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Ancient Spice as Effective as Anti-depressants, Study Reveals

Thursday May 16, 2019
Ancient Spice as Effective as Anti-depressants, Study Reveals

A vibrant spice from the Crocus sativus plant can revolutionise the treatment of depression, which can potentially help millions of sufferers in the UK. Research from the University of Szeged, Hungary, reveals the latest evidence on saffron and depressive symptoms.   

A meta-analysis (review of trials) conducted by Toth et. al unravelled the benefits of saffron on mental disorders(1). The paper included 11 trials, with a total of over 500 participants. The daily dose of saffron ranged between 15-50mg per day, for a period of 6-12 weeks. Results were tested along the HAM-D and BDI depression scales. 

Overall, it was observed that saffron supplementation significantly reduced symptoms of mild/moderate depression. After comparing saffron and anti-depressants, both equally reduced depressive symptoms, as noted on both the HAM-D and BDI scales.  

Little is known about saffron’s mechanism of action in treating mental disorders, however its high antioxidant capacity may be a contributing factor. In order to further understand the mechanism and establish an optimum dose of saffron, the researchers suggest larger trials to support their findings.  

In conclusion, saffron, a potent ancient spice, may be an effective natural solution to help remedy depressive symptoms.  



References:

1) Tóth B,  Hegyi P, Lantos T (2019) The Efficacy of Saffron in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Depression: A Meta-analysis. Planta Med. 2019 Jan;85(1):24-31. 


Author: Salma Dawood is a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.





The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.

 

TAGS: Nutrition News and ViewsMental Health

 

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