Crocus Sativus L. (saffron) versus sertraline on symptoms of depression among older people with major depressive disorders-a double-blind, randomized intervention study.
Psychiatry Res. 2019 Oct 12 ;282:112613. Epub 2019 Oct 12. PMID: 31669837
BACKGROUND: While there is sufficient evidence that Crocus Sativus L. (saffron) improves symptoms of depression in young and middle-aged adults, research on older people are missing. The purpose of the double-blind, randomized intervention study was to compare the effect of saffron and sertraline on MDD among a sample of older people.
METHODS: A total of 50 older out-patients with MDD (mean age = =65 years; 70% males) were randomly assigned either to the saffron condition (60 mg/d) or to the sertraline condition (100 mg/day) for six consecutive weeks. Experts employed the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) to rate participants' degree of depression. Timepoints were baseline, week 2, week 4 and week 6, the end of the study.
RESULTS: Symptoms of depression decreased over time, with no advantages or disadvantages for the saffron or sertraline condition.
CONCLUSION: The pattern of results suggests that both saffron and sertraline have the potential to significantly decrease symptoms of depression. The results are clinically relevant, because major depressive disorders in older people is a health concern. The results are further relevant, because saffron appears to be a powerful antidepressant for older people, who might be more reluctant to the use of synthetic drugs.