Madrid—Pharmactive Biotech Products, S.L.U., reported on the latest research on its affron natural saffron ingredient. In the clinical study:
  1. Affron improved enjoyment in sport active adults.

  2. In males, affron can help increase resilience to stress and anxiety by increasing the cardiac parasympathetic response that regulates post-exercise heart rate.

Pharmactive noted that previous research has demonstrated that the company's clean-label saffron ingredient can help promote better sleep and boost recovery for athletes. And the new study showed that recreationally active males who supplement with affron experience greater self-reported exercise enjoyment and positive Heart Rate Variability (HRV).

“While most consumers agree exercise and physical activity are vital, especially after so many have spent too much of the past three years in lockdown, for most people routine exercise three times a week is hard, and often is boring,” said Jean-Marie Raymond, Pharmactive CEO, in a press release. “But if it’s possible to better enjoy the activity, it can create positive feedback that encourages doing more and maintaining a routine much longer.”

About the saffron/performance study

The six-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included healthy, nonprofessional participants, aged 18 to 65 years. Subjects performed moderate-to-intense aerobic exercise more than three times per week. Activities included cycling, running, swimming, tennis, aerobics, and/or boxing. Subjects were chosen using strict exclusion criteria. 62 volunteers participated in the study; 59 completed it. Each subject took 14 mg of affron, two times per day.

The researchers provided participants a standard sport wearable to measure HRV. This allowed subjects to engage with their watch and see results daily and in real time. At the end of the trial, the affron group demonstrated statistically significant changes compared to the placebo group in HRV, measured during bedtime.

“We decided to use a sports watch in the study model during sleep-time as it offers a very easy to use means measuring heart rate. Using the sports watch, consumers can see for themselves the impact of affron in real time and in the long term,” Raymond explained.

Measuring Workout Enjoyment

To measure how much the volunteers enjoyed their workouts, researchers employed the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PAES). Results revealed a statistically significant increase in PAES score over time in the affron group. The placebo group experience no such response.

“Affron’s positive effect on heart rate and work out enjoyment could be attributed to various physiological mechanisms at play,” said Alberto Espinel, Head of Strategic R&D in Active and Functional Natural Ingredients, Pharmactive. “Previous animal studies have endorsed it role in reducing stress hormones such as cortisol while raising the 'happy hormones' serotonin and dopamine. The botanical also demonstrated a relaxant effect on smooth muscles and blood vessels. Studies suggest it may even positively interact with the gut flora, which affects the nervous system. Moreover saffron is touted as a potent anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory.”

Pharmactive’s affron is naturally extracted from saffron with full control by the company from farm to shelf. The company says it is water-soluble and versatile across multiple applications, including supplements, powders, and shots.

The recommended amount of affron: 28mg per day. It can be taken in a single dose, or split into two 14mg doses.

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