Glycemic control, healthy digestion and balanced hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal (HPA) axis functions are 3 key functions to help optimize one’s mood. Several plant – based ingredients along with chromium have been shown to support these system functions.
Saffron has been traditionally used as a calmative, mood support botanical, contributing to better digestion of food. Crocus sativa L. is native to the Mid dle East, particularly Spain. Animal studies show the compounds safranal and crocin found in the saffron stigma may exert effects on mood by balancing levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Saffron has been studied in six human clinical trials analyzing HAM – D scores (Hamilton Rating Scale) over 6 – 8 weeks , with meta – analysis showing this botanical to have clear and beneficial mood support properties.
Rhodiola is a well – studied adaptogenic herb that supports many body systems, and can impact cardiovascular and cognitive health, especially as it relates to energy, mood, and sleep. One six week trial assessed the efficacy of 340 – 680 mg of standardized rhodiola extract and found notable bene fits compared to placebo. It is believed the changes in monoamine levels are a result of compounds contained in Rhodiola rosea inhibiting the activity of the enzymes involved in the degradation of norepinephrine and serotonin , specifically monoamine oxidase and catechol – O – methyltransferase. It is also believed that Rhodiola rosea facilitates the transport of neurotransmitters within the brain.
Curcumin is considered the active component in the Indian spice called turmeric. With a reputation spanning thousands of years, turmeric’s mood benefits stem from its direct impact on brain chemistry. It is hypothesized that curcumin supports mood by inhibiting the monoamine oxidase enzyme and modulating the release of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters. Longvida® Optimized Curcumin is a bioavailable form of curcumin utilizing SLCP™ technology, Solid Lipid Curcumin Particles, to aid in absorption and deliver brain – permeable free curcumin. A randomized, double – blind, placebo – controlled trial examined the effects of 400 mg Longvida® on cognitive function, mood and blood biomarkers in healthy aging adults. Working memory as well as mood, measured as calmness, contentedness and fatigue induced by psychological stress, were significantly supported following use of Longvida Optimized Curcumin.
Berberine is a naturally occurring alkaloid known to help digestion, support blood sugar metabolism , and balance mood. Ber berine modulates gut microbiota , a key player in mood support. It also supports central nervous system activities, particularly the ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase – A. Animal studies have shown berberine’s ability to support mood, possibly through modulation of the sigma 1 receptor. Human studies also show its ability to both support insulin action as well as digestive function.
The essential trace element chromium is a component of glucose tolerance factor, a complex molecule in the body used to balance insulin levels and maintain already healthy blood sugar. Chromium’s mechanism may also exist in its ability to activate brain serotonin. In a small, placebo controlled trial chromium has demonstrated mood benefits in 70% of subjects.