So this post is for the UK only! If you want the US shortlist, click here.
I am excited about the positive benefits saffron supplements have on the eyes. I have taken a Saffron supplement and feel it has had a good effect on my eyes (I explain more below). There has been some research on saffron and its benefit for the eyes but it has been limited.
It is limited, I know, and the research is targeted towards its effects on macular degeneration (I get that) but STILL I think the potential there is great.
So let’s get into what is so great about saffron and what I consider are the 4 of the best saffron supplements for the eyes on the market today.
What’s So Great About Saffron For Eyes?
Saffron comes up quite a lot if you seek out ‘better eyesight’ on social media. You are told it will give you eagle eyesight and you can throw away your glasses after drinking saffron tea.
It sounds the wonder spice for eyes, doesn’t it? But is it as great as that???
The research showed the great effects it had on participants on a trial who suffer from macular degeneration. You can read more about that trial here.
Essentially, though, the participants who took a saffron supplement for a period of 3 months showed a marked improvement. The researchers even went on to say that the saffron had an effect even at the cellular level stopping the cells pressing a kind of self-destruct button.
The potential benefits for the eyes appear to be huge then. I cautiously say ‘appear’ because of the limited scope of this study.
The benefits I have found myself so far by taking a daily saffron supplement are:
– My eyes don’t feel so tired especially after a long day in front of PC screen
– When I wake up, my eyes muscles don’t feel so tight as previously
– Images do appear sharper ( I do wear glasses)
– I don’t suffer from dry eye (in fact, usually I find that my eyes have improved in their tear production)
Obviously, this is just my experience and I can’t say that everyone who takes these supplements will have the same experience. But I think if you are finding that your eyes are getting more tired than normal lately and/or stiff and dry eyes, saffron supplements may be something to try.
Without a doubt, if you are having difficulties with your eyes, consult an eye doctor or optician first though.
What Products to Look Out for
The choice of saffron supplements for the eyes are a bit limited but there are a number of products. Saffron is known for other health benefits too such as providing stress relief and helping with weight loss, so look out for those that are for eye health.
I have had times when I have felt a sense of contentment although my circumstances (e.g. busy work environment) are less than calm and peaceful. I have wondered if that was due to taking a saffron supplement. I don’t know but it could be a nice side benefit if it is as a result of taking a saffron supplement.
There is a lot of press about supplements: one week there amazing, the next week they’re killing us and the week after that they are just worthless and your money would be better spent just on eating well. I get that there is this wide spectrum of opinions about supplements.
I usually ask myself these questions:
1. what does the scientific research say (verses media hype)?
2. Do I know what the ingredients are in the supplement?
If I can provide positive answers to those questions then I am confident to proceed with my purchase. If not, I will pass.
By the way, I did try drinking saffron tea for a while. However, have you tried to buy fresh saffron in the supermarket lately? It is expensive and it is hard to see the saffron in the spice bottle, there is so little of it!
I started using the saffron supplement instead just because of the convenience and I knew I was taking the same amount of saffron used by the participants in the research study. Besides taking a supplement each day is a lot more convenient than remembering to brew a saffron tea and making sure that you have a constant supply.
So what I look for in a saffron supplement:
– it has to contain 20mg of Saffron (the dose used in the research) – I would rather get a premium saffron product on its own myself rather than with a whole load of other ingredients.
– the saffron has to come from a good source ( for those in Europe, Spain in widely regarded as the best producer)
– purity of the product (no GMO if possible and no strange ingredients) It is important to check the list of ingredients to make sure that the product is as natural as possible.
A lot of saffron supplements contain an ingredient called carageenan. It has been linked to some nasty conditions. There is no medical evidence to prove this as far as I am aware of. However, it is something I steer clear of myself. It does limit your choice down even further, though, as a lot of products contain carageenan.
So my top 4 are:
1. Vegavero Premium Saffron (120 Capsules, 2 daily)
This supplement contains 30 mg of premium Saffron from Spain.
The saffron contains 3.5% lepticrosalides. These are compounds, I understand, that help with relaxation and maintaining a positive mood.
It is 100% vegan: organic linseed flour is used as a bulking agent and the capsule shell is made from hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. This is used a lot now as an alternative to gelatin or gluten in vegan products.
2. Saffron 2020 (30 Capsules, 1 a day)
Each supplement contains 20mg of Saffron with other vitamins and minerals. So that is a plus if you are looking for an ‘all in one’ supplement.
It contains vitamins A, B2, C, E and minerals copper and zinc plus other beneficial compounds for the eyes: resveratrol, lutein and zeaxanthin. Resveratrol is a plant based compound found in (for example) the skins of grapes and in red wine. It is known for its antioxidant qualities. I have written in another post the benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin which are beneficial to eye health.
Having looked on the container of the supplements and the website of Persavita (the manufacturer) I can not see where the saffron is sourced from though.
It contains magnesium stearate. According to Healthline.com, some may be sensitive or allergic to this additive. But the product contains no preservatives, fish, gelatin or yeast.
I have just finished a bottle of these capsules and I have seen the benefits as described above.
3. Saffron Extract From Better Nutrition Labs (60 Capsules, 2 daily)
200mg of Saffron provides 1mg of Safranol (this oil makes up to 70% of the essential oil found in the stigma) and 3.5mg of Crocin (a compound that is an antioxidant).
The saffron is made up of 100% Crocus sativus extract so no synthetic type of saffron has been used here.
The other ingredients are:
Brown Rice Flour (A Bulking Agent),
Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC). This is for the capsule shell.
Magnesium Stearate. As used in product number 2.
So if you were thinking of purchasing a saffron supplement, I don’t think that you can go far wrong with one of these three.
For me the all important ingredient is the Saffron. As Spain is widely regarded as the best producer of Saffron in Europe at least, my favourite product in the list is the one from Vegavero.
While Saffron 2020 does not indicate where its saffron comes from, this supplement is still a great all-rounder with vitamins, minerals and compounds that are great for the eyes.
But this is not to forget the product from Better Nutrition Labs. It delivers a high does of Saffron at 200mg per capsule.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will respond to you.