In February 2020 researchers from Iran published the results of their study to assess the effect of saffron supplement on individuals with active rheumatoid arthritis. A total of 61 women, aged over 18 years old, were included in the study. The individuals were divided into two groups, with 31 receiving 100 mg/day saffron supplement and 30 a placebo for a period of 12 weeks. Results showed that the saffron supplementation significantly decreased the number of tender and swollen joints, pain intensity and the disease activity score. In addition, the erythrocyte sedimentation rates (ESR) were significantly improved following the saffron supplementation (a moderately high ESR can indicate the presence of inflmmation). In addition, the C-reactive protein level (an inflammatory marker) had also reduced at the end of 12-week period in the group in those using the saffron supplementation. No adverse effects were reported by the patients.
Hamidi Z et al. The effect of saffron supplement on clinical outcomes and metabolic profiles in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2020 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print]