Transcript: Saffron vs. Aricept
The spice saffron beat out placebo in this randomized double-blind study. But Alzheimer’s patients aren’t on sugar pills; they’re on drugs like donepezil, sold as Aricept. If some drug company wanted to release a new drug, they’d have to compare it not to placebo, but to the current leading treatment—and why should it be any different with flowers? “A 22-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind controlled trial of [saffron] in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.” Saffron versus Aricept, the leading drug.
Here are the results. In a graph of cognitive dysfunction, the circles are saffron. The triangles are the leading drug that costs about $2,000 a year, and is associated with all sorts of side effects. Can you tell the difference? Saffron worked just as well as Aricept—which is to say not very well at all.
But remember what untreated Alzheimer’s patients look like? They get worse. The reason drugs are prescribed is to just slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. So, we still have a long way to go, but saffron appeared to work just as well as the leading drug, and without the side effects.
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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