One very interesting supplement that has been gaining a lot of attention from the media and scientific community is saffron, or more precisely, saffron extract.
The two main benefits that have so far been attributed to saffron extract are that it can help to reduce cravings and actually suppress the appetite in a safe and gentle manner.
This of course is fantastic news for those of us who are battling to lose weight but keep falling prey to a runaway appetite and endless cravings for pizza, ice cream, and Lord only knows what else.
In this article we are going to take a look at some of the research that has been conducted so far so that we can establish the efficacy and safety of saffron extract.
What is Saffron?
Saffron is a flower which comes from the plant Crocus sativus or saffron crocus which has not yet been observed occurring naturally in the wild. Crocus sativus was first cultivated in Greece before slowly becoming more widely grown throughout Europe, Asia, North Africa, and beyond
One thing that makes saffron particularly interesting, at least in the eyes of botanists, is that it is what is known as “self-incompatible” and male sterile, thereby making it completely incapable of reproducing independently.
Saffron is widely known as being one of the most expensive spices in the world, and this is due largely to the difficulties experienced in cultivating it.
Fortunately, advances in technology and overall scientific understanding have lent themselves to a diminished cost of saffron, as well as opening up the potential for greater study.
This, as you might have guessed, has lead to the development of the supplement we are turning our attention to today: saffron extract.
The Benefits of Saffron Extract
The neurological mechanisms surrounding the production of “happy hormones” such as serotonin are directly affected by our food intake. This provides a clear explanation of why so many of us regularly succumb to what has, in more modern times, been labeled as emotional eating.
We eat something yummy – usually something laden with fats and sugars – triggering a reward response in our brains, so we associate eating with feeling that rewarding feeling and the cycle begins.
Saffron Extract and Appetite Suppression
A crude way of looking at this is that if we can manipulate the regions in our brain and the associated hormones to produce feel-good chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and so on, then we may stand a strong chance of being able to keep our crazy appetites at bay.
This theme was explored in a 2010 study published in the New York Journal of Nutritional Research entitled Satiereal, a Crocus sativus L extract, reduces snacking and increases satiety in a randomized placebo-controlled study of mildly overweight, healthy women.
This study looked at the possible relationship between saffron extract and appetite management, concluding with this very positive statement: “Our results indicate that Satiereal consumption produces a reduction of snacking and creates a satiating effect that could contribute to body weight loss. The combination of an adequate diet with Satiereal supplementation might help subjects engaged in a weight loss program in achieving their objective.”
This evidence suggests that saffron extract can play a positive role in destroying the essentially addictive qualities of eating, helping you to say a firm ‘no’ to your cravings while actually feeling great throughout the process.
Saffron Extract and Stress Relief
Following this same line of thinking, we can begin to see how improving our body’s endogenous production of serotonin while making progress in our weight loss efforts and not obsessing over food can lead to greater all round happiness.
Interestingly enough, there was a study published by Hooshmandi et al. in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology in 2011 which was tasked with looking at the reduction of metabolic and behavioral signs of acute stress in rats.
The research group concluded that “[…] results revealed that saffron water extract and safranal had an important impact on the reduction of both metabolic and behavioral signs of stress in male Wistar rats.” Before adding, “[…] the involvement of the amygdala in this observation can be ruled out.”
For those of you who aren’t aware, the amygdala is a structure in the brain and a part of the limbic system which plays an important role in memory, but more importantly, in decision making, and emotional reactions.
We can quickly draw a connection between decision making, emotional reactions, and appetite; this will make a lot of sense to any of you who have ever experienced a bout of emotional eating (which just about covers all of us)!
Saffron extract is a safe and highly effective means of not just making us feel fuller for longer, but of actually aiding the mechanisms in our bodies that are involved in the very emotions that drive us to indulge in all of the foods we probably ought not to.
Many of us feel stressed in one way of another and end up succumbing to our cravings as a result, while others may experience this process in the opposite order.
Whichever sounds like a more apt description of your experiences, saffron extract remains a fantastic way of ensuring your weight loss efforts run far more smoothly and painlessly… not to mention more successfully!
Our Saffron Extract supplement contains nothing but the highest-grade premium ingredients, with no unnecessary fillers or unpronounceable chemicals that are used as buffers to pad out many other products.
This powerful extract is available in a bottle containing 60 capsules which provides a full 30-day supply, giving you the correct dose of 200mg which has been used successfully in a number of trials.
We use 100% natural Crocus Sativus extract with no skimping on the sourcing and overall quality, ensuring a potent supplement with undeniable results.
Order a bottle of Saffron Extract today and enjoy easier and more rapid weight loss, and a happier overall relationship to food.
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20579522  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21592014  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbic_system