Sunday, August 1

Menopause: saffron can help relieve symptoms

The study found that consuming 14 mg of saffron extract twice a day for 12 weeks reduced anxiety scores by 33% and depression scores by 32%.

Ulrike Leone / Pixabay

Women are completely cyclical and hormonalIt is no secret to say that throughout their lives they experience different stages. Menopause occurs between 40-50 years of age, ends the fertile period and marks the end of the menstrual cycle, your diagnosis is confirmed after the woman has gone 12 months without menstruation. It presents with a decrease in reproductive hormones: estrogen and progesterone. It is very normal that these changes are quite aggressive for some women, therefore there are some symptoms that can be long and tedious.

There is data in which it is confirmed that at least two-thirds of women experience symptoms, which tend to deteriorate their quality of life. These include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, mood swings, irritability, depression, headache, and tiredness. In addition, menopausal women are at increased risk for various chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

In such a way that for years the most powerful remedies and natural allies have been sought to decrease symptoms before and during menopauseFortunately, today we have a lot of information available that brings us closer to valuable ingredients with great medicinal potential. In addition, medical experts agree that making lifestyle adjustments, together with the consumption of natural remedies, recurrent physical activity and good stress management, are the key to coping with this period with great dignity.

In particular, a study recently published in the Journal of Menopause Medicine called: “The effects of a saffron extract on the symptoms of menopause in women during perimenopause.” The researchers found that saffron can help improve psychological state and some symptoms of menopause, as is the case with impaired cognitive function, mood and hot flashes.

As a side note for more context: saffron is a spice derived from the three dried pistil stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower. It is considered one of the most expensive spices on the market and that is why it is one of the most luxurious ingredients in the kitchen. It is characterized by its content of relevant active principles that give it its medicinal and curative importance. Between his most outstanding benefits Its stimulating properties are found at the level of the central nervous system and the digestive system, tonic, carminative, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and analgesic.

According to the study authors, the effects of saffron improve mood. In a particular way, it was discovered that its consumption decreases depressive and anxiety symptoms, which occur during the transition to menopause. It is well known that such conditions are generally treated with antidepressants, however in some cases they are associated with various adverse effects resulting in high discontinuation rates. The good news is that these findings are positive for improving mood and better yet, the participants presented a low frequency of self-reported adverse effects. Therefore, saffron extract is considered a promising natural mood treatment during perimenopause.

What did the study consist of? This was a parallel-group, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. In which they were administered 14 mg of saffron extract or placebo to a group of 86 women, twice a day for 12 weeks. It is worth mentioning that the outcome measures included concepts such as: the Greene Climacteric Scale (GCS), the Positive and Negative Affect Program (PANAS) and the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36). The primary outcome, GCS, is a self-report measure designed to assess the physical and psychological symptoms associated with the transition to menopause. The aforementioned parameters were evaluated at the beginning of the study, during weeks 4, 8 and 12. And the results were conclusive, they showed that both the saffron and placebo groups experienced a significant reduction in GCS total score over time. With the difference that in week 12, women who took saffron saw a reduction in 32% in total GCS scorewhile the placebo group saw a 14% reduction. Without a doubt, the difference between the two groups was statistically significant.

Thus, after 12 weeks, the scores showed significant improvements in the psychological scores, with a reduction in the 33% in anxiety scores and a 32% reduction in depression scores. PANAS scores, which measure positive and negative affect, showed that women who took saffron extract, compared to placebo, had significant reductions in negative PANAS scores and significant increases in positive scores. While the SF-36 subscale scores that measure quality of life, showed that subjects who take saffron have significant improvements in: emotional problems, energy levels, fatigue and emotional well-being.

Without a doubt a great discovery that comes as a valuable natural alternative to prevent menopausal symptoms, especially those related to the state of mind that affect women so much in this stage and that usually last up to two years. A natural option without side effects, which is undoubtedly worth taking into account.

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