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L-theanine intervention enhances human γδ T lymphocyte function

Jack F Bukowski, Susan S Percival
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2007.00013.x 96-102 First published online: 1 February 2008


Human γδ T lymphocytes are a subset of T cells and are a first line of defense against microbes and tumors. These γδ T cells can be primed by nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates, and certain short-chain alkylamines. These primed γδ T cells have an enhanced capacity to proliferate and to secrete cytokines upon ex vivo exposure to a wide variety of microbes and tumor cells. The largest dietary source of alkylamines is L-theanine, an amino acid unique to tea beverages that is catabolized to ethylamine. Supplementation of subjects with capsules containing L-theanine and catechins has recently been shown to decrease the incidence of cold and flu symptoms, while enhancing γδ T cell function.

  • cold
  • gamma delta T cells
  • green tea
  • influenza
  • innate immunity
  • nutrition
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