Brands are increasingly marketing products with health benefits for body and mind, with ingredients that aim to combine wellness with mood enhancing properties
Sirio Europe has forecasted a winter surge in requests from nutra brands for ‘dual benefit’ mood enhancing formulations as a result of COVID-19 measures.
The company said the normal winter increase in demand for mood enhancing formulations is being significantly accelerated by the ongoing effects of European and North American lockdowns and national restrictions. It suggests rather than purchase these as stand-alone products, consumers are looking for nutraceuticals that also provide physical health benefits including enhanced immunity, heart function or metabolism.
Combination products containing plant-based extracts may increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote normal physiological functioning in combination with omega-3 oils and vitamins.
Probiotic products have potential in this category, Sirio says, as research has established a strong relationship between mood and the gut-brain axis, in addition to its traditional dietary tract benefits.
Adaptogens are also reportedly seeing increased interest based upon emerging evidence on wellbeing. Recent studies have reportedly shown turmeric, widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties, can also positively enhance mood.
Sirio has identified growing interest in saffron, due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of its two extracts crocin and safranal. Several recent studies pointed to improvements in mood and depression, even in a comparative trial versus an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).
Usually these plant extracts are offered as powders. However, by suspending these adaptogens in essential oils, brands can develop formulations that cover a larger range of holistic benefits, Sirio claims.
“The majority of European countries are in national lockdowns or have ongoing restrictions on meeting people, with the expectations this will extend well into the New Year. Unfortunately, these lockdowns happen to coincide with the beginning of winter, a season typically associated with lower moods. We anticipate a huge surge in demand for products that offer new mood enhancing formulations, but those that really stand apart, will be marketed with additional wellness benefits,” said Dr Dominique Baum, MD at Sirio Europe.