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Saffron in weight loss

Today is March 4 and around the world World Obesity Day is remembered . And this reminder not only has a commemorative meaning, but also avoids the idea of ​​preventing this epidemic that is about to become a disease with serious socio-economic consequences.

In addition, in today’s article, we will remind you that at ENRGIA we have developed a saffron-based supplement, a spice that has very good properties when thinking about an action plan against excessive appetite.

 Obesity as a multivalent phenomenon

Obesity is a fairly complex multifactorial disease . The worldwide prevalence of overweight and obesity has doubled since the 1980s to the point that almost a third of the world’s population now falls into one of the overweight or obese categories.

Obesity rates have increased in all ages and in both sexes, regardless of geographic location, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, although the prevalence of obesity is generally higher in older people and women.

In 2016, around 13% of the world’s adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese.

Obesity represents a major health challenge because it substantially increases the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, stroke, dementia, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, and various types of cancer, thus contributing to the decrease in quality and life expectancy. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41574-019-0176-8

Adipose disease present in obesity

At the base of obesity is adiposopathy or “sick fat”, defined as a set of anatomical-functional and pathological disorders that affect adipose tissue. The changes are promoted by a positive caloric balance in genetically and environmentally susceptible individuals who are affected by adverse endocrine and immune responses that can cause or worsen metabolic diseases. 


The pathophysiological basis of adipopathies is hypertrophy of adipocytes , visceral adiposity and/or ectopic fat deposition, and the secretion of hormones, such as leptin, and proinflammatory proteins, such as a plethora of cytokines, which in turn can lead to to a metabolic disease.https://doi.org/10.1586/14779072.6.3.343

Saffron, the most expensive spice as an ally

Saffron, whose taxonomic name is Crocus sativus L , belongs to the iridaceae family and is considered the most expensive spice in the world. This is mainly due to its difficult cultivation and harvesting process. In producing countries such as Iran, India, Greece, France, Italy and Spain, the value of this spice is as high as gold .

Although it is generally used for its sophisticated aroma, vibrant color and typical flavor, it also has some health benefits due to its three main chemical components: crocin, crocetin and safranal. The flowers also have other metabolites such as terpenes, flavonoids, anthocyanins and carotenoids. Crocin, a family of red, water-soluble carotenoids, is considered the main active component of saffron.

Saffron, according to several studies carried out, can be an adjuvant in weight loss diets.

The aroma and smell of saffron is due to the presence of an important component of saffron essential oil called safranal, a monoterpene aldehyde. These chemical components have a wide range of pharmacological effects known since antiquity, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, neuroprotective, antihypertensive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, antidiabetic, hypoglycemic, lipid-lowering, and satiety enhancers. DOI: 10.1007/s10354-007-0428-4

Does it have proven effects?

Some in vitro and in vivo studies showed beneficial effects of saffron extract in reducing risk and treating obesity . Below we show the following.

In one study, the effect of saffron extract and its main compound, crocin, was measured in a rat model of induced obesity. The study aimed to investigate and compare metabolite changes in obese versus obese treated with saffron and crocin extract and to improve understanding of the therapeutic effect of saffron and crocin extract.

Two different doses of saffron and crocin extracts (40 and 80 mg/kg) were incorporated into a high-fat diet and administered to obese rats for eight weeks. Changes in serum metabolite profiles were determined by proton nuclear magnetic resonance.

Pattern recognition by multivariate data analysis (MVDA) showed that saffron extract and crocin at 80 mg/kg was the best dose compared to 40 mg/kg. The study also showed that both treatments work in different pathways, especially regarding glucose, lipid and creatinine metabolism. In conclusion, although the pure compound, crocin, was superior to crude saffron extract, this finding suggested that saffron extract can be considered as an alternative to crocin in the treatment of obesity .https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/1247946

Leptin is the hormone that acts on the brain on appetite, causing the feeling of being satiated.

In another study conducted by Hoshyar et al. Oral administration of saffron stigma extract to obese rats was also reported to significantly decrease the level of fasting blood glucose, insulin, and leptin.  https://doi.org/10.5812/ircmj.36226

As additional data, we have found a last study that compares the effect of different intensities of physical training with the intake of saffron supplements on the metabolic balance in overweight and obese women. According to the results to which we had access, intermittent intense exercise (known in the sports jargon by its acronym in English HIIT) with saffron supplementation is an adequate strategy for health and the prevention of obesity. http://eprints.lums.ac.ir/2392/


ESBELTA is a food supplement made from different extracts, including saffron extract and other phytonutrients, as well as chromium, which contribute to weight loss. The saffron contained in ESBELTA is used both for weight loss and to improve mood, anxiety and depression that normally accompany obesity.

Among the properties of ESBELTA are:

  • Collaborates in the reduction of body fat.
  • Helps decrease appetite.
  • Contributes to the activation of the caloric restriction gene.
  • Helps maintain normal blood glucose levels.

ESBELTA, a food supplement based on Resveratrol and phytonutrients that contribute to weight loss. Contains chrome.

Other components of this formulation are:

Green tea ( Camelia sinensis ). Green tea leaves are rich in polyphenols, among which catechins stand out, the most abundant being epigallocatechinagalate (EGCG) with high antioxidant power. Catechins have proven to be effective as an adjuvant in the treatment of overweight . These molecules appear to bind to macronutrients (especially lipids) in the intestine, causing decreased absorption and, as a result, weight loss.

Garcinia cambogia , whose active component, hydroxycitric acid, is responsible for the effects of reducing body weight, satiety and inhibition of lipid synthesis. Its action is carried out by inhibiting the action of ATP citrate-lyase, which reduces the synthesis of acetyl-CoA and, consequently, the biosynthesis of triglycerides, cholesterol, phospholipids and free fatty acids . The beneficial effects are materialized in a reduction in food intake and an increase in glycogen concentration in skeletal muscle and other tissues. Various studies suggest positive results on the efficacy of garciniain the weight loss process. In addition, unlike other substances with a stimulant effect commonly used in slimming products, garcinia cambogia does not act on the central nervous system, so it does not cause insomnia, nervousness, or changes in blood pressure or heart rate.

Wakame seaweed ( Undaria pinnatifida ) contains a type of carotenoid called Fucoxanthin, which seems to increase the expression of the uncoupling protein UCP1 in white adipose tissue , which may contribute to the reduction of fat tissue. UCP1 is generally expressed only in brown adipose tissue, being a key molecule for metabolic thermogenesis and excess fat accumulation. Because there is little brown adipose tissue in adults, UCP1 expression in non-brown fat tissues may be favorable for abdominal fat reduction.

Chromium picolinate is a trace element that contributes to maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Chromium is an essential mineral for carbohydrate and lipid metabolism . Modest beneficial effects of chromium supplementation on insulin resistance as indicated by HOMA-IR and lipid profile were found in a randomized clinical trial. A systematic review on the effect of chromium supplementation on indices of oxidative stress showed that chromium decreased oxidative stress in diabetes mellitus.


Throughout the history of humanity, we have gone from the imperative need to provide ourselves with our own food through hunting, fishing and fruit gathering, to the opposite extreme, as is the case today, where the superabundance of foods -generally very high in calories- has become the norm. This affects a phenotype that is not genetically prepared to deal with said excesses and whose result is the concentration of fatty tissue that leads to obesity.

At ENRGIA we recommend a healthy lifestyle, basing our diet on a balance of nutrients, placing great emphasis on foods of natural origin, high-quality supplements and/or supplements and according to individual deficiencies and without forgetting physical exercise. For this reason we developed ESBELTA as a natural and effective way to alleviate the disadvantageous effects of the imperative accumulation of fatty tissue. And since our products act at various levels, this supplement not only helps reduce fatty tissue, but also works to improve mood and mental behaviors associated with excessive weight gain.