Saffron aqueous extract prevents metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia on olanzapine treatment: a randomized triple blind placebo controlled study

Fadai, F., Mousavi, B., Ashtari, Z., Ali beigi, N., Farhang, S., Hashempour, S., Shahhamzei, N. & Bathaie, S. Z., Jul-2014, In : Pharmacopsychiatry. 47, 4-5, p. 156-161 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • F Fadai
  • B Mousavi
  • Z Ashtari
  • N Ali beigi
  • S Farhang
  • S Hashempour
  • N Shahhamzei
  • S Zahra Bathaie

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess whether saffron aqueous extract (SAE) or its active constituent, crocin, prevents olanzapine-induced metabolic syndrome (MetS) and insulin resistance in patients with schizophrenia.

METHODS: 66 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who were on olanzapine treatment (5-20 mg daily) were randomly allocated to receive a capsule of SAE (n=22; 30 mg daily), crocin (n=22; 30 mg daily) or placebo (n=22) in a 12-week triple-blind trial. Patients were screened not to have MetS at baseline and further assessment was done at weeks 6 and 12. Measurement of fasting blood glucose (FBS) and serum lipids were repeated at weeks 2, 6 and 12. Fasting blood levels of insulin and HbA1c were also measured at baseline and week 12. HOMA-IR and HOMA-β were determined to evaluate insulin resistance.

RESULTS: 61 patients completed the trial and no serious adverse effects were reported. Time-treatment interaction showed a significant difference in FBS in both SAE and crocin groups compared to placebo (p=0.004). In addition, SAE could effectively prevent reaching the criteria of metabolic syndrome (0 patients) compared to crocin (9.1%) and placebo (27.3%) as early as week 6.

CONCLUSION: SAE could prevent metabolic syndrome compared to crocin and placebo. Furthermore, both SAE and crocin prevented increases in blood glucose during the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antipsychotic Agents, Benzodiazepines, Blood Glucose, Carotenoids, Crocus, Double-Blind Method, Humans, Insulin Resistance, Male, Metabolic Syndrome X, Middle Aged, Plant Extracts, Schizophrenia, Waist Circumference, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

ID: 49889704