Can Saffron Help with Weight Loss?

When we look at weight loss claims that follow a natural ingredient like Saffron which is more commonly known to pack a flavourful punch rather than melt away fat, we ask ourselves if this is another diet fad or something solid that can positively impact our weight loss journey. In this article, I take a closer look at Saffron's effects to see if it can help with weight loss.

key findings

  • In ancient times Safrron was used as a detox aid, libido, mood, and memory enhancer
  • Studies show that Saffron can promote weight loss by slowing down the rate at which the body gains weight and forms fat
  • Researchers believe that Saffron can curb cravings and appetites by enhancing moods

Saffron, More Than Just a Spice

Saffron is well known for being the most expensive spice in the world. The crimson threads come from the flower of the Crocus sativus (saffron crocus) plant and are painstakingly handpicked, which explains its price. 

The threads are collected and dried and used for seasoning and coloring in the culinary world, but it also has strong ties to health and wellness, being used as

  • Detox aid
  • Libido
  • Memory enhancer in ancient times.

More into its medicinal properties, the active ingredient in Saffron, crocin, also showed promise in weight loss. 

In one study, Saffron supplementation enhanced weight loss by slowing down the rate at which the body gained weight and formed fat. This approach to weight loss essentially focuses on regulating how the body stores extra calories. 

When we consume more calories than our body needs, the extra calories are stored as fat. However, if something like Saffron interrupts the body's natural tendency to store these excess calories, it could lead to slower weight gain. This shows us that Saffron is a practical aid that prevents fat buildup, supporting weight loss and maintenance.

Studies Talk About Saffron and Weight Loss 

I found an 8-week study that showed off Saffron's influence on weight loss in mildly overweight individuals.

Here, Saffron supplementation was shown to reduce overall body weight by increasing feelings of fullness (satiety), reducing appetites, and the urge to snack, a simple weight loss approach that clearly works. 

Researchers aren't exactly sure how Saffron does this, but one theory is that it enhances your mood, reducing the desire to reach for unhealthy snacks or eat unnecessarily. 

  • Let me add that all participants taking saffron supplements here were not on a calorie-restricted diet and ate freely during the study.

This shows us that Saffron packs quite a punch, so imagine what you could achieve if you paired use with a beneficial diet and exercise plan. Participants in the study reported no side effects, so

  • safety, 
  • tolerability, and
  • effectiveness

boxes are all ticked. I believe the positive findings on safety and efficacy come from dosing. 

While these findings are promising, the research on saffron and weight loss is still in its early stages. The sample sizes in many studies are small, and not all studies show significant results, so I wouldn’t recommend getting Saffron alone to help with weight loss just yet.

Recommended dosages

Research shows that 30mg of Saffron daily is enough to reap health benefits and is best when chronically using the spice. However, if that doesn't work for you, you can increase the dose gradually to see which gives you the most beneficial effect—doses can go up to 1500 mg daily.

Final Word

Saffron really showcases its potential as a natural ally that can be used to aid weight loss alongside diet and exercise. Its ability to slow weight gain, enhance fullness, and minimize snacking is a beneficial effect that can help anyone on a weight loss journey. The fact that it does all this without triggering nasty side effects is great and paves a promising path for long and short-term weight loss or weight maintenance. But it is still early days, so we can’t rely on it solely.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

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