Unravelling the mechanisms of saffron as an adaptogenic plant

Published: 27-Feb-2024

Safranal can offer multiple health benefits, including stress reduction and overall amelioration of wellbeing

In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become an inevitable and escalating aspect of daily life, affecting millions globally. The disruptive impact of chronic stress on the body’s equilibrium and overall mental well-being is a growing concern. 

Safr’Inside™, distinguished by a patented extraction process called Tech’Care™, acts efficientlyas an adaptogenic plant extract. 

Activ’Inside has undertaken seven extensive studies, unravelling the mechanism of action in which Safr’Inside™ serves as an adaptogenic marvel, uniquely equipped to effectively manage stress.


Understanding adaptogenic plants

Adaptogens are substances, often derived from plants, that help the body adapt to stressors, supporting overall well-being. These substances work by regulating various biological systems to restore balance, or homeostasis, in the body. 

In the context of saffron, Activ’Inside’s Safr’Inside™ emerges as a favourable adaptogenic extract, showcasing its potential to address stress through a multifaceted approach.


Saffron’s historical significance and clinical studies

Saffron, derived from Crocus sativus L., has a rich history of medicinal use dating back to ancient civilisation. 

Over ten clinical studies have explored its benefits on mental well-being, emphasising its potential in managing emotions. However, the underlying mechanisms of saffron’s beneficial properties have remained largely unexplored.


Safr’Inside™: A Patented Saffron Extract

Activ’Inside’s Safr’Inside™ sets itself apart by being the saffron extract containing the highest concentration of safranal (0,2% measured by UHPLC technique), the molecule giving saffron its typical odour. Safranal can offer multiple benefits to wellbeing.

Thanks to a patented extraction process, Tech’Care™ preserving the volatile and thermosensitive saffron molecules, Safr’Inside™ contains the full spectrum of compounds originally present in the plant, essential for a complete action on stress.


Mechanisms of action 

  • Enhancement of neurotransmission: In the brain, serotonin and dopamine play crucial roles in emotional regulation, notably for happiness and pleasure. Activ’Inside's proprietary preclinical studies validated Safr’Inside’s potential to protect neurotransmission and decrease depressive-like behaviours under stress conditions. Human studies further supported these findings, demonstrating Safr’Inside’s ability to boost serotonin and dopamine release, contributing to improve emotional well-being
  • Delay in cortisol secretion: Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released in response to perceived threats. Safr’Inside and one of its main active compounds, safranal, were studied in humans under acute stress conditions. Their administration 13 minutes before a stressor induced a delay in the cortisol response. Safr’Inside proved to be more effective than safranal alone, showcasing the importance of the full spectrum of saffron in modulating the biological response to stress and increasing stress resistance.
  • Neuroprotection against oxidative stress: Stress-induced cortisol production can lead to oxidative stress, harming neurons. Safr’Inside demonstrated neuroprotective effects by preventing stress-induced free radical formation and maintaining Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels. This protection is crucial for preserving neurogenesis and preventing emotional disorders associated with stress.

  • Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system: The autonomic nervous system regulates involuntary functions and includes two branches: sympathetic and parasympathetic. Heart rate variability (HRV) is the result of these two systems simultaneously sending signals to your heart. Stress often shifts the balance toward the sympathetic nervous system, decreasing HRV and the ability to manage stress, as observed in our clinical study. Safr’Inside™, maintained HRV and parasympathetic nervous system activity during stress, indicating its calming effect and benefits for stress management.

  • Prebiotic action and gut-brain axis modulation: Recent studies highlight the role of the gut microbiota in mental well-being. Safr’Inside exhibited a prebiotic effect, notably by boosting Akkermansia bacteria, countering inflammation-induced dysbiosis. The restoration of a healthy microbiota correlated with reduced anxious behaviour, emphasising the connection between gut health and emotional balance.

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Activ’Inside’s Safr’Inside, with its robust scientific foundation, emerges as a leading adaptogenic saffron extract. Through a holistic approach, it addresses stress on multiple fronts, enhancing neurotransmission, regulating cortisol secretion, protecting neurons, activating the parasympathetic nervous system and modulating the gut-brain axis. 

As stress continues to affect a significant portion of the population, Safr’Inside™ stands as a promising natural solution to help the body adapt and restore balance in the face of life’s challenges.

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