Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is accompanied by elevated inflammation, oxidative stress, hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia which all contribute to cardiovascular disease pathogenesis. Saffron as a complementary medicine and source of antioxidants could play a role in alleviating diabetes and its complications. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of saffron supplementation as an adjunct therapy in T2D.
Patients and methods: This randomized controlled trial included 80 T2D patients with a mean age of 54.1 years. Participants were randomly assigned into two groups to take either saffron tablets (100 mg/day; n=40) or placebo (n=40) for 12 weeks. Fasting blood samples were obtained at the beginning and after the intervention period to quantify glycemic factors, lipid profile, and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Anthropometric indices and dietary intakes were also measured at baseline and at study end.
Results: Compared with placebo, saffron supplementation resulted in significant decreases in waist circumference (p<0.001) and malondialdehyde (MDA) (p=0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in other indices, including anthropometric parameters, serum insulin, fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, insulin sensitivity indices, lipid profile, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, total antioxidant capacity, and tumor necrosis factor-α between the study groups (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Overall, 12 weeks of saffron supplementation in diabetic patients had beneficial effects on waist circumference and serum MDA levels. However, saffron did not influence other evaluated cardio metabolic risk markers in diabetic patients.
Keywords: crocus sativus; diabetes mellitus; dysglycemia; inflammation mediators; lipid profile; type 2.
© 2019 Ebrahimi et al.