safer and far less addictive alternative can only be considered as extremely good news for ADHD sufferers and also just for people looking for an improvement in their cognitive abilities. I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for more news on this combination, but as they are both naturally occurring and uncontrolled substances with a long history of consumption and acceptance, I will be trialling their effectiveness personally.

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A secret reveals itself in a cup of green tea. Photo: “Hide” on Flickr

.v1ctor Casale

Pharmacogentic testing to end the trial and error game in ADHD treatment

When I went to a psychiatrist some years ago to see if I could be diagnosed as having ADD/ADHD, I was very surprised that he said the easiest way to test would be to first prescribe me the controlled stimulant medication – and simply see if it worked.

This happens to be a very common method for selecting medications for many ailments, especially psychological conditions. The reason for this is two-fold, first there is no 100% accurate way to diagnose ADHD due to it being a behavioural disorder with a large amount of subjectivity. Secondly, medications affect people differently and so there often needs to be experimentation with multiple medications before the ideal one is found.

This trial and error approach, while a legitimate one, is very old fashioned and inefficient. Yesterday PsychCentral publised an article stating that we are close to a stage where we will be able to test our DNA, resulting in a better understanding of our unique biology and biochemical makeup, resulting in a far more personalised efficient selection of medications that metabolise best in our bodies.

DNA lab at University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment

DNA lab at University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment