Saffron (Crocus sativus): Potential Weight Loss Benefits?

Saffron (Crocus sativus) is a herb that is known to possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These effects relate to the presence of a number of phytochemicals in the plant including crocetin, safranal, crocin and picrocrocin. Evidence suggests that saffron may have some effects that may be useful against obesity. For example, studies investigating the blood glucose effects of saffron have found that crocetin is able to significantly lower experimentally raised blood glucose levels and that saffron is able to significantly raise blood insulin levels and concomitantly significantly lower blood glucose levels in insulin resistant rats. Further crocetin may be able to normalise levels of adiponectin and leptin in insulin resistant rats, which may have anti-obesity effects. In addition, saffron may also reduce appetite and cause significant weight loss in human subjects if taken for 2 months. Therefore the metabolic effects of saffron may indicate that it could be used as part of a healthy diet to cause weight loss. 

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Mashmoul, M., Azlan, A., Khaza’ai, H., Yusof, B. N. M. and Noor, S. M. 2003. Saffron: A Natural Potent Antioxidant as a Promising Anti-Obesity Drug. Antioxidants. 2: 293-308

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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