Kid’s Mood+ Clinical Study

These last few days (April 4-7) should have been the annual scientific conference known as Experimental Biology in San Diego, CA.

Unfortunately, EB was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – so many of us are uploading our research to a central database that will be made available to the public in the coming days. The research abstracts will still be published in the FASEB Journal in the coming months – but I also wanted to get this information out to people ASAP, so I recorded my presentation via Zoom and posted the video to YouTube.

Here is the abstract of the study – notice our overall conclusions in red below:

Targeted Dietary Supplementation Improves Mental Performance in Children

Andrea Armstrong DC1, Michelle Massa MD2, Jessica Royston CHHC2, Markham McHenry DO3, and Shawn Talbott PhD4

1Armstrong Chiropractic and Family Wellness Center

2Advanced Natural Medicine of Jupiter, Inc.

3Elevate Health AZ

4Amare Global

Background: Saffron (Crocus sativus) dried flower stigma is the world’s most expensive spice and has been used in traditional medicine for alleviating depression, stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Saffron stigma contains more than 160 bioactive compounds including lepticrosalides (safranal, crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin) and numerous flavonoids and terpenes that have been associated with relaxation, positive mood, and mental & physical balance. At least seven controlled clinical trials have shown the antidepressant activity of saffron.

Objective: Building on the well-described “mood” benefits of saffron, our objective was to assess the benefits of saffron stigma combined with complementary brain-supporting spices (Holy Basil, Rosemary, Clove, and Oregano) on measures of mental focus and mental performance in healthy children who had not been diagnosed with either depression or ADHD.

Methods: Ten healthy children (ages 6-12 years of age) participated in this study. We used the validated NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scales (National Institute for Children’s Health Quality) that are routinely used by healthcare professionals to help diagnose ADHD in children 6-12 years and are part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Resource Toolkit for Clinicians Caring for Children with ADHD (3rd edition, 2019). Parents administered the NICHQ survey before and after 30-days of supplementation with a multi-nutrient blend intended to improve mental focus, mood, and stress resilience (Kid’s Mood+; Amare Global). The NICHQ assessment scales have 2 components: Symptom Assessment (in 5 areas: inattention, hyperactivity, defiance, conduct, and anxiety/depression) and Performance Assessment (including school performance on reading, writing, and math; as well as social relationship performance with parents, siblings, and peers including on organized teams).

Results: Following 30-days of supplementation, we found dramatic improvements on assessments of both Symptoms (e.g. focus, attention, mood, listening, tension, and irritation) and Performance (e.g. overall school work, math, reading, writing, and social relationships). All participants (10/10) demonstrated benefits in response to supplementation, with average Symptom scores 29% lower (23.4 pre versus 16.6 post) and Performance scores improved 18% (2.24 pre versus 1.83 post).

Conclusions: Previous human trials in children and teenagers have shown equivalence of saffron to fluoxetine (Prozac) for depression and methylphenidate (Ritalin) for ADHD. This is the first study in a population of normal healthy (“non-diagnosed”) children showing improvements in not just mental focus attributes, but also mental performance (academically and socially) subsequent to targeted supplementation. This study provides compelling evidence for safe and effective natural approaches as potential first-line therapy for improving focus, mood, and mental performance in children.

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  1. Maria

     /  February 19, 2022

    Why was the study not done on diagnosed children with ADHD or depression?

    Thank you,
    Concerned mom

    • Hi Maria – that is a GREAT question! The reason we enroll “non-diseased” volunteers into our research studies of dietary supplements and functional foods is because the FDA requires it. Because supplements/foods cannot legally be promoted for “curing or treating diseases” (only drugs can do that) – the FDA restricts their use to only “healthy” people (for promoting and maintaining health). This means that even if we have a supplement that has been used to trade a disease in another country, we still have to study it in a “healthy” population in the USA. This is why we enrolled “borderline” kids in this trial of Kid’s Mood – they were not “diagnosed” with ADHD, but the results showed a very clear improvement in their mood, focus, behavior, and mental performance on a variety of metrics. You might find it interesting that many other countries use natural ingredients as “first line therapy” for conditions like ADHD, such as saffron (Spain), pine bark (New Zealand), and theanine (Japan) – but here in the USA we need to use those ingredients for “supporting mood” or “sharpening focus” – Hope that helps?

  2. Courtney Williams

     /  April 29, 2023

    Do you think it is a conflict for Dr. Talbott to be a part of a clinical study of Mood+ which bears his name and uses his image in advertisement? Have there been any purely objective clinical studies of Mood+?

  1. Kid’s Mood featured (again) on ABC News |

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