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  • Effects of Saffron on Sleep Quality in Healthy Adults With Self-Reported Poor Sleep: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial - J Clin Sleep Med. 2020 Feb 14 - "Sixty-three healthy adults aged 18 to 70 with self-reported sleep problems were recruited and randomised to receive either saffron extract (affron, 14mg twice daily) or a placebo ... Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) (primary outcome measure) ... Restorative Sleep Questionnaire (RSQ) and Pittsburgh Sleep Diary (PSD) ... saffron was associated with greater improvements in ISI total score (p=.017), RSQ total score (p=.029), and PSD sleep quality ratings (p=.014) than the placebo. Saffron intake was well-tolerated with no reported adverse effects" - See saffron supplements at Amazon.com.
  • The effect of saffron supplement on clinical outcomes and metabolic profiles in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial - Phytother Res. 2020 Feb 11 - "66 women older than 18 years old received 100 mg/day either saffron supplement in the intervention group (n = 33) or matched placebo in the placebo group (n = 33) for a period of 12 weeks ... Saffron supplementation significantly decreased the number of tender (-1.38 ± 1.66 vs. 0.10 ± 0.40, p < .001) and swollen (-2.12 ± 2.34 vs. 0.63 ± 2.79, p < .001) joints, pain intensity based on visual analogue scale (-18.36 ± 15.07 vs. -2.33 ± 5.04), p < .001), and disease activity score (DAS28) (-0.75 ± 0.67 vs. 0.26 ± 0.77, p < .001) at the end of intervention between the two groups and in saffron group compared with baseline values. Physician Global Assessment (p = .002) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate were significantly improved after intervention (24.06 ± 12.66 vs. 32.00 ± 14.75, p = 0.028). High-sensitivity C-reactive protein reduced at the end of the intervention in the saffron group compared with baseline values (12.00 ± 7.40 vs. 8.82 ± 7.930, p = .004). Tumor necrosis factor alpha, interferon gamma, and malondialdehyde were decreased, and total antioxidant capacity were increased, but their differences between the two groups were not significant (p > .05). According to the results, saffron supplements could positively and significantly improve clinical outcomes in RA patients"


  • Effect of saffron and fenugreek on lowering blood glucose: A systematic review with meta-analysis - Phytother Res 2023 Mar 29 - "Saffron and fenugreek have been shown to have an effect on lowering blood glucose; therefore, this study aims to evaluate the effects of using saffron and fenugreek on blood glucose control ... Overall, using fenugreek decreased fasting blood glucose (FBG) (SMD: -0.90; 95%CI: -1.43 to -0.38; I2 = 87%; p < 0.001), postprandial blood glucose (PPBG) (SMD: -1.13; 95%CI: -1.99 to -0.28; I2 = 94%; p < 0.001), and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) (SMD: -0.43; 95%CI: -0.75 to -0.12; I2 = 20%; p = 0.29). Saffron supplementation reduced FBG (MD: -9.06 mg/dl; 95%CI: -16.25 to -1.86; I2 = 40%; p = 0.12) and HbA1c (MD: -0.19%; 95%CI: -0.23 to -0.14; I2 = 0%; p > 0.99). Our results show that using saffron and fenugreek can reduce FBG, PPBG, and HbA1c; however, there are some shortcomings that require attention for these results" - See saffron supplements at Amazon.com and fenugreek at Amazon.com.
  • Effect of saffron supplementation on oxidative stress markers (MDA, TAC, TOS, GPx, SOD, and pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance): An updated systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials - Front Med (Lausanne) 2023 Feb 1 - "This study aimed to perform an updated systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of saffron supplementation on oxidative stress markers [malondialdehyde (MDA), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total oxidant status (TOS), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and prooxidant/antioxidant balance (PAB)] in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) ... It was found that saffron consumption caused a significant decrease in MDA (SMD: -0.322; 95% CI: -0.53, -0.16; I 2 = 32.58%) and TOS (SMD: -0.654; 95% CI: -1.08, -0.23; I 2 = 68%) levels as well as a significant increase in TAC (SMD: 0.302; 95% CI: 0.13, 0.47; I 2 = 10.12%) and GPx (SMD: 0.447; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.80; I 2 = 35%). Subgroup analysis demonstrated a significant reduction in MDA levels in studies with a saffron dosage of >30 mg/day, age of <50 years, and study duration of <12 weeks"
  • The effect of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) on glycemia, lipid profile, and antioxidant status in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized placebo-controlled trial - Phytother Res 2022 Dec 29 - "At the end of the eighth week, saffron intervention could significantly reduce FBS (7.57%), lipid profile (except high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C]), atherogenic indices, and liver enzymes (p < .05). Moreover, saffron could improve oxidative status (nitric oxide [NO] and malondialdehyde [MDA] reduced by 26.29% and 16.35%, respectively). Catalase (CAT) concentration remained unchanged. Saffron supplementation may alleviate T2DM by improving glycemic status, lipid profile, liver enzymes, and oxidative status"
  • The effects of saffron supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in adults: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis - Front Nutr 2022 Dec 8 - "That seems saffron could effectively improve TG, TC, LDL, FBG, HbA1c, HOMA-IR, SBP, CRP, TNF-α, WC, MDA, TAC, and ALT"
  • Flavonoid extract of saffron by-product alleviates hyperuricemia via inhibiting xanthine oxidase and modulating gut microbiota - Phytother Res 2022 Dec - "Hyperuricemia was associated with the overproduction or inadequate excretion of uric acid, while its association with gut microbiota has emerged although few studies were focused on it. Previously, we have reported a flavonoid extract from saffron floral bio-residues lowered uric acid in potassium oxonate-induced hyperuricemic mice ... the flavonoid extract lowered serum and intestinal uric acid levels in hyperuricemic rats without kidney damage. On the one hand, it inhibited serum and liver xanthine oxidase activities and down-regulated the expression of hepatic xanthine oxidase. On the other hand, it ameliorated the hyperuricemia-associated gut microbiota dysbiosis and alleviated the disturbance of serum metabolome, especially of lipid and amino acid metabolites. The results suggested that the flavonoid extract of saffron floral bio-residues exerts a potent antihyperuricemia effect by inhibiting xanthine oxidase to decrease uric acid production and modulating gut microbiota related to host metabolism"
  • Saffron extract (Safr'Inside™) improves anxiety related behaviour in a mouse model of low-grade inflammation through the modulation of the microbiota and gut derived metabolites - Food Funct 2022 Nov 7 - "Treatment of anxiety and depression predominantly centres around pharmacological interventions, which have faced criticism for their associated side effects, lack of efficacy and low tolerability. Saffron, which is reportedly well tolerated in humans, has been recognised for its antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties ... In a rodent model of low-grade chronic inflammation, we explored the impact of a saffron extract (Safr'Inside™) supplemented at a physiological dose, which equated to 22 ± 1.2 mg per day human equivalent dose for a person of 60 kg ... Time occupying the centre of the Open Field maze (OF) was increased by 62% in saffron supplemented animals. This improvement in anxiety-related behaviour coincided with gut microbial shifts, notably Akkermansia, Muribaculaceae, Christensenellacae and Alloprevotella which significantly increased in response to saffron supplementation. Akkermansia and Muribaculaceae abundance negatively correlated with the neurotoxic metabolite dimethylamine which was reduced in saffron supplemented animals. Brain proteomic analysis highlighted several significantly altered proteins including ketimine reductase mu-crystallin which also correlated with dimethylamine concentration. Both dimethylamine and ketimine reductase mu-crystallin were associated with OF performance. This may be indicative of a novel interaction across the gut-brain axis which contributes to anxiety-related disorders"
  • The Effect of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) Supplementation on Renal Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials - Int J Clin Pract 2022 Aug 29 - "BUN reduction was significant in the saffron group compared to placebo"
  • An examination into the mental and physical effects of a saffron extract (affron®) in recreationally-active adults: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study - J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2022 Jun 7 - "Saffron, derived from the stigmas of the Crocus Sativus flower, has been shown in several studies to improve mood and wellbeing in adults experiencing low mood and anxiety ... The results of this trial suggest saffron may have beneficial effects in recreationally active males, as evidenced by increased exercise enjoyment and heart rate variability. However, no such benefits were identified in females. Future research using larger sample sizes, varying treatment periods, and additional outcome measures will be required to validate the results from this study and help clarify the mechanisms of action associated with saffron intake"
  • The effect of saffron supplementation on glycemic parameters: An overview of systematic reviews - Phytother Res 2022 Jul 2 - "Almost half of the articles reported significant effects of these supplements on glycemic parameters and lipid profiles. Taken together, results suggest that saffron supplementation may improve glycemic and lipid profile parameters; however, further high-quality studies are needed to confirm the clinical efficacy of saffron on glycemic parameters and lipid profiles"
  • Circulating Human Serum Metabolites Derived from the Intake of a Saffron Extract (Safr'Inside TM) Protect Neurons from Oxidative Stress: Consideration for Depressive Disorders - Nutrients 2022 Apr 5 - "Increases in oxidative stress have been reported to play a central role in the vulnerability to depression, and antidepressant drugs may reduce increased oxidative stress in patients. Among the plants exerting anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, saffron, a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, is also known for its positive effects on depression, potentially through its SSRI-like properties ... we demonstrated for the first time that the circulating human metabolites produced following saffron intake (Safr'InsideTM) protect human neurons from oxidative-stress-induced neurotoxicity by preserving cell viability and increasing BNDF production. In particular, the metabolites significantly stimulated both dopamine and serotonin release. In addition, the saffron's metabolites were also able to protect serotonergic tone by inhibiting the expression of the serotonin transporter SERT and down-regulating serotonin metabolism"
  • Therapeutic effects of saffron extract on different memory types, anxiety, and hippocampal BDNF and TNF-α gene expressions in sub-chronically stressed rats - Nutr Neurosci 2021 Jun 24 - "Compared to the low saffron dose, the high dose had a latent but long-lasting impact. Cognitive and spatial memories remained unaffected by either stress or saffron treatment. In addition, only the high saffron dose reversed anxiety in the sub-chronically stressed group. These findings suggest that various doses of saffron act differently on different brain functions under sub-chronic stress condition" - See saffron supplements at Amazon.com.
  • The Effects of a Saffron Extract (affron®) on Menopausal Symptoms in Women during Perimenopause: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study - J Menopausal Med. 2021;27 - "There is preliminary evidence suggesting saffron may effectively treat menopausal symptoms. The aim of this study was to examine the tolerability and efficacy of a standardised saffron extract (affron®) on menopausal complaints in perimenopausal women ... 86 perimenopausal women experiencing menopausal complaints received either a placebo or 14 mg of a saffron extract (affron®), twice daily. Outcome measures included the Greene Climacteric Scale (GCS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) ... Based on data collected from 82 participants, saffron was associated with greater improvements in mood and psychological symptoms compared to the placebo. Results from the GCS revealed a significantly greater reduction in the GCS psychological score (P = 0.032), characterised by a 33% reduction in anxiety and a 32% reduction in depression scores from baseline to week 12. There was also a significantly greater reduction in the PANAS negative affect score (P = 0.043) compared to the placebo. However, compared to the placebo, saffron was not associated with greater improvements in vasomotor symptoms, somatic symptoms, or other quality of life measures. Saffron intake was well tolerated with no reported major adverse events" - [Nutra USA]
  • Effects of Saffron Extract on Sleep Quality: A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Clinical Trial - Nutrients 2021 Apr 27 - "A saffron extract has been found to be effective in the context of depression and anxiety, but its effect on sleep quality has not been investigating yet using objective approaches ... Sixty-six subjects were randomized and supplemented with a placebo (maltodextrin) or a saffron extract (15.5 mg per day) for 6 weeks ... Six weeks of saffron supplementation led to an increased time in bed assessed by actigraphy, to an improved ease of getting to sleep evaluated by the LSEQ questionnaire and to an improved sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, and global scores evaluated by the PSQI questionnaire, whereas those parameters were not modified by the placebo. In conclusion, those results suggest that a saffron extract could be a natural and safe nutritional strategy to improve sleep duration and quality" - [Nutra USA]
  • Effects of Saffron Extract Supplementation on Mood, Well-Being, and Response to a Psychosocial Stressor in Healthy Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Parallel Group, Clinical Trial - Front Nutr 2021 Feb 1 - "Anxiety, stress, and low mood are closely related and may contribute to depressive symptoms. Among non-pharmacological solutions to improve subclinical mood symptoms and resilience to stress, natural products such as saffron—identified as promising following preliminary beneficial effects in major depressive disorder—represent a relevant strategy. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of 8 weeks' supplementation with 30 mg standardized saffron extract on emotional well-being in healthy adults with subclinical feelings of low mood and anxiety and/or stress and evaluate the acute effect of saffron in response to a lab-based psychosocial stressor. The study adopted a double-blind, randomized, parallel groups design in which 56 healthy male and female individuals (18–54 years) received either a saffron extract or a placebo for 8 weeks ... Participants who received the saffron extract reported reduced depression scores and improved social relationships at the end of the study. Urinary crocetin levels increased significantly with saffron supplementation and were correlated with change in depression scores. The typical stress-induced decrease in heart rate variability (HRV) during exposure to the stressor was attenuated following acute saffron intake. Saffron extract appears to improve subclinical depressive symptoms in healthy individuals and may contribute to increased resilience against the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders." - [Nutra USA]
  • Effects of saffron supplementation on oxidative/antioxidant status and severity of disease in ulcerative colitis patients: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study - Phytother Res 2020 Oct 4 - "Supplementation with saffron helps improve antioxidant status. Oxidative stress plays an important role in ulcerative colitis (UC) ... Participants were randomly divided into intervention (100 mg saffron/daily) and placebo (100 mg maltodextrin/daily) groups. Of all the participants, 75 completed the study. After 8 weeks, there were significantly increased in the mean score of simple clinical colitis activity index questionnaire (3.83 ± 1.78 to 3 ± 1.60, p = .004), the serum levels of total antioxidant capacity (2.68 ± 0.90 to 2.79 ± 0.87, p = .016), superoxide dismutase (60.69 ± 9.59 to 66.30 ± 10.79, p = .009) and glutathione peroxidase (22.05 ± 14.27 to 29.67 ± 17.97, p = .011) in patients received saffron compared to the placebo group ... dietary saffron as an alternative therapy may effective in improving antioxidant factors and reducing the severity of disease in UC patients" - See saffron supplements at Amazon.com.
  • N-Acetylcysteine and Safranal prevented the brain damage induced by hyperthyroidism in adult male rats - Nutr Neurosci. 2020 Apr 7 - "Hyperthyroidism is associated with impairment in the neurotransmission and severe tissue damage in the brain ... The ameliorative effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC; 50 mg/kg, oral) and safranal (50 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) against hyperthyroidism (L-T4 500 µg/kg, subcutaneous) were investigated. All treatments continued daily over three weeks. Hyperthyroidism was manifested by significant elevations in serum fT3 and fT4 levels and a decline in serum TSH level and body weight. It was also characterized by significant elevations in the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid, and monoamine oxidase activity to varying degrees in the brain regions examined and a significant reduction in norepinephrine in hippocampus only. Hyperthyroidism resulted in a significant oxidative stress in brain typified by elevations in malondialdehyde and nitric oxide content and reductions in glutathione level and SOD and catalase activities. This led to elevations in Caspases 9 and 3 and a reduction in Bcl2 resulting in DNA damage and confirmed by the histopathology of brain tissue. The administration of NAC or safranal with L-T4 prevented these deleterious effects by reducing the oxidative load and improving the brain antioxidant status" - See N-acetyl cysteine at Amazon.com and Saffron supplements at Amazon.com.