Nootropics for Mood: Can 'Smart Drugs' Make You Happy?

We take a look at another facet of one of the varied world of nootropics: mood enhancement

3 Minute ReadEducation by David Levesley

23.02.22 (Updated 22.11.22)

Nootropics are a something of a wonder substance: great for concentration and brain health, but also a solution for stress and anxiety, and a way of bolstering your mood.

At LYMA, we want to tackle all of these parts of the human experience – and more besides – which is why we use what we believe to be the best nootropics on the market. These include Cognizin®, which is a fantastic nootropic for brain health and affron®, a patented extract derived from saffron and recognised for being one of the most effective and strongest mood enhancement supplements out there. With affron®, this is the first time saffron has been synthesised into an ingredient that is proven to achieve the health qualities that ayurvedic and Persian medicine have claimed for thousands of years.

In this piece we’ll talk about:

  • Nootropics for mood: how do they work?
  • What nootropics are good for mood?
  • What is saffron?
  • What is affron®?
  • How does affron® help your mood?

Nootropics for mood: how do they work?

While nootropics are often referred to as ‘smart drugs’, this – as Dr Andrew Huberman, Professor of Neuroscience at Stanford University, points out – is a very reductive description. “Smart means very different things in different contexts,” he explains in this episode of his podcast, “so the idea that there’s one pill or one formula that would make us smarter and better at all these things at once just doesn’t stand up to logic.” While the effect of some nootropics might be to improve brain health, and some will help with student concentration and others with memory, there are others that are great for anxiety and stress, and others still that improve mood.

What nootropics are good for mood?

A few nootropics out there are reported to be good for mood.

  • Omega 3 is a popular nootropic that helps with brain and heart health, as well as mood. While supplements containing Omega 3 are some of the most popular, research has found that many are rancid by the time the customer buys them; other studies have also found that Omega 3 via supplement, and not via diet, has little effect. Read more about the myths surrounding Omega 3 here.
  • Pine Bark Extract, particularly in a patented form known as Pycnogenol®, is said to improve your mood, mindfulness, attention and problem solving, as well as your memory in the short and long term.
  • Grape Seed Extract has been shown in some studies, including this one on rats, to improve mood, memory and potentially help against stress induced disorders.
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) has been shown in several trials to benefit mood, memory, sleep and brain health. People who tried it in studies, however, also displayed gastrointestinal symptoms and headaches.
  • Saffron is reported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and antioxidant qualities that benefit your mood. In affron®, the patented form LYMA uses, these are all brought to the fore.

What is saffron?

Saffron is derived from the stigmas of the Crocus sativus, which grows in Greece, Morocco, Iran and India. Saffron is used in cooking as a way of imparting colour and a unique earthy flavour, and is also used as a dye, perfume and textile dye. Due to its scarcity and the labour required to produce it, saffron is incredibly expensive.

It has also been celebrated for its medicinal qualities for over 4,000 years. The Ancient Greeks celebrated it for its health properties, feeding it to soldiers before conflict. Persian and Ayurvedic medical practices have also both praised the power of saffron.

What is affron®?

While saffron has been celebrated for millennia, and there are saffron extracts available for supplementation, none have the scientific backing that patented extract affron® does. It’s also more bioavailable than saffron itself, meaning the body can usefully absorb and process it.

How does affron® help your mood?

The mood-boosting capacity of affron® has been backed by six independent, double-blind, peer-reviewed studies. In some instances, it has been found that supplementing with affron® helps to counter the side effects of anti-depressants - including libido suppression - and can also be a helpful ally in weening yourself off anti-depressants.

What else helps boost mood?

Ashwagandha is another natural remedy that has been celebrated for its mood boosting properties. The ashwagandha ingredient included in the LYMA formula is Ashwagandha KSM-66®, which peer-reviewed studies have shown is efficacious in relieving stress, anxiety and depression.

LYMA’s combination of patented, proven ingredients is formulated to deliver the multiple benefits of nootropics on anxiety and mood: good for brain health, and also improving mood.



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