Saffron Supplementation in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration

In 2012, 10 researchers M. Piccardi, D.Marangoni, A. M.Minnella, M. C. Savastano, P. Valentini, L. Ambrosio, E. Capoluongo, R.Maccarone, S. Bisti, and B. Falsini from Italy and Australia published a paper about the effects saffron supplements have on macular degeneration diseases. They conducted a clinical trial study with almost 30 patients to see how saffron affected their eye health. 

Followings are from the original paper:

Objectives: In a previous randomized clinical trial (Falsini et al. (2010)), it was shown that short-term Saffron supplementation improves retinal flicker sensitivity in early age-relatedmacular degeneration (AMD). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the observed functional benefits fromSaffron supplementation may extend over a longer follow-up duration.

Design: Longitudinal, interventional open-label study.

Setting: Outpatient ophthalmology setting.

Participants: Twenty-nine early AMD patients (age range: 55–85 years) with a baseline visual acuity >0.3. Intervention. Saffron oral supplementation (20mg/day) over an average period of treatment of 14 (°æ2) months.Measurements. Clinical examination and focal-electroretinogram-(fERG-) derived macular (18) flicker sensitivity estimate (Falsini et al. (2010)) every three months over a followup of 14 (°æ2) months. Retinal sensitivity, the reciprocal value of the estimated fERG amplitude threshold, was the main outcome measure.

Results: After three months of supplementation, mean fERG sensitivity improved by 0.3 log units compared to baseline values (P < 0.01), and mean visual acuity improved by two Snellen lines compared to baseline values (0.75 to 0.9, P < 0.01). These changes remained stable over the followup period. Conclusion. These results indicate that in early AMD Saffron supplementation induces macular function improvements from baseline that are extended over a long-term followup.


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Hindawi Publishing Corporation Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012, Article ID 429124, 9 pages doi:10.1155/2012/429124


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