Behind the science

Unique saffron extract

​​Herbalife​ 19 October 2023

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What is a unique saffron extract?

Our unique saffron extract is an extract from Crocus sativus L. stigmas. During the production process, low-temperature extraction process is applied to protect bioactives. The extraction process means the concentration and purification of active compounds in saffron extract. A complex mix of bioactive compounds, such as crocin, safranal, crocetin, and picrocrocin, are primarily responsible for the bioactive and organoleptic properties of the unique saffron extract. The concentration of these bioactives should be quantified using the scientifically approved, standard high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique. In addition, our supplier is using HPLC-Diode Array Detector (HPLC-DAD), which is the most accurate chromatographic separation technique, recommended as the gold standard by White Book Saffron in Europe.

Clinical studies suggest that the intake of 28 mg of our unique saffron extract daily supports sleep quality, reduce the feeling of sleeplessness, synchronise the sleep-wake cycle through increasing melatonin production and improves your mood after awakening. And the initial result is shown* after 7 days of use. Find out more about sleep.

*Refers to sleep quality only

Key benefits

Several clinical trials have been conducted with our unique saffron extract based on which the list of claims presented below was created. These were randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials using subjective and objective methods of measurement to assess the benefits.

Subjective measurement

Questionnaires were given to participants with unsatisfactory sleep who consumed 28 mg of our unique saffron extract daily for 28 days. Based on their feedback the following benefits were reported:

Significant improvement in sleep quality

After 7 days of consuming our unique saffron extract, it is reported that sleep quality is significantly improved.

Reduction in the feeling of sleeplessness

After 28 days of consuming our unique saffron extract, respondents reported that the feeling of sleeplessness and sleep problems have reduced.

Mood improved after awakening

After 28 days of consuming our unique saffron extract, respondents claim that their mood has improved after awakening, which in turn may support their daily life and wellness.

After 28 days of taking 28 mg saffron extract daily, there was a statistically significant increase of 14.42% in mood after awakening (Lopresti, Smith, & Drummond, 2021).

Objective measurement

Melatonin production is stimulated by darkness, and inhibited by light. It means that the production starts in the evening and the highest levels are observed between 3-4 am. This description applies to physiological melatonin production which is performed by pineal gland in the human body.

In the clinical trial participants were asked to take saffron extracts and then after approximately an hour collect saliva samples. Melatonin levels were measured in the saliva samples. This procedure was applied 1 day before the intake of saffron extract and then the second time once the trial was completed (after 28 days of saffron extract intake). Based on these measurements’ results it was reported that saffron extracts have increased evening melatonin levels. Melatonin could help regulate the circadian rhythm and synchronize the sleep-wake cycle with night and day.

Saffron extracts intake increased evening melatonin level which is responsible for sleep regulation. By increasing the evening melatonin level, the sleep-wake cycle could be synchronised, meaning that the brain keeps people awake or asleep at an appropriate time.

References

Kell, G., Rao, A., Beccaria, G., Clayton, P., Inarejos-García, A. M., & Prodanov, M. (2017). affron(®) a novel saffron extract (Crocus sativus L.) improves mood in healthy adults over 4 weeks in a double-blind, parallel, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med, 33, 58-64. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2017.06.001

Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., & Drummond, P. D. (2021). An investigation into an evening intake of a saffron extract (affron®) on sleep quality, cortisol, and melatonin concentrations in adults with poor sleep: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-dose study. Sleep Med, 86, 7-18. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2021.08.001

Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Metse, A. P., & Drummond, P. D. (2020). Effects of saffron on sleep quality in healthy adults with self-reported poor sleep: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Sleep Med, 16(6), 937-947. doi:10.5664/jcsm.8376