Carotenoid Crocin Improves Exercise Capacity and Lung Functions – Clinical Studies Found

According to recent break-through findings from a clinical study published in in January 2023 in《British Journal of Nutrition》and April 2022 in《Frontiers in Pharmacology》1,2, supplementation of carotenoid crocin significantly improves antioxidant levels, exercise capacity, and lung functions in elderly populations.

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the effects of crocin in elderly adults (average age >60), participants were divided into a placebo and an intervention group, who respectively received a placebo and crocin (30 mg per day for 12 weeks) as a supplement. Exercise capacity and lung function tests based on 6-min walking distance test (6MWD) were performed at the beginning and end of the study. Crocin supplementation resulted in significantly improved lung functions and exercise capacity measured by a 6-min walking distance test (6MWD) and lung function test. In addition, crocin helped establish oxidant/antioxidant balance and improved inflammatory conditions.

Crocin has been identified as the key active constituent primarily responsible for the various health beneficial effects of saffron. In a 2016 published study3, effects of saffron on muscular strength, pulmonary function, and reaction time were evaluated among nonactive and healthy male university students. They were randomly assigned to take saffron at 300mg per day or placebo as a supplement for 10 days. A few anthropometric parameters, visual and audio reaction times, and the maximum isometric and isotonic forces on a leg press machine were measured 1 day before and after the supplementation period. This study found supplementation of saffron significantly increased muscle strength and improved both visual and audio reaction time.

Another clinical study published in January 2023 also reported that supplementation of crocin at 30mg per day for one month significantly improved sleep quality, general health, and happiness among elderly (65+)4. Improvement of sleep quality is known to positively enhance one’s focus, mood, vitality, and problem-solving capability.

Since 2010, more than 40 human clinical studies of crocin and several times more clinical studies of saffron have been published. These human studies clinically and scientifically uncovered that crocin is a truly potent and multi-target health boosting natural ingredient. Findings of these studies support that supplementation of crocin at 15-30mg per day could noticeably help boost and maintain mood, eye health, cognitive health, joint health, sleep quality, general health, and quality of life.

Crocin is the only water-soluble carotenoid in nature and exists only in saffron (Crocus sativus) and a few limited plant sources. Due to the absence of crocin in ordinary foods, fruits, or vegetables, supplementation of crocin becomes a necessity for better health.

If you look for effective natural alternatives to boost energy, mobility/joint health, mental sharpness, overall health and wellness, supplements with a sufficient dose of carotenoid crocin (Crocin Rich®) are obviously the best choices.


  1. The British Journal of Nutrition, 11 Jan 2023, 130(3):446-453.
  2. Pharmacol., 2022, 13,
  3. Potential Ergogenic Effects of Saffron. J Diet Suppl. 2016;13(5):522-9. 
  4. The Effects of Crocin Supplementation on Sleep Quality, General Health, and Happiness in Elderly Population. Intl J of Med Toxic and Forensic Med. 2023; 13(1):E38718. 

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