New research has shown that saffron taken together with pharmaceutical antidepressants can help adults with depression.
Researchers at Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia (both in Australia) have conducted an 8-week trial published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. This is a randomized, double-blind study, which found greater reductions in depressive symptoms when adults supplemented depression medication with saffron capsules.
Dr Adrian Lopresti, from Murdoch University, said the trial was the largest of its kind to date. So it has become the first study to analyze the effects of saffron as a complement to pharmaceutical antidepressants, since previous research has only analyzed the antidepressant effects of the ingredient as an independent treatment.
"Depressive symptoms decreased more in participants who took saffron compared to placebo," Dr. Lopresti noted. In fact, the reductions were 41% and 21%, respectively on the physician-rated scale. Furthermore, the authors add that "there were improvements in sleep quality, initiative and motivation," not forgetting the general impact on interest and pleasure during certain activities.
A total of 160 participants were randomly assigned to the two trial groups. The first round took placebo, while the second took standardized saffron extract (affron®) for 8 weeks. Participants had to be physically healthy, between the ages of 18 and 65, and take a stable dose of a single pharmaceutical antidepressant.
Finally, of the 160 enrolled participants, 139 provided usable data. According to the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), depressive symptoms decreased more in participants who took saffron compared to those on placebo. Reductions of 41% were experienced in the intervention group and 21% in the placebo group.
However, scores on the self-assessed MADRS (MADRS-S) in the saffron and placebo groups decreased 27% and 26% respectively. Given the conflicting results, the report states that more research is needed to clarify the clinical benefits.
Supplementation with pharmaceutical antidepressants
According to statements by Dr. Lopresti, the study has indicated that saffron could be used to help avoid the side effects of pharmaceuticals. “Right now, if pharmaceutical antidepressants don't work, the options are to increase the dose or try a new antidepressant. This increases the likelihood of side effects. Now a new option is to take antidepressants and saffron together”.
To combat mild or moderate depression
Researchers at the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran previously found that saffron improved symptoms among mothers with mild postpartum depression. For example, the study published in the journal Phytomedicine, found that the 30 study participants supplemented with 15 mg of saffron daily showed more improvements at the end of the intervention period compared to the 30 mothers who took the placebo.
Likewise, researchers from the University of Florida (USA) have published a meta-analysis of clinical trials on the subject. In this sense, Gafner has emphasized that five studies were included in which saffron was compared with placebo (two trials) and with conventional antidepressant treatment (three more).
The meta-analysis suggests that saffron is significantly better than placebo in improving depression symptoms and is roughly equivalent to standard pharmaceutical antidepressants. This last group includes drugs such as Imipramine or Fluoxetine. So Gafner has reiterated that "the new study adds to the existing evidence on the benefits of saffron for people suffering from mild to moderate depression."
A guide book available online called Alive After the Fall 2 will tell us how to survive a world war. The ebook is based on the prophecies of famous prophets in the Bible. Such prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah and many more have big contributions to this book of survival skills. Alive After the Fall 2 has the information about the present, past, and future of our world. This includes the humanity we have and what is about to face.