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Vis Neurosci. 2014 Sep;31(4-5):355-61. doi: 10.1017/S0952523814000108. Epub 2014 May 12.

Saffron and retina: neuroprotection and pharmacokinetics.

Author information

1
University of L'Aquila,DISCAB,L'Aquila,Italy.
2
Dipartimento di Scienze Otorinolaringoiatriche e Oftalmologiche,University La Cattolica del Sacro Cuore,Roma,Italy.

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal neurodegenerative disease whose development and progression are the results of a complex interaction between genetic and environmental risk factors. Both oxidative stress and chronic inflammation play a significant role in the pathogenesis of AMD. Experimental studies in rats with light-induced photoreceptors degeneration demonstrated that saffron may protect photoreceptor from retinal stress, preserving both morphology and function and probably acting as a regulator of programmed cell death, in addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Recently, a randomized clinical trial showed that in patients with early AMD, dietary supplementation with saffron was able to improve significantly the retinal flicker sensitivity suggesting neuroprotective effect of the compound. Here, we examine the progress of saffron dietary supplementation both in animal model and AMD patients, and discuss the potential and safety for using dietary saffron to treat retinal degeneration.

PMID:
24819927
DOI:
10.1017/S0952523814000108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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