, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 191–197 | Cite as

Implication of steroid saponins and sapogenins in the hypocholesterolemic effect of fenugreek

  • Yves Sauvaire
  • Gérard Ribes
  • Jean-Claude Baccou
  • Marie-Madeleine Loubatieres-Mariani


The transformation of fenugreek subfractions, rich in steroid saponins, was studied upon their passage through the digestive tract to determine the contribution of saponins and/or diosgenin and other steroid sapogenins to the hypocholesterolemic effect of fenugreek seeds. Feces of alloxan diabetic dogs fed fenugreek subfractions were analyzed, and diosgenin, smilagenin and gitogenin were identified and measured using capillary gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Our results show that saponins are, in part (about 57%), hydrolyzed into sapogenins in the digestive tract. It appears that saponins may be implicated, alone or together with diosgenin, in the observed hypocholesterolemic effect of fenugreek seeds in diabetic dogs.


Bile Acid Saponin Diosgenin Steroid Saponin Hypocholesterolemic Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



feces alcoholic extract


feces lipid extract


gas chromatography


gas chromatography/mass spectrometry


high-performance liquid chromatography


nuclear magnetic resonance


thin-layer chromatography


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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Sauvaire
    • 1
  • Gérard Ribes
    • 2
  • Jean-Claude Baccou
    • 1
  • Marie-Madeleine Loubatieres-Mariani
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie VegetaleUniversite Montpellier IIMontpellier, Cedex 5
  2. 2.Faculte dé Médecine, Laboratorie de PharmacologieURA 599 du CNRS, Institut de BiologieMontpellierFrance

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