Saffron Can Boost Energy Levels
The active chemicals in saffron belong to a group of molecules called carotenoids.
These molecules improve our energy supply and power.
Saffron improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles during exercise, which may also account
for these effects
In a study of twenty eight healthy men, saffron supplementation for ten days
increased muscle strength and improved reaction time. This is likely due to
improved mitochondrial function in the cell and function
of the region of the brain responsible for reacting to visual and auditory stimulus.
Saffron Can Reduce Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome
One of the oldest uses of saffron is for the treatment of
premenstrual syndrome, or Premenstrual Syndrome. The symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome include mood swings,
cramps, bloating, and acne.
In a group of 35 women, exposure to the odor of saffron for 20 minutes significantly reduced
symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome and improved irregular periods.
This effect occurred through a reduction of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Additionally, in group of 50 women, saffron supplementation daily for 6 months reduced symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome.
Saffron Improves Heart Function
In a study of 20 subjects, 10 of which had heart disease, saffron improved health in
all patients but had the most profound improvement in patients with heart conditions
This may be because saffron’s constituent crocin, upon conversion to crocetin, can reduce
cholesterol levels and the hardening of blood vessels.
Saffron may improve heart function by increasing the pumping capacity of the heart ventricles.
This may be due to the presence of kaempferol, a molecule that reduces the incidence of heart
attacks and coronary heart disease
Saffron Is Beneficial for Alzheimer’s
In 54 patients with Alzheimer’s, treatment with
saffron twice daily for 22 weeks was found to be as effective as donepezil for Alzheimer’s treatment
in a study of 46 patients with Alzheimer’s Saffron extract supplementation for 16 weeks improved cognitive function
and reduced dementia.
Crocin, the active ingredient of saffron, can inhibit the deposit
of amyloid-beta proteins, injection of crocin into rats improved cognitive ability and memory
Saffron may in part improve dementia by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.
This enzyme is a current target of donepezil, one of the only approved medications used to
treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disorder.
Saffron May Promote Weight Loss
Saffron may aid in weight loss by
- Reducing fat absorption
- Reducing digestion
- Reducing calorie intake by lowering appetite
- Improving glucose and fat utilization for energy
Saffron can reduce cholesterol levels, which decreases the
risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes
In rats, the active chemical crocin significantly lowered
fat levels in the blood. It also increased the amount of fat
excreted from the body, which may prove beneficial for weight loss
High doses (176.5 mg twice daily) of saffron for 6 months slightly reduced late-night
snacking in a group of 60 overweight women.