Saffron extract may protect eyes from damage associated with glaucoma, says animal study


The saffron extract, AffronEYE, from Pharmactive Biotech Products S.L., is standardized to 3% crocin content. Crocins are carotenoids that possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and neuroprotective properties. 


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A recently published study1 demonstrated that supplementation with hydrophilic saffron extract (AffronEYE, from Pharmactive Biotech Products S.L.; Madrid, Spain) lowered the risk of glaucoma in an animal model. Glaucoma is characterized by the loss of retinal ganglion cells caused by the increase in intraocular pressure, and the activation of immune cells in the retina (microglia). These symptoms were replicated in the study’s mice with laser-induced ocular hypertension (OHT). The saffron extract standardized to 3% crocin content decreased microglion numbers, and prevented retinal ganglion cell death in OHT eyes. Crocins are carotenoids that possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and neuroprotective properties.

“Saffron has been appreciated for its culinary and functional values for centuries and is considered in many traditions as ‘the spice of life,’” says Alberto Espinel, head of research and development for Pharmactive, in a press release. “AffronEYE is a next-gen ingredient formulated specifically to address eye health. It is extracted from genuine Spanish saffron derived from the delicate dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L. grown in Pharmactive-owned fields in Castilla-La-Mancha in Spain. Our proprietary extraction process allows affronEYE to claim the lowest therapeutic dose available on the market at 20 mg per day, and ensures the fastest absorption - faster than other traditional carotenoids.”


1. Fernández-Albarral JA et al. “Neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of a hydrophilic saffron extract in a model of glaucoma.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 20, no. 17 (2019): 4110

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