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Saffron is supposedly the most expensive spice in the world. It is mainly the labor-intensive harvesting method that makes it costly. But it is also in high demand due to its powerful medicinal properties. Saffron is harvested from the fall-flowering plant Crocus Sativus, a member of the Iris family. It contains high levels of specific antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals and oxidative stress. From preventing nervous system disorders to boosting mood and promoting libido, saffron is associated with several health benefits. There's a lot of buzz around its ability to support optimal eye health.
According to experts at ENTOD Pharmaceuticals, the benefits of saffron for the eyes are the result of high concentrations of natural carotenoids that can help protect the retina and the lens of aging eyes. Saffron helps restore the structure and function of retinal cells, they said.
Nikkhil K Masurkar, Executive Director of ENTOD Pharmaceuticals said, "Saffron is a spice that contains the antioxidant carotenoids crocin and crocetin among other ingredients, with strong antioxidative, cellular and neuroprotective properties. Based on animal and in-vitro research, modern medicine has discovered that saffron has anticarcinogenic, immunomodulating, neuroprotective, eye health and antioxidant-like properties. Saffron contains carotenoids crocin and crocetin that have shown strong protective effects on retinal cells that help restore the function and structure of retinal cells damaged by oxidative stress in age-related macular degeneration."
ENTOD Pharmaceuticals, a research-based pharmaceutical organisation with over four decades of pharmaceutical expertise in Ophthalmology, ENT and Dermatology medicine, has launched a saffron-based eye care supplement, MACUSAFF™ capsule, in India to promote visual performance.
In its press release, the company stated that this natural eye supplement can help with various eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa. The product is claimed to be manufactured from 100 per cent DNA certified Persian origin natural saffron extract with guaranteed 5 per cent crocins and specially imported from France.
Talking about their saffron-based MACUSAFF™ veg capsule, Masurkar said that it improves retinal flicker sensitivity, blood flow, protects RGC, reduce intraocular pressure and supports natural mechanisms of the eye.
ENTOD Pharmaceuticals cited a clinical study in which patients with early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) who took oral supplementation of saffron (20 mg per day) for 3 months experienced a significant improvement of retinal function and visual clarity.
According to the experts, saffron has some unique properties for modifying the activity level of specific genes in the retina of the eye that play an important role in the protection and repair of retinal cells. These beneficial effects of supplementation with saffron in early age-related macular degeneration have not been observed with other nutrients, they stated.
Moreover, a pilot study revealed that saffron extract decreases the intraocular pressure in patients with primary ocular angle glaucoma, noted Anjula Masurkar, Clinical Director of ENTOD Pharmaceuticals.
She continued, "Other than that, antioxidant carotenoid crocin present in saffron decreases the central macular thickness and improves the best-corrected visual acuity in patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy, studies have revealed. Also, saffron has remarkable effects on the genes which regulate the performance of the eye's key vision cells and not only protects the vision cells (photoreceptors) from damage but may also slow and possibly even reverse the course of blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa."
The eye supplement, MACUSAFF, offers a full spectrum of eye health ingredients at sensible levels in a convenient once-daily capsule, she added.
Crocin found in saffron has been proven to improve the way genes work together to repair and maintain cells in the retina of the eye.
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