Anti-depressant properties of tea


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Postby Wesli » Jun 13th, '08, 19:58

I believe St. John's Wort can be made into a tisane drink.
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Postby ABx » Jun 13th, '08, 20:15

scruffmcgruff wrote:Yes, theanine and glutamate are very similar, structurally. However, so are GABA and glutamate, and it's hard to have more polar opposite functions in the brain than those two. :) What I'm trying to say is that minor differences in chemical structure can have enormous impacts on function. That said, it doesn't necessarily mean that they always *do*, so you may be on to something.
Indeed. My main point was about the taste - since they are so similar, it would make sense that both glutamate and theanine are considered the major components of the umami taste. They don't seem to be the exclusive source of the taste, but then L-Theanine does make up something like 50%-60% of the amino acid content in tea so it probably wouldn't taste any different if those others weren't present.

Tea also appears to have some protein content, which would be an obvious source of the taste as well.

IIRC, tyrosine is a dopamine precursor (it's what dopamine is made from), so it can help to restore proper dopamine levels in the brain. Where did the tyrosine thing come from, though?
Tea has Tyrosine :)

Most of what I've read has said that it helps you make better use of dopamine, but reports seem to vary.

It's not been proven to improve mood, but I suspect that anything that stimulates the brain helps to provide some temporary relief while it's working. So it may not do anything on a long-term basis, but I would suspect that it may have some contribution to the mood lifting effect that drinking tea can have.
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Postby kymidwife » Jun 13th, '08, 20:16

Thanks everyone for the great info and links... I think its a very interesting subject, whether tea would have the potential or likelihood to improve or worsen depressive symptoms. I'll be doing some further reading on the subject.

Sarah
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Postby silverneedles » Jun 16th, '08, 16:30

well, depression is depression, its a serious condition.

there are many natural substances that can affect brain chemistry.
But, taking plant derivatives that are not in a controlled known concentration doesn't help the endpoint. That's why drugs are produced by laboratories- to supervise QC and maintain a known concentration of the active substance.

That way if the doctor & patient know/notice the drug isn't working, the dose and/or drug can be changed. You can't do that with plant leafs which can have great variance of their component substances.
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Postby kymidwife » Jun 16th, '08, 16:40

Good points about medications for depression, Silverneedle... especially for severe depression.

I've been a nurse practitioner for 11 years now, and I manage depression in women all the time, with and without medications. Antidepressant medication is a very serious matter, and that step in treatment is sometimes for the good and sometimes not. Knowing what I know about the risk profiles and side effects of these drugs, the potential for pseudo-addiction, the very real existence of drug withdrawal symptoms from some of them...

Well, lets just say, drugs are not the answer for everyone... especially for mild and possibly transient situational depression. It's very good to explore remedies provided by Mother Nature... sunshine, exercise, a healthy diet, etc. have all been shown effective in clinical research studies on depression. There's also some fairly significant research being done on the effects of essential fatty acid supplementation for depression, especially postpartum depression.

My query about tea is just to extend my own body of knowledge on how to recommend the healthiest diet and lifestyle for those in need. If they require medication, I'm willing to prescribe it, but I don't always jump to it as a first line of treatment. And really... if delicious tea helps too, I say lets drink more of it!

Sarah
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Postby silverneedles » Jun 16th, '08, 16:58

:)
drugs are not for everyone ofcourse...
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Postby greenisgood » Jun 16th, '08, 19:29

as they say: a cup of tea solves everything.

has worked for me
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Qualities of Thiamine

Postby laran7 » Jun 16th, '08, 21:04

Hi - I'm very curious about these connections too -

enzymes and other nutritional factors that catalyse living processes can be killed off by too much heat - and theamine can be produced with a complicated enzyme process ( that I absolutely have no training in to start to understand ) -

is part of the tea ceremony's ritual of understanding the heating - usually not boiling the tea leaves have something to do with preserving active properties of
thiamine - including anti depressive.

It makes sense to me
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Postby silverneedles » Jun 16th, '08, 23:10

theanine is an amino acid.

theanine is about 1.5% by dry weight of a tea leaf (doesn't mean all of it will come out into the water)
theanine is consumed in the process of photosynthesis ("live" leaf sunbathing)

i dont know the quantity required to produce any "anti-depressant" effects in the brain.

theanine and the polyphenols/flavonoids/ecgcs/etcs are stable at high temperature.(don't know the limit.)

tea leaf is not boiled in water because it would taste really bad :) (everything would come out into the water)
Last edited by silverneedles on Jun 17th, '08, 00:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mary R » Jun 16th, '08, 23:46

Just a point of clarification: theanine *is* an amino acid, but it is not among the 20 standard amino acids used in protein biosynthesis. You will never find it in a protein.

Well, I shouldn't say never.
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Postby silverneedles » Jun 17th, '08, 00:06

heh, good catch :oops:
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Postby Mary R » Jun 17th, '08, 00:22

Aw, no need to feel embarrassed! Outside of the whole "amino acids make proteins" thing, it's really hard to remember just what the little buggers actually do, and really easy to forget that it's just the 20 that make the proteins.
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Postby silverneedles » Jun 17th, '08, 00:36

hehe, i didnt express it well in the sentence,
but shoulda remembered its just the 20

phe val ....leu isoleu ...thr....his ... TRP ...
.... :oops: ...

what was the mnemonic.. private...
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Postby ABx » Jun 17th, '08, 01:09

kymidwife wrote:Good points about medications for depression, Silverneedle... especially for severe depression.

I've been a nurse practitioner for 11 years now, and I manage depression in women all the time, with and without medications. Antidepressant medication is a very serious matter, and that step in treatment is sometimes for the good and sometimes not. Knowing what I know about the risk profiles and side effects of these drugs, the potential for pseudo-addiction, the very real existence of drug withdrawal symptoms from some of them...

Well, lets just say, drugs are not the answer for everyone... especially for mild and possibly transient situational depression. It's very good to explore remedies provided by Mother Nature... sunshine, exercise, a healthy diet, etc. have all been shown effective in clinical research studies on depression. There's also some fairly significant research being done on the effects of essential fatty acid supplementation for depression, especially postpartum depression.

My query about tea is just to extend my own body of knowledge on how to recommend the healthiest diet and lifestyle for those in need. If they require medication, I'm willing to prescribe it, but I don't always jump to it as a first line of treatment. And really... if delicious tea helps too, I say lets drink more of it!

Sarah
I would really think that tea could help :) Tea contributes to overall well-being, which really only helps. I don't know a whole lot about depression, but I'm sure there are many different causes and I'd bet that tea could directly affect some of them. At any rate it's certainly not going to hurt, and if some of them can get on the road of discovery then I'm sure that path itself could help :)
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Postby CynTEAa » Jun 19th, '08, 09:27

Very interesting thread and a great discussion. Although, I'm scared of that bacterium, Mary :wink:
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