Introduction: Central obesity is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). It can increase cardio-metabolic risks through hypertension, hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance. Saffron and its bioactive compounds (crocin and crocetin) can modify some of metabolic disorders through multiple mechanisms. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of saffron and crocin on lipid profile, appetite, dietary intakes, anthropometric indices and body composition in patients with CAD.
Methods: This 8 weeks randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 84 patients with CAD between the ages of 40 and 65 years old. Participants were randomly divided into groups to receive a daily supplement of 30 mg saffron aqueous extract (SAE) or 30 mg crocin or placebo. Appetite, dietary intake, anthropometry, body composition, biochemical analysis were assessed before and after the study.
Results: In SAE and crocin group, anthropometric and some body composition variables revealed a pattern of improvement after intervention. Decrease in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and fat mass values in SAE group was significantly more than crocin group (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference at the end of study in lipid profile parameters. Both SAE and crocin yielded significant decrease in energy and dietary intake mean values (P < 0.001 and P = 0.046), while it remained unchanged in the placebo group, also the appetite decreased significantly in SAE and crocin group (P < 0.001 and P = 0.029, respectively).
Conclusion: The results of present study regarding anti-obesity feature of SAE and crocin in patients with CAD was promising. However the SAE was better in appetite suppressing, dietary intake and central obesity reduction.