Metabolic effects of Crocus sativus and protective action against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in diabetic rats.
Biomed Rep. 2017 May ;6(5):513-518. Epub 2017 Apr 5. PMID: 28529733
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the result of the accumulation of adipose tissue deposits in the liver and it is associated with type 2 diabetes. Crocus sativus (saffron) is known for its antioxidant and its potential hypoglycemic effects. We investigated the role of saffron on NAFLD in diabetic rats. Thirty adult male rats were allocated into three groups; control (n=10), which received normal diet; streptozotocin (STZ) group (n=10), which received normal chow diet, 10% fructose in their drinking water and STZ (40 mg/kg body weight; STZ-saffron group (n=10), which followed the same dietary and pharmacological pattern as STZ group and were additionally supplemented with saffron (100 mg/kg/day). Metabolic profile was measured and histopathological examination of the liver was evaluated. STZ group exhibited the highest glucose levels at the end of the experiment (P<0.05), while there was no difference between control and STZ-saffron group (584 vs. 213 mg/dl vs. 209 mg/dl, respectively). STZ group revealed higher percentage of steatosis (5-33%) when compared to the other two groups (P<0.005). Saffron exhibits both hypoglycemic and hepatoprotective actions. Yet, further studies enlightening the exact mechanisms of saffron's mode of actions are required.