Saffron is the new super food for the eyes.
OK, super spice to be precise.
I looked at its benefits for the eyes in a previous post (which you can read here). In summary, limited research found saffron had amazing beneficial effects on those suffering from Age Related Macular Degeneration.
At a cellular level, it had the effect of stopping cells hitting a self-destruct button!
Now we know saffron supplements are good for eye health which are the best saffron supplements for the eyes?
I go through my top choices below.
First, though, I must set out how I came to choose these particular supplements.
My priorities were:
Quality: the saffron contained in the supplements must be good quality. It may say ‘containing Saffron’ on the bottle but how do we know it is the real stuff? Due to the cost of it, I’m sure it would be tempting for manufacturers to mix it with some cheaper spice.
Quantity: The supplements must contain 20mg of saffron. This is the amount used in the research I referred to above.
Added Extras: as I have mentioned in a previous post, lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin have been shown to be beneficial to eye health (and in particular when trying to deal with Age Related Macular Degeneration) together with particular vitamins (C and E), copper and zinc. When these are added to the saffron, you are going to get a powerful combination for supporting your eye health. However, check out my post here to determine the right levels of these vitamins and minerals. Not all the supplements contain the same quantities.
All natural ingredients: I look out for vegetarian or vegan ideally. I try to avoid those containing gelatin or preservatives if possible so I can get obtain the most natural ingredients in the supplement as possible.
I know cost has not been included in the criteria for the best saffron supplement. The reason for this is that I would rather choose the best supplement rather than a cheaper version which is not as good.
As I said in my previous post, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, so expect to find the prices of these supplements to be a bit higher than average for your normal supplement.
Product #1. Vision Max Saffron Plus By Exir
Exir say these supplements could help a number of eye conditions such as dry eye, blurred vision, eye fatigue, eye floaters, twitching eyes, night blindness and AMD. I don’t know if this has been scientifically proven though.
Let’s check it out against the criteria above to see how it measures up:
The Quality: according to Dr. Suzy Cohen, the saffron used is 100% saffron and is sourced from organic flowers.
The Quantity: the amount is right here at 20 mg.
Added Extras: this is where I see this supplement being top of the range given the wide variety of other ingredients added to it. However, if you are looking for an exact AREDS2 formula (research on the benefits of supplements for intermediate to advanced dry AMD) then this is not your supplement. Check out instead, the supplements from Preservision. You can read more about the AREDS2 research and formula here.
So Vision Max does contain as in the AREDS2 formula (although not with exactly the same quantities) the following: lutein, meso-zeaxanthin and zeaxanthin (all powerful caretanoids that at are found in the macula which provides the eyes’ central vision), vitamins C and E and minerals zinc and copper.
In addition to this, the supplement has vitamin A, selenium (a mineral that helps combat oxidative stress), and grape seed extract (another ingredient that is believed to act as an antioxidant). It is also beta-carotene free so safe for smokers and ex-smokers.
Is it all natural? Yes, it is vegan friendly. No GMO has been used in its production and there are no preservatives. So 100% natural.
1 capsule to be taken a day. There are 60 capsules in the container so that is about 2 months’ supply.
Product #2. Saffron Vision Max 20/20 By Exir
Another product from Exir but slightly different in the ingredients.
In terms of quality and quantity, it is the same as the first product so I won’t repeat what I wrote above.
The extras are slightly different though:
This one contains the same formula of caretenoids (lutein (10mg), zeaxanthin (2mg), and meso-zeaxanthin (10mg)) as used in study of the Waterford Institute in Ireland. If you want to read more about the benefits of taking these compounds for the eyes, you can read more about them here.
Essentially, though, the study found that after taking supplements containing these compounds, the results showed an increase of the macular pigment density, improvement in perception of yellow and blue colors and night vision. The study also recognized the benefit of increasing these pigments for those suffering from Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
In addition, its contains astaxanthin (meant to assist with visual fatigue). Also, proanthocyanidins (pine bark extract) which is meant to protect the retinal photoreceptors at the back of the eye.
Lastly, they contain curcuminoids (turmeric extract) which are meant to boost the circulation in the eyes.
As with Vision Max Saffron, the supplements are 100% natural. So no GMO and vegan friendly.
1 capsule to be taken daily. 60 capsules in the bottle so that around 2 months’ supply.
Product #3. Persavita Saffron 2020 XP for Macular Health
The quality of the saffron is in no doubt with this product. Its is derived from the crocus sativus flowers. The quantity is 20mg so the same amount as used in the Italian study.
What are the extras?
it has the same ingredients as with the AREDS formula but for the fact that the quantities of zinc (at 25mg instead of 80mg) and copper (1.2mg instead of 2mg) are slightly less.
It also contains 10mg of resveratrol (a compound found in red wine which may have vascular benefits) and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
In terms of natural ingredients it is on par with the Exir products: no GMO, vegetarian friendly, no gluten, artificial colors or preservatives.
The bottle contains 60 capsules. With these you need to take two capsules a day so a bottle provides a 30 day supply.
Product #4. Persavita Saffron 2020 Eye Health Supplement
Another product from Persavita. I see that Exir and Persavita have really cornered the market when it comes to saffron supplements!
So for quality and quantity, I again refer you to the product above. No change there.
Slight change though with the added extras. The Persavita website states that this supplement is for those who don’t want to take high levels of vitamins and zinc as with the XP version. It has lower levels of lutein (6mg) too.
But it has ramped up the amount of resveratol (100mg) which Persavita says is the highest level in all its saffron supplement products.
Again, in terms of natural ingredients, it is the same as the XP product: no gluten, GMO or gelatin and they are vegetarian friendly.
60 capsules in the bottle. So taking two a day as recommended, gives you a 30 day supply.
Oh, by the way, if you are in the UK, this and the Life Extension product (see below) are the only saffron supplements for the eyes I could find on Amazon.co.uk. Check out the Persavita product here.
Product #5. Life Extension Macuguard Ocular Support With Saffron And Astaxanthin
Outside of the Exir and Persavita ranges, there are few other manufacturers of saffron supplements for the eyes.
This product contains the standard dose of saffron at 20mg. The bottle states that it is derived from the stigma of the flower and the website for Life Extension states the purity of the product has been vetted so I have no reason to doubt the quality of the product.
Other than saffron, the formula does not follow either the AREDS2 formula or the Waterford study. However, there is 10mg of lutein, 4mg of meso-zeaxanthin, 2.2mg of blackcurrant extract (thought to improve night vision) and 6mg of natural astaxanthin (thought to fight eye fatigue).
In terms of the natural ingredients section though, this product falls short. While it has no GMO, it does have gelatin, palm oil and beeswax.
It is a cheaper product, though, so if you are on a budget, not a vegetarian or vegan and want to try a saffron supplement, then the Life Extension product may be for you.
Great Products For Eye Health
So 5 different saffron supplements for the eyes to try. They do have variations in terms of the other ingredients added to the saffron, so it is worth thinking about what would suit your eyes the best.
The Vision Max Saffron Plus is a great all-rounder combining saffron with other compounds, vitamins and minerals which have been scientifically proven to support eye health.
Looking at the ingredients of Saffron Vision Max 20/20, this seems to be geared towards those suffering from visual fatigue due to hours in front of a computer screen and also worried about their general eye health.
The Persavita products are good too but seem not to have gone for the same approach as Exir by cramming as much into one supplement as possible.
If you are looking for a supplement that has high quality saffron and is made with all natural ingredients then the Persavita products are equally as good as those from Exir.
That is not to forget the product from Life Extension. If your aim is to try out saffron and not worried about a bit of gelatin, then it has got to be worth a go.
Thanks for reading this post. If you do have any comments or experiences of trying any of these supplements please let me know and I will respond to you.