Better sleep with saffron

Pharmactive’s affron saffron extract shows potential for better slumber in clinical study

Results from a new clinical study demonstrate surprising capabilities for Pharmactive’s potent affron saffron extract. The study found beneficial effects of the commercial extract to support several parameters of sleep quality, including helping induce restorative sleep even at very low doses.

Sleep deprivation is now considered to be a global public health pandemic, yet it often goes unrecognised and its negative impact is often seriously underestimated.

Results from population-based surveys have indicated that nearly half of adults report regular difficulty either getting to or staying asleep. Poor sleep quality is known to pose significant health implications, disrupting mental and physical well-being and interfering with daily function. Moreover, short sleep duration has also been associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.

This latest study, led by Adrian Lopresti, PhD, and published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (February, 2020) investigated the sleep-enhancing effects and safety of affron in a final sample of 58 adults with self-reported unsatisfactory sleep.

The parallel, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial revealed that a 28-day intake of standardised low-dose (28 mg) of affron saffron extract was associated with a significant improvement in sleep quality.

Overall insomnia was reduced by 25%, with noted improvements in the various parameters including sleep-onset latency. Subjects reported less difficulty falling asleep — the most common sleep complaint — as well as more continuous and less interrupted slumber.

They also expressed feeling more refreshed and alert upon awakening, serving to ease up the day’s start and that it enhanced overall quality of life.

“Sleep disorder is a pervasive problem across all age groups, yet consumers are increasingly turning to natural botanicals for relief,” notes Julia Diaz, Head of Marketing of Pharmactive.

“Although there was some preliminary evidence for saffron’s potential as a natural sleeping aid, we found that robust clinical evidence was still somewhat lacking. This latest study gives strong backing for affron’s abilities as a sleep aid.”

A high-value spice, saffron has been subject to adulteration and the quality of extracts can vary significantly. “This is what spurred us to put our pure, standardised saffron formulation to the gold standard of clinical investigation,” adds Diaz.

Affron has already undergone multiple studies demonstrating its beneficial effect on eye health and for helping to relieve depression. This clinical assessment of the commercial extract serves to complete the existing data and reinforces saffron’s capabilities as a sleep-enhancing agent. Affron is standardised to contain >3.5 lepticrosalides — a measure of bioactive compounds.

Saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, is derived from the stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower. Pharmactive’s saffron is grown and manufactured at their extraction plant in Madrid.

The raw ingredient has undergone chromatographic profiling prior to commercial release and the company deploys a complete set of QC analyses, maintaining full control of the supply chain with complete transparency to guarantee the purest extract.

Affron is water-soluble and can be readily used in foods or supplements. It is Kosher- and Halal-certified, non-GMO, non-irradiated and has a 3-year shelf-life.

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