affron saffron targets teen stress

The first clinically proven botanical to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in teenagers may help youth in current crisis

Teenagers are one of the most vulnerable targets for stress induced by the COVID-19 crisis and among the hardest hit from a mental health standpoint.

Parents are seeking natural, holistic solutions for mental health for their children and themselves. Pharmactive Biotech can now offer its affron, all-natural saffron extract as a holistic solution for mental health for teens and other age groups.

  • Results from a study of 500 participants in the University of Oxford’s “Achieving Resilience During COVID-19” (ARC) show that more than one third of 13–18-year-olds reported high levels of loneliness. The study also uncovered evidence of loneliness as predicting depression and possible anxiety in the future.
  • In a recent survey by the UK-based Young Minds movement of 2111 young people with a history of mental health problems, more than half reported that the pressure brought on by the COVID-19 crisis made their mental health “a bit worse,” and nearly one third reported that it made their mental health “much worse.”
  • A study by UNICEF Australia revealed that the threat of the coronavirus and the associated lockdown is damaging the well-being of Australian teenagers, with fewer than half saying they are “coping well.” Almost half of young people report that COVID-19 has increased their stress and anxiety.

affron is the first saffron extract (Crocus sativus L.) clinically studied on adolescents. In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of adolescents aged 12-16 years with mild-to-moderate symptoms, affron, when taken during an 8-week period, improved anxiety and depressive symptoms in the subjects.

“affron possesses a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory impact, which not only could help balance key neurotransmitters levels, such as serotonin and dopamine, but also fights the oxidative stress produced by anxiety and stress in the brain,” explains Alberto Espinel, Manager of Strategic R&D in Active and Functional Natural Ingredients for Pharmactive.

“Unfortunately, investigations into the use of herbal and nutraceutical agents for youth are limited. However, they carry significant potential that has yet to be realized. This gap in scientific exploration is what inspired our study of affron with adolescents.”

Teen help line

Adolescents typically have a heightened reactivity to stress, thought to be the result of hormonal fluctuations and changes in brain development. The teenage years are already difficult, but COVID-19 has intensified the situation.

Owing to school closures and cancelled extracurricular activities, many teens are missing out on some of the biggest moments of their lives, such as sports events, proms, etc., in addition to basic everyday moments, like chatting with friends and participating in class.

“It's hard enough being a teenager on a good day and the social isolation is making it even harder,” says Julia Díaz Sáez, Head of Marketing for Pharmactive.

“There is no magic solution. It is important to help teens cope with anxiety and stress by encouraging them to work out regularly, keep a routine, play music, and show them love and support. Combined with daily consumption of affron saffron, it can help pave the way to ease stress and anxiety in teens.”

The clinical studies on adolescents indicate that Pharmactive’s affron could present a safe and highly compelling option for helping teens and even younger children cope with crisis events, especially where access to in-person psychological therapy is restricted.

This pure ingredient exhibits the lowest dosage threshold on the market — just 28 mg per day — owing to its high bioavailability and rapid one-hour average absorption rate.

Companies