Focus on Food supplement ingredients N° 3 : Saffron

Food supplement ingredients In this Focus on Food Supplements Ingredients, we chose to talk about a universally recognized ingredient: Saffron

From its Latin name, crocus sativus, Saffron is also called the red gold. Saffron is well known for its culinary virtues and its numerous nutraceutical benefits. Indeed, thanks to its action on stress hormones and neurotransmitters, Saffron takes part into sleep and stress improvement.

Besides, Saffron is appreciated by women for its ability to reduce menopause symptoms (called climacteric symptoms).

Here are 3 benefits of choosing Saffron for your dietary supplement formula :

 

1/ An exceptional ingredient that crossed times

The first uses of Saffron go back to Ancient Greece more than 3000 years ago.

Cleopatra largely contributed to its democratisation when elaborating the first Eau de toilette containing Saffron (Kyphi). It then became a sacred incense, burnt at night in Egyptian houses to prevent sleep disorder and anxiety.

Nowadays, if Iranian Saffron is widely used, Afghan Saffron(1) also shows great quality.

 

It is important to notice that only its three crimson stigmas, located in the centre of the flower, give Saffron its properties. Thus, 7000 flowers are required to obtain only 35g of Saffron, which represents 21 hours of manual work (gathering and trimming). Moreover, every other year (2-year cycle plant), the growers only have 2 days (the flower’s lifespan) in order to be able to collect Saffron. All the precautions which need to be taken to get Saffron give it its exceptional dimension and rarity. This is why it is called the red gold.

 

2/ An efficacy compared with some drugs

 

  • Regarding sleep and stress :

Globally, for the past ten years, mood disorders are the main cause of disability.

In Europe, up to 50% sick leave is due to depression and anxiety.

In France, since March 2020 after the first lock down, the health crises led to a rise by 15.2% of administered anxiolytic treatments(2).

 

Saffron finds its place as an alternative to drug treatments. In 2005, it has been proven(3) that Saffron has an efficacy similar to fluoxetine (the Prozac molecule).

Other studies (the most recent from 2021(4) show that Safran allows to improve the facility to fall asleep as well as the sleeping duration and quality, and therefore, life quality.

Following these studies, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) accepted to examine the  allegations “Saffron contributes to emotional balance” and “Saffron helps to get better sleep”.

 

  • Regarding menopause symptoms :

Less renowned, but still very useful, Saffron also proves to be a precious help for women facing menopause. Indeed, during menopause, the action of Saffron allows to diminish sleep and mood trouble but also hot flushes.

Therefore, in 2018, survey results(5)allowed to justify to request the EFSA to study the allegation “Saffron contributes to ease menopausal symptoms”.

 

3/ A high hand formulation

The premium positioning of Saffron is an asset to your formulation. It is worth noting that Saffron properties come from two key molecules: safranal (flavour) and crocetin (colour).

Consequently, through accurate analytic control (such as  High Performance Liquid Chromatography), make sure that your Saffron contains 2% safranal. As for crocetin, the higher the concentration the more efficient the Saffron is.

 

At Kares-up, among our 200 catalogue references, we offer a formulation containing a Saffron extract, of which the action is amplified by a specific ingredient, combined with plants and nutriments for an overall well-being care during the menopause period.

Do not hesitate to contact our team for any further information at contact@kares-up.com

 

Loubna BELMOUDEN
Scientific and Marketing development Officer at Kares-Up

Raphaëlle DA COSTA
Kares-Up Founder

 

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(1) Qamiab® Saffron

(2) EPI-PHARE épidémiologie des produits de santé : Usage des médicaments de ville en France durant l’épidémie de Covid-19 – Rapport 6. 27 mai 2021.

(3) Noorbala AA, Akhondzadeh S, Tahmacebi-Pour N, Jamshidi AH. Hydro-alcoholic extract of Crocus sativus L. versus fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized pilot trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 28 February 2005.

(4) Pachikian BD, Copine S, Suchareau M, Deldicque L. Effects of Saffron Extract on Sleep Quality: A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 27 april 2021.

(5) Kashani L, Esalatmanesh S, Eftekhari F, Salimi S, Foroughifar T, Etesam F, et al. Efficacy of Crocus sativus (saffron) in treatment of major depressive disorder associated with post-menopausal hot flashes: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Arch Gynecol Obstet. March 2018.

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