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

  1. Reducing fat absorption
  2. Reducing digestion
  3. Reducing calorie intake by lowering appetite
  4. 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.