The effects of crocin on inflammatory biomarkers and mental health in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial (ORP-63)

Document Type : Oral Presentation


Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran


Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease that affects the central nervous system and is one of the leading causes of disability in young adults. It causes a wide range of psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Considering the antioxidant effects of saffron and its role in preventing neuronal analysis and improving psychiatric symptoms such as depression, we investigated the effect of crocin, a saffron bioactive compound, on oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers, and mental health in patients with MS.
Materials and Methods: Patients with MS were randomized into two groups taking either 15 mg crocin tablets twice a day (n = 25; 30 mg/day) or placebo tablets (n = 25) for 8 weeks. Depression and anxiety questionnaires were recorded and fasting blood samples were collected at baseline and at week 8 following the intervention.
Results: The results showed no significant differences between crocin and placebo groups  for depression and anxiety. Within-group comparisons, however showed that crocin significantly lowers anxiety in patinets with MS. Biochemical analyses revealed that crocin significantly decreases serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a main biomarker of inflammation, as compared to the placebo group (P=0.018). However, there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of the effect on serum malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) after 8 weeks of intervention (both P ≥ 0.42).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that crocin supplementation for 8 week may not be effective in improving depression and anxiety in patients with MS. However, crocin supplement showed promise in attenuating inflammation evidenced by reducing hs-CRP in patients with MS. Future clinical studies with higher doses and long-term supplementation with crocin are recommended to assess the effects of crocin on inflammatory biomarkers and mental health of patients with MS.


  • Receive Date: 09 December 2023
  • Accept Date: 09 December 2023