Listed in Issue 265


FINLEY and COLLEAGUES,  1. Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, 111 Food Science Building, Louisiana State University , Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, United States;  14719 Secret Harbor Place, Bradenton, Florida 34202, United States;  Quality Phytochemicals LLC , 13 Dexter Road, East Brunswick, New Jersey 08816, United States reviewed Crocus sativus as a water-soluble antioxidant and potential therapy for Alzheimer's disease


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and cognitive decline. Several factors are thought to play roles in the development and course of AD.


Existing medical therapies only modestly alleviate and delay cognitive symptoms. Current research has been focused on developing antibodies to remove the aggregates of amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau protein. This approach has achieved removal of Aβ; however, no cognitive improvement in AD patients has been reported.


The biological properties of saffron, the dry stigma of the plant Crocus sativus L., and particularly its main constituent crocin, have been studied extensively for many conditions including dementia and traumatic brain injury. Crocin is a unique antioxidant because it is a water-soluble carotenoid. Crocin has shown potential to improve learning and memory as well as protect brain cells. A search of the studies on saffron and crocin that have been published in recent years for their impact on AD as well as crocin's effects on Aβ and tau protein has been conducted.


This review demonstrates that crocin exhibits multifunctional protective activities in the brain and could be a promising agent applied as a supplement or drug for prevention or treatment of AD.


Finley JW1,2, Gao S3. A Perspective on Crocus sativus L. (Saffron) Constituent Crocin: A Potent Water-Soluble Antioxidant and Potential Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease. J Agric Food Chem. 65(5):1005-1020. Feb 8 2017 doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b04398. Epub Jan 31 2017.


The above research demonstrated that crocin could be a promising supplement or drug in the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

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