A meta-analysis on saffron for depression: an efficacy maybe lower than initially reported

This umbrella meta-analysis included 7 meta-analyses on the effect of saffron for the management of depression. The results demonstrated that the consumption of saffron resulted in a significant reduction in Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores (ES: -3.87; 95% CI: -5.27, -2.46). However, saffron did not change the Hamilton Rating Scale for depression (HAMD) scores (ES: -2.10; 95% CI: -5.05, 0.86, p = 0.164) and mixed scores (HAM-D/BDI/DASS) (ES: 0.02; 95% CI: -0.39, 0.43, p= 0.941) (DASS Depression Anxiety Stress Scale).

Therefore, saffron seems effective to reduce depressive symptoms, but is proposed to be used as an adjunct therapy, and not as a single therapeutic approach to treat depression.

Musazadeh V, Zarezadeh M, Faghfouri A, Keramati M, Ghoreishi Z, Farnam A. Saffron, as an adjunct therapy, contributes to relieve depression symptoms: An umbrella meta-analysis. Pharmacol Res. 2021 Oct 29:105963.

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