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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effect of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense (Relora®) on cortisol and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects

Shawn M Talbott1*, Julie A Talbott1 and Mike Pugh2

Author Affiliations

1 SupplementWatch, 648 Rocky Knoll, Draper, UT 84020, USA

2 MonaVie, 10855 S River Front Parkway, South Jordan, UT 84095, USA

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:37  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-37

Published: 7 August 2013

Abstract

Background

Magnolia (Magnolia officinalis) and Phellodendron (Phellodendron amurense) barks are medicinal plants commonly used as traditional remedies for reducing stress and anxiety. Modern dietary supplements are intended to induce relaxation and reduce stress as well as stress-related eating. Previous studies have shown the combination of Magnolia/Phellodendron (MP) to reduce both cortisol exposure and the perception of stress/anxiety, while improving weight loss in subjects with stress-related eating. Competitive athletes are “stressed” by their intense exercise regimens in addition to their normal activities of daily living and thus may benefit from a natural therapy intended to modulate baseline perceptions of stress and stress hormone exposure.

Methods

We assessed salivary cortisol exposure and psychological mood state in 56 subjects (35 men and 21 women) screened for moderate stress and supplemented with a standardized/patented MP combination (Relora®, Next Pharmaceuticals) or Placebo for 4 weeks.

Results

After 4 weeks of supplementation, salivary cortisol exposure was significantly (p<0.05) lower (−18%) in the Relora group compared to Placebo. Compared to Placebo, the Relora group had significantly better (p<0.05) mood state parameters, including lower indices of Overall Stress (−11%), Tension (−13%), Depression (−20%), Anger (−42%), Fatigue (−31%), and Confusion (−27%), and higher indices of Global Mood State (+11%) and Vigor (+18%).

Conclusion

These results indicate that daily supplementation with a combination of Magnolia bark extract and Phellodendron bark extract (Relora®) reduces cortisol exposure and perceived daily stress, while improving a variety of mood state parameters, including lower fatigue and higher vigor. These results suggest an effective natural approach to modulating the detrimental health effects of chronic stress in moderately stressed adults. Future studies should examine the possible performance and recovery benefits of Relora supplementation in athletes overstressed by the physical and psychological demands of training and competition.

Keywords:
Stress; Cortisol; Vigor; Magnolia; Phellodendron; Mood; Relora