Transcript: Saffron for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s
The top killers in the United States are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. #5—Accidents. #9—Kidney disease. #13—High blood pressure. Then, Parkinson’s disease. Over the last 50 years, they’ve all stayed relatively stable. Except this one.
Starting out of nowhere just a few decades ago, and now is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. What is it? Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, it was the seventh leading cause of death. This year, the sixth. It keeps creeping up. For the last decade or so, we’ve been making some progress on some of the other top killers—but not Alzheimer’s.
Enter the saffron crocus. “Saffron in the treatment of patients with…Alzheimer’s disease.” It was a double-blind, randomized trial measuring cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s patients; comparing saffron to placebo. Saffron is the female reproductive organs of the saffron flower, which we can buy as a spice.
So what did they find? You give Alzheimer’s patients placebo capsules, and, as you can see, their cognitive dysfunction gets worse over time. That’s what happens in Alzheimer’s; you get worse and worse, until you die. Unless, it appears, you spice up your life with a little saffron.
Conclusion: “This double-blind, placebo-controlled study suggests that at least in the short-term, 16 weeks, saffron is both safe and effective in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Larger confirmatory randomized controlled trials are called for.” Urgently, given the devastation wrought by this disease.
But even if this study was a total fluke, what’s the downside of adding a little saffron to our diet, a spice that’s been cooked with for 3,500 years. I don’t know about you, but, God forbid, if anyone in my family were ever diagnosed with this disease horror, I’d be cooking them some paella.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.
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