Theacrine (1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid) is a naturally occurring purine alkaloid, present in Camellia assamica variety kucha tea. Using a two-part approach in humans, the impact of theacrine (TeaCrine®, TC) was used to examine subjective dose-response, daily changes in cognitive and psychometric parameters, and changes in gas exchange and vital signs. All indicators were chosen to better ascertain the previously reported animal and human outcomes involving theacrine administration. Part 1 was a randomized, open-label, dose-response investigation in nine healthy participants whereby three participants ingested 400 mg TC per day and six participants ingested 200 mg/day. Participants recorded subjective changes in cognitive, psychometric, and exercise attributes using 150-mm anchored visual analog scale (VAS) before, and 1, 4, and 6 hours after ingestion every day for 7 consecutive days. Part 2 was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation in 15 healthy subjects in which all participants ingested a single 200 mg dose of TC or Placebo (PLA). Anchored VAS questionnaires were used to detect subjective changes in various aspects of physical and mental energy along with changes in gas exchange and hemodynamic parameters before, and 1, 2, and 3 hours after acute ingestion. Energy, focus, and concentration increased from baseline values in both doses with no dose-response effect. VAS responses in the 200 mg for willingness to exercise, anxiety, motivation to train and libido increased across the measurement period while no such change was seen with the 400 mg dose. After consuming a single 200 mg dose, significant group × time interaction effects were seen for energy, fatigue, and concentration. No changes in resting heart rate, gas exchange, systemic hemodynamics or side effect profiles were noted.
Keywords: alternative medicine; botanical; caffeine; dietary supplement; energy.