The effect of saffron ( Crocus sativus L.) hydroalcoholic extract on metabolic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A triple-blinded randomized clinical trial

J Res Med Sci. 2018 Feb 20;23:16. doi: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_286_17. eCollection 2018.


Background: Metabolic control is a major concern in preventing diabetic complications. Saffron as a natural source of antioxidants could play a role in alleviating diabetes insults. The aim of this study was to investigate effect of saffron hydroalcoholic extract on metabolic control in type 2 diabetes (T2D) mellitus.

Materials and methods: This randomized triple blind study was included 54 T2D patients which randomly received either saffron (Group 1) or placebo (Group 2) twice daily other than routine antidiabetic treatments for 8 weeks. Serum concentration of fasting blood sugar (FBS), 2-h plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), total cholesterol, triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein were measured as the markers of metabolic control. Anthropometric measures and blood pressure were also measured at the baseline, every 2 weeks during the intervention and the end of the study. Data analyzed using repeated measure analysis of variance test.

Results: The baseline metabolic parameters were the same in two group (P > 0.01). FBS serum level significantly decreased within 8 weeks in the saffron group (128.84 ± 31.86) as compared to the placebo (153.76 ± 41.23), (P < 0.001). There was no statistical difference in other metabolic parameters such as serum lipids, blood pressure, and HbA1c (P > 0.01).

Conclusion: Saffron hydroalcoholic extract may improve blood glucose control by reducing FBS in T2D patients. However, saffron extract has no significant effect on other aspects of diabetic control in diabetic patients.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; fasting blood glucose; lipid; metabolic syndrome; saffron extract.