Felix Advanced 60 capsules
High Potency Pure Saffron Extract with BCM 95
Indications: Helps promote healthy mood balance
Amount per capsule:
- Standardised Saffron (Crocus Sativus L) extract 15mg
- Bio Curcumin BCM 95 (Curcuma Longa L) 25:1 extract 250mg
Saffron has been traditionally used as a calmative, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory. This beautiful herb also imparts the gastrointestinal advantage of relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract to reduce spasms and help digest food, as well being an appetite enhancer (Yarnell, 2008).
Studies on Saffron for Mood Support
A number of studies indicate that the stigma of the plant (the top of the plant where the pollen is, which is technically called the ‘saffron’) and petal of Crocus sativus plant both have similar mood benefits. Animal studies show the compounds safranal and crocin in the crocus plant may exert anti-depressant effects by keeping balanced levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin (Hosseinzadeh et al., 2004).
Studies in humans show there is benefit to both anxiety and depression. An 8-week double-blind randomized Iranian trial of 40 adult depressed outpatients were randomly assigned to receive either a capsule of petal of the Crocus plant at 15 mg in the morning and evening or Fluoxetine (Prozac) at 10 mg in the morning and evening, for a 8 weeks. At the end of trial, petal the Crocus was found to be as effective as the drug. Fluoxetine (Prozac) had an 85% responder rate with 17 of 20 patients and crocus showed a similar 75% (Basti et al., 2007). In another six week comparison to imipramine (an older style tricyclic antidepressant drug), researchers foudn significantly better results when patients were given a Hamilton Depression scale, which is a well-known questionnaire used to assess mood (Akhondzadeh et al., 2005).
The latest 2014 review of studies analyzed 14 studies which used saffron as an anti-depressant. This review even found saffron to be an agent effective to help Alzheimer’s, showing it more effective than the placebo, and as effective as donepezil (Aricept), which is the main conventional medication for this difficult-to-treat condition of aging. Some studies also showed benefit to help with weight loss (by reducing the need to snack) while others showed help with premenstrual syndrome (Moshiri, 2014). A separate 2013 review which used an even more stringent criteria for including studies also found saffron supplementation effective to significantly reduce depression symptoms compared to the placebo control (Hausenblas, 2013).
Adjunctive Treatment for Patients with Depression and Anxiety
A very recent work, also from Iran, looked at a 9 month study of 40 patients with major depression who were taking conventional psychiatric medications. Half took crocin, the major constituent of saffron alongside their medication, while and half took only the drugs. The subjects who took the combination spice and drugs had showed significantly improved scores for depression relief, anxiety relief and general overall health status compared to placebo group (Talaei, 2015).
And saffron may also be good for sexual side effects too. Another work found saffron to effectively decrease the antidepressant sexual side effects common in men. The men found it helped erectile issues, and increased satisfaction too (Modabbernia, 2012). Other herbals like ginkgo also show some benefits for this problem as well. The erectile function issues is a tough issue for most men I see in my practice who are taking antidepressants. Anything that help that doesn’t negatively interact with medication and doesn’t cause side effects makes sense to me.
BCM 95 and depression
A number of studies have had positive results in using BCM-95 for depression.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 123 individuals were allocated to one of four treatment conditions. It was concluded that differing doses of curcumin were effective in supporting healthy mood function.
Results of another clinical study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in January 2017 showed that “BCM-95 targets anxiety and depression.” It suggests that turmeric extract “could support adults struggling with major depressive disorder and anxiety.”
Life Extension reported on a clinical study published in Phytotherapy Research where a team of internationally recognized scientists found that “a specialized complex of curcumin fights the crippling effects of depression by attacking multiple underlying targets.”
The Natural Medicine Journal shared a 2014 randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study that looked at effects of curcumin in people with major depression and found that “BCM-95 curcumin not only benefitted patients with major depression, but also significantly enhanced antidepressant and anxiolytic efficacy in people with atypical depression, which is generally much harder to treat.”