Theophylline is a natural compound from the group of methylxanthines, which is currently obtained also in a synthetic way. In natural conditions, theophylline can be also found in i.a. tea leaves and cocoa beans.
It has anti-inflammatory and relaxing effect, therefore as a drug it finds application in the treatment of asthma. In case of theophylline - as an ingredient of dietary supplements - the mechanism based on inhibiting the activity of phosphodiesterase is the most important here - an enzyme responsible for cAMP breakdown. Theophylline, by being an inhibitor of this enzyme, contributes to the increase of intracellular concentration of cyclic AMP, at the same time increasing thermogenic and lipolytic processes and increasing the ability to concentrate as well as reducing the feeling of fatigue.
Therefore, theophylline demonstrates similar activity to caffeine, additionally positively influencing respiration and improving blood flow through kidneys. These properties makes theophylline a valuable ingredient of fat burners and pre-workout supplements.