Effects of theanine, a unique amino acid in tea leaves, on memory in a rat behavioral test

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 May;72(5):1356-9. doi: 10.1271/bbb.70669. Epub 2008 May 7.


We identified an effect of theanine on memory functions in a novel object test. Rats were fed theanine for 3 weeks ad libitum, and then they performed the object test. The theanine-fed group performed search behavior for the novel object in the test session. The results suggest that theanine-fed rats showed improved recognition, and that theanine affected learning and memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Drinking / drug effects
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Glutamates / pharmacology*
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Glutamates
  • Tea
  • theanine