The antioxidant activity of saffron found to help protect against diabetes
03/22/2018 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Diabetes – in particular, Type 2 diabetes – is a long-term condition that may result in complications in the liver and the kidneys. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism sheds light on that topic with their findings indicating that an alcoholic extract from saffron reduced blood urea nitrogen and uric acid in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Saffron (Crocus sativus L.), an herbal medicine in Islamic-Persian traditional medicine, is reputed to be the most expensive traditional spice for years. The plant, which is native to Iran, contains compounds – crocin, safranal, crocetin, and picrocrocin – known to provide health benefits, one of which is reducing oxidative stress. Moreover, saffron and its crocin were found to reduce levels of liver enzymes in male rats that suffered from fatty liver disease. Its extracts also contain flavonoids and carotenoids. (Related: The golden spice saffron has golden health benefits too)

However, the effect of a saffron hydro-alcoholic extract had not been previously analyzed, in particular, to people with Type 2 diabetes. To answer that burning question, a team of researchers in Iran did just that: They studied the effect of a saffron hydro-alcoholic extract on the parameters of the liver and renal functions in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

The research team then recruited 54 individuals with Type 2 diabetes for the study and randomly divided them into two groups: Half of the study participants were tasked to consume 15 mg of saffron extract, while the other half were tasked to consume placebo capsules. The team measured the participants' alkaline phosphatase, aspartate and alanine aminotransferase, uric acid, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine levels. In addition, they measured the physical activity, dietary intake, anthropometric measure, and blood pressure of the participants.


Results indicated that the saffron extract reduced blood urea nitrogen and uric acid in patients with Type 2 diabetes. While liver enzymes and alkaline phosphatase were also reduced, the reduction was not significant. Also, no significant changes were seen between the saffron and placebo group at the end of the study. In addition, alterations in other profiles, such as liver enzymes, were not statistically significant in both groups. Furthermore, there were no significant improvements observed in the blood pressure, dietary intakes, and physical activity of the two groups.

“Although, saffron hydro-alcoholic extract may improve renal protection in saffron treated type 2 diabetic patients by itself, the protective effect was not significant when compared with placebo,” the researchers concluded.

Saffron consumption combined with resistance exercise improves diabetic parameters

However, consuming saffron, in combination with resistance exercise, provides a potent therapeutic effective factor on diabetic parameters in-vivo, according to a separate study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

In the study, the researchers divided diabetic and non-diabetic male rats into control, training, extract treatment, training and extract treatment. The exercise treatment, as well as the 40 mg/kg/day saffron treatment, lasted for six weeks.

The findings revealed that six weeks of resistance training, together with saffron treatment, led to insulin resistance reduction. In addition, serum glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein, very low-density lipoprotein, insulin resistance, and glycated hemoglobin levels were reduced in treated rats compared to untreated rats. The researchers concluded that consuming saffron together with resistance training could enhance diabetic parameters through redo-mediated mechanisms and the GLUT4/AMPK pathway to regulate insulin or glucose.

"Our study provides a key insight into diabetes, but significant evidences for the benefits of the combined factors have not been obtained," the researchers wrote.

If you'd like to read more news stories and studies on herbal medicines, visit

Sources include:

Take Action:
Support Natural News by linking to this article from your website.
Permalink to this article:
Embed article link:
Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use is permitted with credit to (including a clickable link).
Please contact us for more information.
Free Email Alerts
Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.
App Store
Android App
eTrust Pro Certified

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2022 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

This site uses cookies
Natural News uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. By using this site, you agree to our privacy policy.
Learn More
Get 100% real, uncensored news delivered straight to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email privacy is completely protected.