Friday, February 26, 2010

Saffron may help reverse Macular Degeneration

From the UK's Daily Mail:
By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 12:01 AM on 06th February 2010

It is one food colouring that you won't mind giving to the family.
Research has shown that saffron, which gives chicken korma and paella their yellow colour, helps keep vision sharp.
Test findings suggest the spice reverses age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, the most common cause of blindness in old people.
'Patients' vision improved after taking the saffron pill,' said Professor Silvia Bisti, of the University of Sydney, who carried out the research.
'When they were tested with traditional eye charts, a number of them could read one or two lines smaller than before, while others reported they could read newspapers and books again.'
The finding is timely as it is thought the number of AMD sufferers will treble in the next 25 years as the population ages.
It currently affects a quarter of over-60s in the UK and more than half of over-75s.
There are few treatments for the condition - and no cure.
While peripheral vision is not affected, the damage to central vision leads to many sufferers being registered as blind or partially sighted.
Saffron has actually been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a range of ailments, though Professor Bisti is the first to look at its effects on eyesight.

In tests carried out in Italy - where saffron is widely cultivated - pensioners with AMD were given a daily saffron pill for three months followed by a dummy drug for a further three months.
A second group took the supplements in the reverse order. Twenty-five took part in all.
'All patients experienced improvements in their vision while taking the saffron pill,' Professor Bisti said. 'But when they stopped taking it, the effect quickly disappeared.'

She added: 'The chemistry of saffron is quite complex. It is well-known as an anti- oxidant but no one has explored its effects on eyesight before.'
She believes saffron, which is widely used in Spanish and Indian cooking, affects the amount of fat stored by the eye, making vision cells 'tougher and more resilient'.
Saffron is used in traditional medicine for treating conditions including cancerous tumours and depression. The spice also has properties which encourage oxygen flow and prevents cell death.
Researchers are now hoping to discover the ideal dosage. They will also look at saffron's ability to treat genetic eye diseases that can cause life-long blindness.


  1. I would like to know the correlation between saffron and glaucoma, cataracts, and especially, celiac's disease, which messes with EVERY organ of the body.
    A general daily ingestion level would be noteworthy, so I'm going with about 1/16 of a teaspoon daily.
    It seemed, actually, on the first day of ingestion, that I could actually feel the pressure from my glaucoma eye decreasing, although I hope that wasn't just wishful thinking.
    Does anyone know of any gratis programs out there for older folks who need new lenses, particularly in the polarized bifocal type? I live in very sunny & windy Wyoming, for example, and must take care of my disable wife full time.
    I don't want to get any blinder than I am if I can help it.

  2. Please note that from what I've found on the internet, most pure saffron is grown in Iran, not Spain. That, often, saffron bought in the US is adulterated, and that for the most purity and effectiveness, I would believe that
    May be a site to check out throughly. (This is not spam on my part. I've received their product and find it very satisfactory so far.) The Director actually talked me out of taking high doses, and to limit such, instead.
    I'll wait on time to see what it does or not.
    But they state credentials & purity levels you might want to validate.

  3. My wife has had A M D for 7 years in one eye.
    \she has used suppliments includind Zeaxanthin and Lutin.There has been no worsening of vision i either eye.
    For the past 3 months she has been taking 50 mg of Saffron and thinks there has ben some improvement.She had a retinal photograph in February and is due for a repeat in August.
    We hope there will be a improvement.
    The saffron is Indian and obtained in 50gm individual sachets from the "Baby Sarffon"
    Company of America.