Background: Using antioxidant diets may be a good strategy for the inhibition of oxidative
stress connected to age-related disease. Saffron is a dried stigma of with antioxidant properties.
This investigation was done to study the effects of saffron administration on lipid peroxidation and
antioxidant status in female aged rats.
Methods: The rats were treated with the ethanolic extract of saffron for 4 weeks. At the end of our
investigation, the hippocampi of rats were removed. The homogenate was used for the evaluation of
malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxides
(GPx), catalase (CAT) and glutathione (GSH). There are recent patents also suggesting the use of
saffron and its gradients for prevention of oxidative stress in aged tissues.
Result: The results showed that the aging was connected with a significant reduction in the activities
of antioxidant enzymes, and an increase in MDA and nitric oxide levels in the hippocampus of aged
rats. In addition, treatment of saffron was effective in reducing hippocampus MDA and NO levels
and in increasing the antioxidant status. There is a possibility that saffron extract acts as a hormetin
by inducing mild oxidative damage which leads to the activation of antioxidative enzymes.
Conclusion: Therefore, saffron exerted considerable neuroprotective effect and proved to be efficacious
in protecting rat hippocampus against age-related oxidative damage.