Saffron Eyesight

Reporter-Helen Wellings

A breakthrough research may have found a solution to a disease causing vision loss and even blindness in one third of all Australians.

Professor of Retinal and Cerebral Neurobiology at University of Sydney's Faculty of Medicine, Dr Jonathan Stone, says the ancient spice saffron could be the answer for macular degeneration sufferers.

Dr Stone, who is also the director of Clear Sight Clear Mind, has been conducting animal and human experiments with saffron, after successful trials by Italian scientists, which showed that all patients had an improvement in vision while taking small doses of saffron.

"Saffron induces the damaged cells, which are still in the retina, to start repairing themselves and start to function and resist further degeneration," Dr Stone said.

Dr Stone says patients who took saffron in small doses reported a significant, although partial, recovery of vision followed by stability for 12 to 15 months afterwards.

However he warns that taking too much saffron can be detrimental to your health.

"Just because saffron is good for you doesn't mean you can have as much as you like," he said.

Dr John Grigg, associate professor at Sydney University's Save Sight Institute, says saffron is high in antioxidant.

"Early study shows that it will help protect vision," Dr Grigg said.

"It's also important to reduce other risk factors by not smoking. If you smoke while consuming antioxidants, they counteract each other."

The ancient spice from the crocus sativus flower is rich in nutrients and high in antioxidants.

Saffron can cost up to $125,000 a kilogram at the supermarkets.

Contact:

Dr Jonathan Stone, Clear Sight Clear Mind - clearsightclearmind.com

Dr John Grigg Save Sight Institute - sydney.edu.au/medicine/eye/

Nicky and Terry Noonan from Tas-Saff saffron growers, their Extra Category 1 top quality saffron is sold under the HOYTS label available in some supermarkets and health-food stores -

www.tas-saff.com.au