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Open Access Research

Effect of a proprietary Magnolia and Phellodendron extract on stress levels in healthy women: a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Douglas S Kalman1*, Samantha Feldman2, Robert Feldman3, Howard I Schwartz4, Diane R Krieger5 and Robert Garrison6

Author affiliations

1 Director, Nutrition, Miami Research Associates. Miami, FL, USA

2 Senior Coordinator, Nutrition, Miami Research Associates. Miami FL, USA

3 Director, Women's Health, Miami Research Associates. Miami, FL, USA

4 Medical Director, Miami Research Associates. Miami, FL, USA

5 Medical Director, Nutrition & Endocrinology, Miami Research Associates. Miami, FL, USA

6 Chairman of the Board (deceased), Next Pharmaceuticals, Salinas, CA, USA

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2008, 7:11  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-7-11

Published: 21 April 2008

Abstract

Background

Recent research has established correlations between stress, anxiety, insomnia and excess body weight and these correlations have significant implications for health. This study measured the effects of a proprietary blend of extracts of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense (Relora®) on anxiety, stress and sleep in healthy premenopausal women.

Methods

This randomized, parallel, placebo controlled clinical study was conducted with healthy, overweight (BMI 25 to 34.9), premenopausal female adults, between the ages of 20 and 50 years, who typically eat more in response to stressful situations and scores above the national mean for women on self-reporting anxiety. The intervention was Relora (250 mg capsules) or identical placebo 3 times daily for 6 weeks. Anxiety as measured by the Spielberger STATE-TRAIT questionnaires, salivary amylase and cortisol levels, Likert Scales/Visual Analog Scores for sleep quality and latency, appetite, and clinical markers of safety. The study was conducted by Miami Research Associates, a clinical research organization in Miami, FL.

Results

The intent-to-treat population consisted of 40 subjects with 26 participants completing the study. There were no significant adverse events. Relora was effective, in comparison to placebo, in reducing temporary, transitory anxiety as measured by the Spielberger STATE anxiety questionnaire. It was not effective in reducing long-standing feelings of anxiety or depression as measured using the Spielberger TRAIT questionnaire. Other assessments conducted in this study including salivary cortisol and amylase levels, appetite, body morphology and sleep quality/latency were not significantly changed by Relora in comparison to placebo.

Conclusion

This pilot study indicates that Relora may offer some relief for premenopausal women experiencing mild transitory anxiety. There were no safety concerns or significant adverse events observed in this study.