Short-term Outcomes of Saffron Supplementation in Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration: A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Randomized Trial

Med Hypothesis Discov Innov Ophthalmol. Spring 2016;5(1):32-38.


In modern pharmacological medicine, saffron is used for various purposes due to its antioxidant effect. This study evaluated retinal function after treatment with saffron supplementation during a follow-up period of 6 months to provide further insight into the efficacy and safety considerations of this treatment. Sixty patients with wet or dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were randomly assigned to receive oral saffron 30 mg/d or placebo supplementation for 6 months. Optical coherence tomography (OCT), electroretinography (ERG), fluorescein angiography, and visual acuity testing were performed at baseline and 3 and 6 months after treatment. The main outcome measures were OCT, ERG amplitude, and implicit time. Six months after treatment, no statistically significant decrease in OCT results was observed between the groups with dry AMD (P = 0.282). However, there was a statistically significant increase in ERG results between the groups at 3 months after treatment (P = 0.027). In addition, there was a significant decrease in OCT results between groups with wet AMD at the follow-up (P = 0.05). Finally, there was a significant increase in ERG findings between the groups with wet AMD at 3 months after treatment (P = 0.01), but these changes decreased at 6 months after treatment (P = 0.213). Daily supplementation with 30 mg of saffron for 6 months may result in a mid-term, significant improvement in retinal function in patients with AMD.

Keywords: Age-related Macular Degeneration; Randomized Trial; Saffron Supplementation.