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Want Natural Weight Loss? This 1 Spice Kills Your Cravings Instantly
“Compulsive behaviors like overeating can stem from low levels of serotonin, one of your body’s prime mood regulators,” says Dr. Oz. “But now breakthrough research reveals a revolutionary new way to suppress your appetite: Saffron extract, a natural spice that annihilates your urge to overeat.”
According to Oz, just a pinch of this spice to your daily diet could do wonders for weight loss–by acting on the same mood regulators that compulsive overeating triggers, such as serotonin.
When this occurs, you won’t have the same urges to overeat–and you’ll start losing weight.
“When used as a weight loss aid, saffron supplements are purported to curb appetite and reduce cravings,” says Cathy Wong, an alternative health guide for About.com. “Some proponents suggest that saffron can help increase brain levels of serotonin (a chemical known to regulate mood) and, in turn, help prevent compulsive overeating and the associated weight gain.”
But what’s the evidence? As it turns out, there isn’t much.
The Evidence Behind the Saffron Extract Diet
Dr. Oz may claim saffron extract is the key to natural weight loss, but just how effective is it? As it turns out, the evidence isn’t compelling–only one study showed it increased weight loss in a small testing sample.
The study was published in the journal Nutrition Research in 2010.
“Study results showed that members of the saffron group experienced a significantly greater decrease in snacking and a significantly greater reduction in body weight,” says Wong. She also goes on to explain that those who took saffron did not diet, so the weight loss seen by the participants wasn’t caused by other factors.
She believes the mood-enhancing qualities of saffron affected their appetites, and in turn, helped them eat less.
On the downside, however, additional studies haven’t been able to replicate the same results–oftentimes people who took it didn’t experience any sort of weight loss. Being unable to replicate these dietary effects calls into question the efficacy of saffron extract, and whether this is a useful extract to take for weight loss or overeating.
“To date, scientific support for the health effects of saffron is fairly limited,” says Wong. “However, several studies suggest that consuming saffron may provide certain health benefits.”
Should You Take Saffron Extract?
While its health benefits aren’t exactly backed by science, it’s still not a drug or supplement–and that has many people convinced, erroneously, that it may be safe to take. But according to recent sources, that’s not necessarily true. So what’s the danger?
- It can trigger side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and headache. Some attribute it to its effects on serotonin once taken orally, although no solid evidence can confirm this.
- Taking too much saffron can lead to vomiting and bleeding. More isn’t necessarily better here; taking too much is toxic for the body, even though it’s an organic product.
- It’s not ideal for people with mood disorders. Because of its effects on serotonin, those with mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or depression, should avoid taking it–it could make these conditions worse.
Readers: Would you take this extract for weight loss? Why or why not?