Implication of steroid saponins and sapogenins in the hypocholesterolemic effect of fenugreek
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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.
KeywordsBile Acid Saponin Diosgenin Steroid Saponin Hypocholesterolemic Effect
feces alcoholic extract
feces lipid extract
gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
high-performance liquid chromatography
nuclear magnetic resonance
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