Curb Compulsive Eating Naturally -- Novel Spice Extract, Saffron A,
Targets the Neurochemistry of Appetite - Page 2
As seen on The DoctorOz.com Show
Reprinted by permission from Bill Faloon of The Life Extension Foundation - By Julius Goepp, MD
Extracts of saffron have been proven superior to placebo for management of mild to moderate depression in a number of controlled clinical trials, consistently producing better outcomes on the standard Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.28,30 Saffron extracts also outperformed placebo in a related study of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).31 (The premenstrual phase is often accompanied by depressed mood and caloric over-consumption.)32
Even more compelling are the comparative data on saffron and prescription antidepressants. In one study, just 30 mg of standardized saffron extract delivering active constituents such as safranal and crocin produced results similar to 100 mg of the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine.33 The same amount of saffron extract produced results identical to the popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine (Prozac) in separate trials.34,35 Saffron produced no side effects, while the antidepressants produced a familiar list of negative side effects, including dry mouth and sedation.32
Emotional and compulsive eating have ties to anxiety as well as depression. Animal studies show that safranal possesses anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) properties without affecting coordination or motor activity.24 One pre-clinical model found that saffron extracts were as effective as diazepam (Valium) at reducing manifestations of anxiety.29
A complementary body of research indicates a positive role for saffron extracts containing safranal as an optimal intervention for stress and anxiety -- core factors in the development of eating compulsions.
Habitual Snacking: A
Dangerous Seesaw Effect
Anxiety and Stress Control
Scientists have developed a working understanding of how saffron produces these effects in the brain. Active extracts of saffron increase so-called long-term potentiation, the electrochemical mechanism underlying learning and memory at the cellular level.39 This effect has proven powerful enough to protect experimental animals brains from alcohol-induced memory loss.40,41 By an entirely different set of mechanisms, saffron extracts also protect brain cells in culture from inflammatory damage and death induced by cytokines such as TNF-alpha.42
Interestingly, advances in our understanding of stress and anxiety reveal that they are accompanied by increased oxidative stress in brain cells.43 Earlier this year, scientific evidence emerged indicating that oxidative stress in the brain is also a positive marker for compulsive behavior.44 Accordingly, there's evidence that saffron's capacity to limit emotional eating may be related to its antioxidant capacity.45,46
These effects, prized in traditional Persian medicine and corroborated by a team of pioneering French researchers, have been shown to be equal in potency to the tricyclic imipramine and the SSRI fluoxetine (Prozac) in managing depression. By targeting the neurochemistry at the root of compulsive eating behavior, saffron extract serves as a safe, natural way to reduce caloric intake and induce weight loss.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
Dosage and Use: Take one capsule twice daily (morning and evening) with food or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.
Caution and Side Effects: Do not exceed recommended dose. Consult with your healthcare practitioner before using this product if you are taking anti-coagulant or anti-platelet medications or if you have a bleeding disorder or kidney disease. Avoid use during pregnancy.
Pricing Information: Saffron
Extract w/Satiereal (Crocus
Sativus L.) |
Konjac Fiber Root Extract (LuraLean), White Kidney Bean, Irvingia |
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