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Saffron (<i>Crocus sativus</i> L.) in Ocular Diseases: A Narrative Review of the Existing Evidence from Clinical Studies
- Heitmar, Rebekka, Brown, James, Kyrou, Ioannis
- Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.3
- Crocus sativus, carotenoids, clinical trials, glaucoma, macular degeneration, neuroprotective effect, saffron, therapeutics
- Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and its main constituents, i.e., crocin and crocetin, are natural carotenoid compounds, which have been reported to possess a wide spectrum of properties and induce pleiotropic anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and neuroprotective effects. An increasing number of experimental, animal, and human studies have investigated the effects and mechanistic pathways of these compounds in order to assess their potential therapeutic use in ocular diseases (e.g., in age related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic maculopathy). This narrative review presents the key findings of published clinical studies that examined the effects of saffron and/or its constituents in the context of ocular disease, as well as an overview of the proposed underlying mechanisms mediating these effects.