Research - Crocus sativus / Saffron
Protective effects of saffron extract and crocin supplementation on fatty liver tissue of high-fat diet-induced obese rats
- Maryam Mashmoul,
- Azrina AzlanEmail author,
- Norhafizah Mohtarrudin,
- Barakatun Nisak Mohd Yusof,
- Huzwah Khaza’ai,
- Hock Eng Khoo,
- Mehdi Farzadnia and
- Mohammad Taher Boroushaki
Background Saffron is the dried stigma of Crocus sativus L. flower which commonly used as a natural remedy to enhance health and even fights disease in the Middle-East and Southeast Asian countries.
Methods This study was aimed to investigate protective effect of saffron extract and crocin in fatty liver tissue of high-fat diet induced obese rats. A total of 36 healthy male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into six groups. Two groups served as controls, a normal diet (ND) and a high-fat diet (HFD). The other four groups were each supplemented with saffron extract and crocin at concentrations of 40 and 80 mg/kg body weight/day for 8 weeks. All groups except ND were fed with HFD until end of the study. At baseline, blood sample was collected for determination of levels of hepatic marker enzymes, including aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatise and albumin. Liver sample was collected, weighed and stained with haematoxylin and eosin for further histopathological examination.
Results Saffron extract and crocin at concentrations of 40 and 80 mg/kg had dose-dependently alleviated levels of liver enzymes and histopathological changes in diet-induced obese rat model compared to control (HFD group).
Conclusion This study suggested that saffron extract and crocin supplements have hepatoprotective effect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and HFD-induced liver damage.
Source : BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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A double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in the treatment of anxiety and depression
Mohsen Mazidi1, 9 / Maryam Shemshian2 / Seyed Hadi Mousavi3 / Abdolreza Norouzy2 / Tayebe Kermani4 / Toktam Moghiman2 / Akram Sadeghi5 / Naghme Mokhber6 / Majid Ghayour-Mobarhan2, 7 / Gordon A. A. Ferns8
1Key State Laboratory of Molecular Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang, Beijing, P.R. China
2Biochemistry of Nutrition Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
3Pharmacological Research Center of Medicinal Plant, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
4Department of Anatomy and Cell biology, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran
5Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
6Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
7Cardiovascular Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
8Division of Medical Education, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, University of Brighton, Brighten, UK
9Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, International College, University of Chinese Academy of Science (IC-UCAS), West Beichen Road, Chaoyang, P.R. China
BACKGROUND:Depression and anxiety are prevalent serious psychiatric disorders. Several drugs are used to treat these conditions but these are often associated with serious side effects. For this reason alternative therapies, including herbal medication such as saffron, have been proposed. We aimed to assess the effects of saffron extract for the treatment of anxiety and depression using a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial design.
METHODS:Sixty adult patients with anxiety and depression were randomized to receive a 50 mg saffron capsule (Crocus sativus L. stigma) or a placebo capsule twice daily for 12 weeks. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) questionnaires were used at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks after initiating medication. 54 subjects completed the trial.
RESULTS:Saffron supplements had a significant effect on the BDI and BAI scores of subjects in comparison to placebo at the 12 week time-point (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS:Saffron appears to have a significant impact in the treatment of anxiety and depression disorder. Side effects were rare.
Source : Journal Complement Integr Med.
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The effect of Crocus sativus (saffron) on the severity of premenstrual syndrome
Soheila Pirdadeh Beiranvanda, , Nabiollah Shams Beiranvandb, , Zahra Behboodi Moghadamc, ,Mehdi Birjandid, , , Seddigheh Azharie, , Elham Rezaeif, , Ali Nazar Salehniag, , Somayyeh Beiranvandg,
Premenstrual syndrome is one of the most common problems for women during their reproductive age and has wider impacts affecting their family and their work. Herbal products are a suggested way of treating the syndrome. This research was carried out to identify whether saffron could have an effect on the severity of premenstrual syndrome among female students.
This randomized triple-blind controlled clinical trial was carried out with 78 students aged 18–35 years residing in university accommodation. The intervention group received capsules containing 30 mg of dried extract of saffron stigma once a day and the control group received placebo capsules for two menstrual cycles. The data gathering instrument consisted of questionnaire, the DASS21 scale, and premenstrual symptoms assessment form.
At the beginning of the study, the two groups did not differ significantly in terms of their mean severity of PMS (P = 0.81). At the end of the study, the changes of the mean severity of PMS were significantly different compared with those in the beginning:P < 0.001 for the intervention group, and p = 0.04 for the control group. In total, the two groups had significant differences in terms of changes in the mean severity of PMS over time (P < 0.001).
The results of this study suggest that saffron reduces the severity of PMS symptoms, but in order to prove its effectiveness for the treatment of this syndrome, further research is warranted.
Source : European Journal of Integrative Medicine
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Aqueous Extract of Saffron (Crocus sativus) Increases Brain Dopamine and Glutamate Concentrations in Rats
Hosseinali Ettehadi1, Seyedeh Nargesolsadat Mojabi2, Mina Ranjbaran2, Jamal Shams3, Hedayat Sahraei2*, Mahdi Hedayati4, Farzad Asefi5
Recent studies involving human and animal models have identified that saffron helps in the improvement of depression. Antidepressants are known to function in part by increasing brain serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine concentrations. Therefore, to identify the cellular and molecular mechanism(s) underlying this property of saffron, we measured changes in rat brain dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and glutamate concentrations after administration of varying doses of an aqueous extract of saffron stigma. Male Wistar rats (250 ± 30 g) were administered a single dose of saffron extract (5, 25, 50, 100, 150, and 250 mg/kg, i.p.), fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, i.p.), and/or desipramine (50 mg/kg, i.p.) and were sacrificed 30 min later. Brains were removed, homogenized, and centrifuged at 4˚C. The supernatant was used for subsequent neurotransmitter detection by ELISA. Our results indicated that the aqueous extract of saffron (50, 100, 150 and 250 mg/kg, i.p.) increased brain dopamine concentration in a dose-dependent manner compared with saline. In addition, the brain glutamate concentration increased in response to the highest dose of the extract (250 mg/kg, i.p.). Interestingly, the extract had no effect on brain serotonin or norepinephrine concentration. Our findings show that the aqueous extract of saffron contains an active component that can trigger production of important neurotransmitters in brain, namely, dopamine and glutamate. In addition, these results provide a cellular basis for reports concerning the antidepressant properties of saffron extract in humans and animals.
Source : Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science
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The Effect of Crocus sativus L. and Its Constituents on Memory: Basic Studies and Clinical Applications
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Panepistimiou 3, Biopolis, 41500 Larissa, Greece
Memory-related disorders are a common public health issue. Memory impairment is frequent in degenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson disease), cerebral injuries, and schizophrenia. The dried stigma of the plant Crocus sativus L. (C. sativus), commonly known as saffron, is used in folk medicine for various purposes. Several lines of evidence suggest that C. sativus and its constituents are implicated in cognition. Here we critically review advances in research of these emerging molecular targets for the treatment of memory disorders, and discuss their advantages over currently used cognitive enhancers as well remaining challenges. Current analysis has shown that C. sativus and its components might be a promising target for cognition impairments.
Source : Journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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The preventive effects of hydroalcoholic extract of saffron on hematological parameters of experimental asthmatic rats
Somayyeh Vosooghi , Maryam Mahmoudabady , Ali Neamati* , Heydar Aghababa
Objective: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory airways distinguished by edema and infiltration of inflammatory immune cells. To test our hypothesis about the anti-inflammatory effect of saffron, we examined effects of Crocus sativus (C. sativus) extract as a prophylactic anti-inflammatory agent in sensitized rats.
Materials and Methods: To induce experimental asthma, rats were sensitized with injection and inhalation of ovalbumin (OA). Forty male Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups (n=8 for each): control, sensitized (asthma), and sensitized and pretreated with three different concentrations of extract, 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg, 2 times a week (group asthma+50EX, group asthma+100EX, and group asthma+200EX). After 32 days, total white blood cells (WBC) counts, red blood cells (RBC), and platelet counts in blood were examined.
Results: Total WBC number and eosinophil and neutrophil percentage in blood were increased, but lymphocyte decreased in sensitized animals compared with those of control group (p<0.05 to p<0.001). We observed also elevated levels in RBC and platelet counts after sensitization in the asthma group. Pretreatment of sensitized rats in all concentrations decreased WBC count which was significant in first two concentrations (p<0.01 compared with group asthma). All concentrations of extract decreased eosinophil percentage significantly (p<0.001 compared with group asthma), however, for neutrophil percentage this improvement was not significant. Lymphocyte percentage increased in group asthma+100EX compared with group asthma (p<0.05). Moreover, in all concentrations, the extract reduced RBC and platelet count in pretreated sensitized rats compared with group asthma (p<0.01 to p<0.001).
Conclusion: Our findings indicated that the extract of C. sativus could be useful to prevent asthma as an anti-inflammatory treatment.
Source : Aviceena Journal of Phytomedicine
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