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JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2013 May-Jun;37(3):384-91. doi: 10.1177/0148607112458798. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Perioperative oral administration of cystine and theanine enhances recovery after distal gastrectomy: a prospective randomized trial.

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Department of Surgery, Sendai City Medical Center, Sendai, Japan.



It has been reported that cystine and theanine, amino acids related to glutathione synthesis, have immunomodulatory effects, such as suppressing inflammation after strenuous exercise. In this study, we examined the effects of oral administration of cystine and theanine during the perioperative period as a pilot study.


Forty-three cases of distal gastrectomy for cancer conducted in our department were assigned to the cystine and theanine group (CT group) or to the placebo control group (P group), and a randomized, single-blind, parallel-group study was then performed. Cystine (700 mg) and theanine (280 mg) or a placebo was administered to participants for 10 continuous days (4 days before to 5 days after surgery). Changes in pre- and postoperative interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, white blood cell (WBC) count, neutrophil count, total lymphocyte count, resting energy expenditure (REE), and body temperature were compared and examined.


Ten patients were excluded, leaving 33 patients in the study. The CT group had significantly lower IL-6 values (postoperative day [POD] 4), CRP levels (POD 7), neutrophil counts (POD 4), and body temperatures (POD 5) than the P group (P < .05). In addition, REE in the P group peaked on day 1 (1.14 ± 0.16 [pre- and postoperative ratio]), whereas the CT group did not show any increase on POD 1 (0.99 ± 0.21, P < .05 vs P group).


This study suggests that oral administration of cystine and theanine during the perioperative period may alleviate postgastrectomy inflammation and promote recovery after surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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