Theanine is an amino acid molecule. So far, naturally occurring theanine has been found – along with other phytochemicals such as catechins and caffeine – only in tea leaves (Camelia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) in different concentrations depending on the plant variety. In recent years, the effects of theanine on several organic functions such as mental activity, sleep and cardiovascular functions have been the subject of several researches with interesting findings still under investigation.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) is a perennial herbaceous plant rich in flavonoids and providing a precious scented essential oil. It has traditionally been employed in herbal medicine, both as a single remedy and combined with other plant species, due to its beneficial properties on the nervous system. In fact, it favours natural relaxation and mental wellbeing, with positive effects also on the mood, thus helping combat highly stressful situations. It is also used to regulate the gastrointestinal motility and facilitate the digestive functions especially in case of psychosomatic disorders.
Griffonia (Griffonia simplicifolia DC: Baille) is a woody climbing shrub commonly found in the sub-humid zones of Western and Central Africa. Its seeds, harvested when the pods are fully ripe, can contain, in addition to reserve starch, 7 to 10% of 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP), a chemical precursor of the 5-hydroxytryptamine neurotransmitter (5-HT), commonly known as serotonin. Thanks to its phytochemical profile, it is employed to maintain a normal mood, favour relaxation and mental wellbeing as well as contribute to control hunger.
A mineral involved in a wealth of organic functions, magnesium is the second most abundant intracellular cation in the human body after potassium, particularly concentrated in the skeleton. Magnesium is essential for the cellular energy metabolism (being the cofactor of a number of enzymatic reactions) as well as for the functioning of the muscular and nervous systems where it provides a relaxing effect. It also contributes to the body electrolyte balance and provides support against tiredness and fatigue by helping normal psychological functions such as memory, attention, and concentration.
Green tea (Camelia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) is a typical shrub of Southeast Asia, India, and China, whose leaves have been used since ancient times for the preparation of tonic drinks with antioxidant, draining properties, useful in case of physical tiredness and mental fatigue. In addition to the presence of caffeine and other methylxanthines, which are generally attributed an invigorating and stimulating effect on the central nervous system, it is characterized by the presence of polyphenols and catechins, in particular (-) - epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which are able to counteract the effects of free radicals.
Taurine (2-aminoethanesulphonic acid) is the second most abundant amino acid in the human body. It is defined as "conditionally essential" because it is synthesized from methionine or cysteine in the presence of vitamin B6, but often not in sufficient quantities so as to meet the daily requirements. Therefore it must be taken with food. The main food sources are animal proteins (meat, fish, milk, and eggs). Instead, it is not present in vegetables. It was first isolated in 1827 by two Austrian scientists, Friedrich Tiedemann and Leopold Gmelin, who found it at high concentrations in the bile of a bull (hence the name attributed to the substance); it is mostly found in the nervous, muscular and cardiac muscle tissues and is one of the main intracellular osmolytes.
Important for its co-enzymatic function, it is converted in vivo to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), which represent its bioactive form, and is present in many reduction-oxidation reactions involved in catabolic and anabolic processes, thus contributing to the functioning of the cellular energy metabolism. It also helps combat tiredness and fatigue, contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and to the balance of psychological functions.
The term vitamin B6 refers to three metabolically interconvertible compounds - pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine – as well as their respective phosphoric esters, which represent its bioactive form, taking part in a number of enzymatic reactions. For instance, vitamin B6 is involved in the metabolism of some amino acids, proteins, and glycogen, but also takes part in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters and contributes to the regulation of the hormonal activity and to the normal functioning of the nervous system as well.
The term vitamin B12 refers to a group of chemically complex and related substances, also known as cobalamins (due to the fact that they contain cobalt), characterized by a fundamental hematopoietic activity; indeed, vitamin B12 contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells, but its functions also involve other tissues. For example, it contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and helps counteract tiredness and fatigue.
A precursor of coenzyme-A, a carrier of acyl groups that enters the metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fatty acids. It contributes to the normal functioning of the cellular energy metabolism, to the proper synthesis and metabolism of steroid hormones, of vitamin D and of some neurotransmitters; it provides support in the physiological mental performances (concentration, learning, reasoning) and counteracts psychological and physical stress.