Saffron and tryptophan improve mood
Saffron reduced depression in perimenopause
As women approach menopause—perimenopause—physical symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances can occur. Cognitive performance and mood factors such as depression and anxiety are also common. In this study, 82 perimenopausal women, aged 40 to 60, took a placebo or 14 mg of saffron extract twice per day. Doctors measured symptoms at the start and end of the 12-week trial.
Those who took saffron saw greater improvements in mood and psychological symptoms compared to the placebo group and, compared to the start of the study, saffron takers saw a 33 percent decrease in anxiety, and a 32 percent decrease in depression scores. There were no changes in either group for any of the physical symptoms.
Reference: Journal of Menopausal Medicine; 2021, Vol. 27, e8, Published Online
Tryptophan reduced anxiety, improved mood, sleep qualityT
In this review of 11 random controlled clinical trials on anxiety and mood, participants took a placebo or doses ranging from 140 to 3,000 mg of tryptophan per day.
Overall, those taking tryptophan reported decreases in anxiety and increases in positive mood. In four of the studies, there were significant decreases in negative feelings and increases in happy feelings for those taking tryptophan compared to placebo.
In a separate study, tryptophan reduced the amount of time awake after falling asleep, with those taking more than 1 gram falling back asleep after 29 minutes compared to 57 minutes for those taking doses less than 1 gram of tryptophan.
Tryptophan reduced anxiety, improved mood
Reference: Journal of Dietary Supplements, 2021, Vol. 18, No. 3, Published Online
Tryptophan improved sleep quality
Reference: Nutrition Reviews, 2021, nuab027, Published Online