Optimizing Eye Health: Crocin's Remarkable Benefits Revealed

In the quest for natural approaches to enhance and manage eye health, recent research has unveiled promising insights into the potential advantages of crocin as a supplement for vision. 

A new clinical study, published online in Medicine in Drug Discovery on November 21, 2023 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medidd.2023.100169), highlighted the significant impact of supplementing with carotenoid crocin (15mg/day) on intraocular pressure among participants aged 30-71 years. This study's findings underscored crocin's efficacy in extending its benefits beyond traditional macular and eye health concerns (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2018.03.007).

Crocin, a distinctive water-soluble carotenoid, stands as the primary active component responsible for the diverse health-promoting effects found in saffron (the dried stigma of Crocus sativus L.). Notably, crocin is exclusive to saffron and a select few plant sources, absent in everyday foods, fruits, or vegetables. According to the saffron monograph by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, saffron typically contains 4-6% crocin.

Since 2010, nine clinical studies have corroborated the significant benefits of supplementing with saffron (ranging from 20mg to 50mg per day), showcasing its positive impact on visual acuity, macular functions, and overall eye health. These studies even highlighted superior results compared to AREDSII (lutein+zeaxanthin) supplementation (Antioxidants. 2019, 8(7), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8070224 and Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 2019, 257:31–40, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00417-018-4163-x). 

Despite epidemiological evidence suggesting a positive correlation between lutein/zeaxanthin intake and eye health, multiple clinical trials involving these two carotenoids, including the AREDS II study, have yielded inconsistent results, failing to establish significant benefits (JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015;133(12):1415-1424. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/2448581 and Br J Nutr. 2012 Feb;107(3):350-9. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114511004260). Nevertheless, the National Eye Institute (NEI) recommends lutein/zeaxanthin supplementation for eye health. 

Furthermore, over 40 clinical studies conducted since 2010 have demonstrated that crocin supplementation (ranging from 15-30mg/day) offers substantial and diverse benefits in enhancing mood, mobility, brain health, joint health, cardiac wellness, sleep quality, sugar metabolism balance, overall health, and quality of life.

Hence, combining crocin with lutein/zeaxanthin supplementation could yield remarkable advantages in fortifying and sustaining eye health.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published