Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
JCR Impact Factor (IF) – 2.1
5-Year Impact Factor – 2.2
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Index Copernicus  – 161.11; MNiSW – 70 pts

ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
Periodicity – monthly

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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2017, vol. 26, nr 6, September, p. 925–930

doi: 10.17219/acem/62891

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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The effects of crocin on the symptoms of depression in subjects with metabolic syndrome

Irandokht Nikbakht Jam1,B,C,D, Amir Hossein Sahebkar2,A,E, Saeid Eslami3,A, Naghmeh Mokhber4,A, Mina Nosrati1,B, Mohammad Khademi3,A,B, Mojtaba Foroutan-Tanha3,B, Majid Ghayour-Mobarhan1,A,D,E,F, Farzin Hadizadeh2,A,E, Gordon Ferns5,E, Masoumeh Abbasi6,B

1 Metabolic Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran

2 Biotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran

4 Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran

5 Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Division of Medical Education, Mayfield House, University of Brighton, Staffordshire, UK

6 Qaem Hospital Cardiology Department, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran


Background. Studies have suggested that metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with increased depressive symptoms, and reducing depression in subjects with MetS is important. Crocin, an active component of saffron, has useful properties for subjects with MetS, including antidepressant properties.
Objectives. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of a preparation of crocin on the symptoms of depression in subjects with MetS, and the relationship between changes in those symptoms and the serum pro-oxidant/anti-oxidant balance (PAB).
Material and Methods. This sub-study was carried out on 34 subjects with MetS from the authors’ previous randomized double-blind controlled clinical trial (RCT), all of whom met the inclusion criteria for this study. The subjects were randomly assigned to treatment and placebo groups (n = 17 in each group) and received each 30 mg of crocin (2 tablets of 15 mg) or placebo for 8 weeks. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The BDI questionnaire was completed for each subject at the baseline and at the end of the 8th week of treatment. Blood samples were taken from the subjects before and after the intervention period. Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS for Windows, v. 16 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, USA).
Results. Out of the 34 participants enrolled, 33 completed the trial. The degree of depression decreased significantly in the crocin group (p = 0.005), but not in the placebo group (p > 0.05), and the difference between the 2 groups was statistically significant (p = 0.013). No significant relationship was observed between changes in depression symptoms and changes in the serum PAB (p > 0.05).
Conclusion. This study demonstrates that at a dose of 30 mg per day for 8 weeks, crocin reduced the symptoms of depression in subjects with MetS compared to the control group, and this effect was independent of its effect on the serum PAB.

Key words

crocin, metabolic syndrome, depression, saffron

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