Jump to Main Content
A Perspective on Crocus sativus L. (Saffron) Constituent Crocin: A Potent Water-Soluble Antioxidant and Potential Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
- Finley, John W., Gao, Song
- Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.5 pp. 1005-1020
- Alzheimer disease, Crocus sativus, antibodies, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, brain, carotenoids, cognition, death, drugs, memory, patients, saffron, stigma, therapeutics
- 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.