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Promising health benefits of saffron

Tasty saffron dishes could be valuable antioxidants

Users of culinary spices may be interested in a new study that suggests saffron could be a strong chemopreventive against liver cancer.

Full findings are published in the September issue of Hepatology, the journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

The study was carried out at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), where researchers used diethylnitrosamine to induce liver cancer lesions in rats.

Saffron was administered to the animals regularly for 22 weeks and analysis found that the presence of saffron reduced the growth of cancerous cells.

Professor Amr Amin of the UAEU explained that the research suggests saffron could have a "protective effect by promoting cell death (apoptosis), inhibiting proliferation of cancerous cells and blocking inflammation".

He argued that "with limited treatment options, approaches that prevent cancer development are among the best strategies".

The university noted that prior studies on saffron have indicated it possesses antioxidant properties. This research comes after another recent investigation from the University of Kansas, which explored the preventative potential of crocetin, a constituent of saffron.  

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