African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2243

Review

The effect of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and its ingredients on the management of diabetes mellitus and dislipidemia

Tahereh Farkhondeh
  • Tahereh Farkhondeh
  • Department of Agriculture, Payam Noor University, P. O. Box 19395-4697, Tehran, Iran.
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Saeed Samarghandian*
  • Saeed Samarghandian*
  • Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran.
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  •  Received: 05 December 2013
  •  Accepted: 29 April 2014
  •  Published: 29 May 2014

Abstract

The rapidly increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus is becoming a serious threat to mankindʼs health in all parts of the world and is in a group of metabolic disorders having hyperglycemia as a common manifestation. Implication of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of diabetes is proposed, not only by oxygen free-radical generation, but also due to non-enzymatic protein glycosylation, auto-oxidation of glucose, impaired glutathione metabolism, alteration in antioxidant enzymes, and lipid peroxides formation. Moreover, oxidative stress induces systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, impaired secretion of pancreatic β cells and impaired glucose utilization in peripheral tissues. Nowadays, the use of antioxidants still remains a controversy, but its use as a therapy for diabetes can be considered, because it demonstrated effectiveness in lowering the risk of diabetes and its complications. Therefore, this review provides an updated overview of experimental in vitro and in vivo investigations on the biological activities of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and its principal phenolic ingredients, especially focusing on their anti-diabetics effect. This data has led to the suggestion that saffron (C. sativus L.) and its principal phenolic ingredients might be beneficial for preserving diabetes and its complications; however, the application remains controversial. Therefore, this review highlights the antidiabetic effects of saffron and its main ingredients, related to antioxidant properties of carotenoids of saffron.

Key words: Antidiabetic, antioxidant, dyslipidemia, saffron.