Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saffron Extract Facts

What exactly is Saffron?

Saffron is a spice that derives from the flower Crocus Sativus. Saffron is a supplement that extracts specific compounds out of the Saffron flower. Saffron has been commonly used in Europe as part of its diet for centuries. It has always been considered an expensive spice primarily because of its difficulty to harvest and cultivate.

Modern research has suggested that saffron has potential anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, and antioxidant properties.

Another reason saffron extract with saffron has gotten tremendous attention recently is due to Dr. Oz mentioning this product as a “Miracle Appetite Suppressant.”

Uses and Research

Saffron extract is one of those supplements that has been associated with a large number of potential benefits. Here is a list of its potential benefits. Weight loss, reduced urge to snack, increased satiety, increased energy, better mood, antioxidant, antitumour, and memory loss effects. There is plenty of research done on this spice. I must mention that almost all studies have shown very positive results.
Nutr. Res. 2010 May;30(5):305-13.

Saffron, a Crocus sativus L extract, reduces snacking and increases satiety in a randomized placebo-controlled study of mildly overweight, healthy women.
Snacking is an uncontrolled eating disorder which predisposes to weight gain. It affects primarily women and is commonly associated with stress.

This study intends to prove whether oral supplementation of Saffron reduces snacking due to its potential mood improving effect, thus producing weight loss.
60 mildly overweight females participated in this placebo controlled, double blind, randomized clinical trial. Body weight measurements were made over an 8 week period. 31 subjects received Saffron (176mg/day), 29 subjects received placebo. After 8 weeks, the mean snacking frequency was significantly decreased in the Saffron group versus the placebo group (p <0.05).

Conclusions are that Saffron consumption produces a reduction of snacking and creates a satiating effect that could contribute to body weight loss.

Phytother Res. 2000 May;14(3):149-52.

Effects of Saffron Extract and its constituent crocin on learning behaviour and long-term potentiation.
Modern pharmacological studies have demonstrated that saffron extracts have antitumour effects, radical scavenger properties, or hypolipaemic effects. Among the constituents of saffron, crocetin is the compound found to be mainly responsible for these effects.
Recent electrophysiological studies in experimental animals have demonstrated that saffron extract improves learning and memory.

Conclusions state that saffron extract could be useful as a treatment option for certain neurodegenerative disorders and memory loss.

Food Chem. Toxicol. 2008 Nov;46(11):3443-7. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

Study of cytotoxic and apoptogenic properties of saffron extract in human cancer cell lines.
This study measured the cytotoxic (cell damaging) effect of saffron extract in certain cell lines. Malignant and non malignant cells were cultured with different concentrations of ethanolic saffron extract. Results were that saffron could cause cell death in HeLa and HepG2 cells, in which apoptosis (programmed cell death) plays an important role.

Conclusions state that saffron extract could be considered a promising chemotherapeutic agent in cancer treatment.

J. Agric. Food Chem. 2009 Apr 22;57(8):3080-6.

Further examination of antiradical properties of Crocus sativus stigmas extract rich in crocins.

Data for antiradical (antioxidant) properties of saffron extract are limited and poor. This study provided further examination of its antiradical properties. Results were that saffron extracts or free crocetin were found to reduce ROS production as effectively as the phenolic antioxidants.

Conclusions state that saffron extracts exhibit a remarkable intracellular antioxidant activity.

The first article listed is perhaps the most recognized article about saffron extract. It studied overweight females with stress induced snacking. The study was able to clearly show a decrease in snacking in the control group (saffron group). The possible reasons for these results are linked to stress relief thus anxiety relief and better overall mood. I was very surprised when I read these findings. That fact that a dietary supplement was able to significantly improve eating habits and produce certain weigh loss within an 8 week period is simply remarkable.

Other studies aimed at measuring more molecular effects within saffron and its constituents known as crocin and crocetin and also found positive results. Electrophysiological studies performed in experimental animals were able to clearly demonstrate that saffron extract was able to improve learning and memory.
A different study measured the effect of saffron extract on different cell lines and found promising results that could one day provide a different chemotherapeutic option.


The results from all the studies are very conclusive and show clear benefits. For now, I can clearly recommend saffron extract for people who desire weight loss. The main benefits were seen in people who have abnormal eating habits that consist in frequent snacking. Taking this supplement appears to reduce the urge for snacks, produces satiety (sense of fulness), less stress, and less anxiety. These results are very positive due to the fact that most people, especially females, tend to gain weight during times when they are exposed to stress and anxiety.

3 Significant Findings

Saffron extract improved snacking 55% compared to 28% placebo.
Saffron extract decreased appetite 84% compared to 52% placebo.
Saffron extract decreased urge for sugary snacks 78% compared to 46% placebo.

Diet and exercise are still the best way to loose weight and live a healthier life. Taking saffron extract can be a useful supplement to help you achieve weight loss especially when combined with a correct diet and exercise.

Better mood, less anxiety, and less stress are all claims that have been associated with higher levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a primary role in depression and other psychological disorders. Saffron extract is believed to produce higher levels of serotonin, thus improving eating impulses and improving mood.

Other claims about memory improvement and improved learning have shown positive results in experimental animals. I would not suggest taking saffron extract for that purpose alone, due to a lack of research in humans even though results thus far have been positive.

Bottom line, if you’re one of those people that constantly snacks and wishes to stop this habit and loose weight, evidence suggests that saffron extract may work well for you.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Saffron Extract– Worth Giving It A Try?


Weight issues are something that most of us will struggle with at some point in our lives, so it’s great to know that there are natural aids available, that can make a real difference to our bodies, and really help in our dieting attempts. In an age of obesity, when we are continually reminded how important it is to be healthy and keep our weight down, this natural helping-hand may be just the thing to keep up on the right track!


Very Pleased With the Results! 
I saw this product recommended by Dr. Oz and to my surprise it really did control my cravings. When I ran out I noticed I longed for items that I had easily been able to do without, cakes cookies, etc. So I just ordered my second bottle and so far I’m very pleased with the results, it makes midnight snacking a distant memory. — L. Stynnett

Great Results! 
Just like millions of other Dr. Oz viewers I DVR’d the show and watched it. I now in my second bottle and I can feel the difference, I do not crave sweets as I use to. It has been over 40 days without my favorite evening treat ice cream. It does work but it took me about 10 days to fight off the urge for that third helping. — Paula B. Snyder

Down 4 lbs! 
I took this when it came in the mail two days ago and have zero appetite since. I have a bag of Oreos in my kitchen with only one gone..(is this my house??). Down 4 lbs. Now my stomach growls and nothing at all sounds good.. is this heaven?? — Terrmikk


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Can Saffron Extract Help Shed Unwanted Pounds?


Using Saffron for weight loss is just one of the many benefits of this amazing supplement, and Saffron extract has many health uses. If you’re looking for a supplement to take that will help you shed pounds as well as improve your health, Saffron may be just the thing for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this amazing supplement and how it can help you!  

Treating Depression  

Depression is a very common problem around the world, and it can seriously interfere in the lives of many people. So many are trying to lose weight and get in shape, but they get struck with a bout of depression and their resolve goes right out the window. Preventing depression is important if you want to keep up with your weight loss program, and that’s where Saffron extract comes in handy. Saffron extract as mentioned above will help your brain to produce more serotonin, which is the neurochemical that your brain needs to send messages through the emotional center of the brain. Thanks to the extract, your brain will get enough serotonin to keep you happy. Clinical studies have proven that this extract can be used to treat bouts of depression, as the serotonin increase will ensure that your mood stays elevated. By using the extract, you’ll prevent depression from getting the better of you and making you quit your weight loss program!  

Medicinal Uses

Did you know that Saffron extract has been used as an herbal supplement for hundreds of years? The flower from which Saffron is derived was first cultivated in Greece, where it was used as a treatment for many maladies. Modern science has uncovered many more benefits, and it is believed that Saffron can be used to treat a number of problems, including:  

Alzheimer’s Disease

These are just a few of the problems that are believed to be treatable using Saffron, so you can see that this extract is quite an effective one!  

Most people take Saffron for weight loss, as it is believed that it can help to shed unwanted pounds. How does it do so? Decreasing Hunger — One of the great things about this supplement is that it’s believed to be effective at curbing hunger. With hunger being the #1 enemy of those trying to diet and lose weight, it stands to reason that anything that can help you to avoid those hunger pangs will be a useful tool for your weight loss.

Studies conducted into the use of this extract showed that almost all of the people that took the supplement were less likely to overeat, and their food consumption declined thanks to the supplement. Eating less is one of the best ways to lose weight, so taking this supplement to help decrease your hunger can be the way to go!

Fighting Emotional Eating

When you are sad, depressed, or angry, it’s likely that you turn to food to help you feel better. Eating releases a chemical in your brain that tells you that you feel better, which is why emotional eating is so common. However, emotional eating not only hinders weight loss, but it promotes weight gain thanks to the fact that the food you eat at these times tends to be unhealthy foods that are either rich in sugar or fats. By helping to make you feel better, you’ll find that the Saffron extract will reduce your need for emotional eating. Without the need to eat emotionally, you will be less likely to snack or cheat on your diet with foods that you know you shouldn’t be eating.

Increasing Serotonin

Serotonin is the chemical that your brain needs to control its emotional center, and getting enough of this chemical is very important. When you don’t get enough neurochemicals, your brain won’t work properly. A lack of serotonin can often lead to depression, which will make dieting and exercise very hard. By ensuring that you get enough of this chemical, you can improve your mood and restore vitality to your body. If you feel tired and like you just don’t want to do exercise, it may just be as a result of a lack of serotonin in your brain. Thanks to the Saffron extract, you can restore the levels of neurochemicals and keep your brain healthy. Now, none of these things are directly linked to weight loss, so you may think that this isn’t a good weight loss supplement.

But think about it… How many times have you found yourself eating something extra just because you were hungry? How many times did you overeat because your stomach was growling? Have you found yourself sad or depressed, and opened the fridge to see what there was to eat? Has your exercise program been neglected due to exhaustion, stress, or bad mood? If the answer to any of the above questions was yes, you will find that Saffron extract will be just the thing for you. It will help you to curb your hunger, prevent you from eating emotionally, and boost your mood to make it easier for you to stay faithful to your exercise program.

For The Ladies

Ladies, do you suffer from strong PMS?

Ladies that have rough menstrual periods will often be unable to exercise, and even dieting will be hard due to the fact that their body needs to replace a lot of nutrients. The interesting thing is that Saffron extract can help to reduce the effects of the period, though it will take a month or two to have an effect. It can reduce the symptoms of PMS, making the period a lot easier. If you’re trying to stay in shape, being forced to take a break in your workout and diet routine for a week can be hard.

Saffron Extract can be useful for this problem as well... You can use the supplement to help you to reduce your PMS symptoms!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What Is Saffron Extract?

Saffron (Crocus Sativus L.) is a natural substance long used in cooking and in some systems of traditional medicine. Typically consumed as a spice, saffron is also sold in dietary supplement form. Proponents claim that supplements containing Saffron extract can help promote weight loss and aid in the treatment of a number of health conditions.


Why Do People Use It?
When used medicinally, Saffron is said to help treat or prevent the following health problems: Alzheimer's Asthma Atherosclerosis Cough Depression Heartburn Insomnia Pain Premenstrual Pyndrome (PMS)  

Benefits Of Saffron
To date, scientific support for the health effects of Saffron is fairly limited. However, several studies suggest that consuming saffron may provide certain health benefits. Here's a look at some key findings from the available research:  

1) Weight Loss 
When used as a weight loss aid, Saffron supplements are purported to curb appetite and reduce cravings. Some proponents suggest that Saffron can help increase brain levels of serotonin (a chemical known to regulate mood) and, in turn, help prevent compulsive overeating and the associated weight gain. Saffron extract shows promise as a means of controlling compulsive eating, according to a small study published in Nutrition Research in 2010. For the study, 60 healthy, mildly overweight women took either a saffron-containing supplement or a placebo every day for eight weeks (during which the participants' intake of calories was unrestricted). Study results showed that members of the saffron group experienced a significantly greater decrease in snacking and a significantly greater reduction in body weight (compared to members of the placebo group). The study's authors note that Saffron's supposedly mood-enhancing effects could contribute to the decrease in snacking frequency.

 2) Depression
Some studies show that Saffron may aid in the treatment of depression. For instance, a 2005 study published in Phytotherapy Research found that Saffron extract was more effective than placebo in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. The study involved 40 adults with depression, each of whom was treated with either Saffron supplements or a placebo every day for six weeks. In an earlier study (published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2004), 30 adults with depression took either Saffron supplements or imipramine (a medication commonly used for depression) every day for six weeks. Results revealed that the substances were similarly effective as a depression treatment.  

3) PMS
Saffron extract may help relieve symptoms of PMS, a 2008 study from the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. After taking Saffron supplements daily throughout two menstrual cycles, study participants had a significantly greater decrease in PMS symptoms than those who took a placebo for the same time period.  

Although Saffron is considered safe when consumed as a food, use of Saffron supplements may trigger several side effects (including dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, and headache). What's more, taking saffron in excess amounts may be toxic and lead to vomiting, bleeding, and numbness. Since Saffron may affect mood, people with serious mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder) should avoid the use of Saffron.

Where To Find It?