Saffron in the Alzheimer’s test

The spice saffron is in direct comparison with the leading drug against severe Alzheimer’s disease.

What’s new about the treatment of memory disorders with the spice saffron? As I discuss in my video Saffron against memantine (Namenda) in Alzheimer’s, “Saffron was widespread used in Persian folk medicine for memory problems ”, but was only put to the test in a study showed that Alzheimer’s dementia symptoms continued to worsen on placebo but improved over a 16 week period on saffron, as you can see at 0:21 in my. can see Video. The explorers completed that saffron is “safe and effective for mild to moderate AD” [Alzheimer’s disease] Patients ”, at least in the short term. How about a head-to-head battle with the leading drug used for such patients? Saffron seemed to job just as good – but with significantly less vomiting, a common side effect of the drug in this study. So we were there in 2010. What’s the update?

In 2013 we got the first look at a possible mechanism. Alzheimer’s disease includes “Destruction of brain nerve cells”. Our brain cells can either be killed by the formation of clusters or amyloid plaques, in which aggregates of a protein called amyloid beta “act as poison”. But as you can see at 1:13 in mine Video, Add Crocin, the red dye in saffron, significantly reduces this amyloid clumping in a Petri dish, an effect that can be clearly seen under an electron microscope. The component of saffron that makes it so colorful seems to have “the ability to prevent amyloid formation”. What about the tangles? Crocin seems to be able to do that too block the skein in vitro, like shown again with electron microscopy. Maybe that’s why saffron helps with Alzheimer’s disease, but that was only for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Does that mean you have to catch it early? What about moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease?

We didn’t know until a study compared Saffron against the leading drug for severe Alzheimer’s disease. Saffron seemed to work just as well once again, as you can see in mine at 2:01 Video. In fact, it could be said that saffron works even better because it doesn’t exist been any serious side effects that are ascribed to saffron while using the drug associated at an increased risk of drowsiness, weight gain, confusion, high blood pressure, nervous system disorders and falls.

The saffron study wasn’t financed through dietary supplement or spice companies – non-commercial public grants only. But all studies were done in Iran, which controls about 90 percent of the saffron harvest. So promoting saffron consumption can be of national interest, just as the New Zealand government is funding research on kiwi fruit – but who else is going to fund studies on a simple spice?

For more information on herbal approaches to dementia, visit:

What else can saffron do? See:

In health,

Michael Greger, MD

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