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Effect of Crocin on Antibody Titers to Heat-Shock Protein 27 in Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome

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Background: Recent studies have shown that antibody titers to heat shock protein 27 (anti-Hsp27) and serum hs-CRP concentrations are elevated in patients with MetS, and may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Crocin is a natural carotenoid with cardio protective effects.

Objective: Because of the previous evidence for the beneficial effects of saffron in patients with MetS, this study investigated the effect of supplementation with crocin, the active ingredient of saffron, on serum anti-Hsp27 and hs-CRP in patients with MetS.

Design: Sixty subjects with metabolic syndrome were randomized to receive crocin (n=30, 15 mg twice a day) or placebo (n=30, twice a day) for a duration of eight weeks. At the end of study, serum anti-Hsp27 and hs-CRP concentrations were measured and compared between the groups.

Results: Serum anti-Hsp27 titers fell by 13% (p>0.05) in the crocin group but it rose in the placebo group by 22% (p>0.05). The magnitude of change in serum anti-Hsp27 titers was not significantly different between the study groups (p = 0.28). In the crocin group, serum anti-Hsp27 changes had a borderline negative correlation with glucose (r= -0.35, p=0.06) and a positive correlation with waist circumference (r=0.39, p=0.035). Serum hs-CRP levels were significantly reduced in both groups but these reductions were not significantly different between the study groups (p = 0.31).

Conclusion: There was no significant effect of crocin on serum anti-Hsp27 titers in subjects with MetS, but this needs further confirmation in larger-scale trials.
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Keywords: Hs-CRP; Metabolic syndrome; anti-Hsp27; crocin; randomized placebo controlled study; saffron

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2017

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  • Current Clinical Pharmacology publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in clinical pharmacology. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles in the field. Topics covered include: pharmacokinetics; therapeutic trials; adverse drug reactions; drug interactions; drug metabolism; pharmacoepidemiology; and drug development. The journal is essential reading for all researchers in clinical pharmacology.
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