Saffron prevents severe and rare degenerative vision disease, Stargart syndrome. It is an important result of an unprecedented clinical trial conducted at the University Hospital Foundation at University A. Gemili Irzes and published in the journal Nutrients. The treatment is simple and without side effects, explains Benedetto Chalsini of the Institute of Ophthalmology, who co-ordinated the work with Sylvia Busty of the University of L'Aquila. Stargard's disease is the hereditary degeneration of the & # 39; macula & # 39;, the center of the retina.
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Symptoms generally consist of a decrease in central vision (one that enables, for example, to recognize faces, to read, to drive), which begins during adolescence or, at any rate, at a young age (first and second decades of life) . It is caused by "bugs" (mutations) in the "Abca4" gene, whose defect causes retinal dysfunction and loss as a result of neuroinflammatory phenomena caused by an increase in oxidative stress (free radicals). The clinical trial included 31 patients treated with saffron 20 milligrams daily in tablets for six months, followed by placebo for the next six. Visual function remained stable during therapy as it tended to deteriorate during placebo.
This is a new demonstration of the powerful therapeutic effects of saffron, which has been shown in the past in animal models of retinal degeneration that can slow the progression of the retinal neurodegenerative process and maintain visual function longer. In humans, the efficacy of saffron treatment has been demonstrated, again with Chalcin, in patients with age-related macular degeneration in the early or moderately advanced stage: «loral integration with saffron has a beneficial effect on visual function and disease progression», concludes Halsini.
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