The Griffonia study

Griffonia simplicifolia is the scientific name of an African bean. In Africa, it has been used for ages as moodlifter and aphrodisiac. Therefore, the Biogena Scientific Team under the direction of the general practitioner Dr. Walter Wührer (Salzburg) examined the effect of Griffonia in the case of depressive moods, anxiety disorders and stress.

Scientific background

Griffonia simplicifolia is closely connected to the ”happy hormone“ serotonin. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a natural amino acid that is transformed into the hormone serotonin in our organism, is derived from Griffonia. This means that Griffonia is a preliminary stage of serotonin. We know about this hormone that it influences our mood, which is why it is popularly known as “the happy hormone”. Serotonin levels that are sufficiently high are closely connected to feelings of satisfaction and reduced anxiety, whereas depressive moods and anxiety states are often linked to serotonin deficiencies.

Biogena Griffonia50 Serolution®

The tested product

Biogena went one step further and wanted to know, whether the 5-HTP that is contained in Griffonia – combined with several B-vitamins, a combination like in the Biogena product Griffonia50 Serolution® - is effective in the case of depressive moods, slight anxiety states and stress.

The method

For this purpose, 69 persons showing signs of depression, anxiety or heavy stress could be recruited as participants in this study through physicians that are partners of Biogena. One group used Biogena Griffonia50 Serolution® (2 capsules a day) over a period of three weeks, the other group (placebo group) used cellulose capsules that contained no active substance. Naturally, the participants did not know whether they belonged to the Griffonia- or the placebo group. At the beginning and at the end of the study, the probands were tested for depression, anxiety and stress by means of the DASS-Scale (Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales) that is used                                                                  internationally.

The result

  • In all three categories, the tested preparation did significantly better than the placebo (the cellulose capsules).
  • In the case of depression, the total score improved by 45% by means of Biogena Griffonia50 Serolution®, in the placebo group by 22%.
  • The total score for anxiety reduced by 63% in the Griffonia group, contrary to 34% in the placebo group.
  • The result is quite similar for the stress score: Here, the Griffonia group improved by 50%, the placebo group by 39%.
  • By the way, the improvements for moods and anxiety are considered scientifically significant, which means that the effect of Griffonia is more than just a coincidence.


The authors of the study

Director of the study: Dr. med. Walter Wührer, General practitioner, Salzburg
Dr. Ina Viebahn, nutritionist Biogena Scientific Team, coordination scientific studies
Barbara Fäth-Neubauer (Dipl. oec. troph. Univ.) nutritionist, Director of Biogena Scientific Team

Griffonia50 Serolution®