What are saponins?
- 1 What are saponins?
- 2 What are steroidal saponins?
- 3 Side effects of saponins
- 4 Properties of saponins
- 5 Where are saponins?
- 6 Supplementation with saponins
- 7 Benefits of saponins
What are saponins?
Saponins belong to the phytochemicals, one of the many structures that are found in plant sources. These substances have a number of features, such as not being nutritious, as well as offering protection against external agents. They are not essential nutrients, which means they are not required by the human body to sustain life.
Nevertheless, it is well known that plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves, but research recent show they can also protect humans against disease, antimicrobial effect and antibacterial properties, and even these active ingredients are used by the pharmaceutical industry. There are more than a thousand known phytochemicals.
Some known phytochemicals are lycopene in tomatoes, isoflavones from soybean and flavonoids in fruits
What are steroidal saponins?
The steroidal saponins or nonsteroidal receive this name because its molecular structure can be identified with the body steroid hormone, estrogen and testosterone example, and therefore plants exhibit a hormonal activity marked as such. In this sense, as a supplement to introduce this type of saponins could help optimize the hormonal environment of our body by stimulating muscle growth and raising testosterone levels, and support thus physical performance. We can see that the natural hormonal production of steroid hormones in our body can be likened to the plant. Thus, we synthesize estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and other hormones cholesterol … anabolic nature, plants are governed equally by these processes
Side effects of saponins
As components naturally occurring, non-synthetic, we are confident that they will not cause any side effects or endanger our health. Moreover, although these substances are for their health benefits, as discussed below are characterized.
Properties of saponins
Saponins have properties due to their chemical structure characterized by the ability to create a lather when stirred into a solution forming a kind of “detergent”. This behavior conducive to join, easily molecular, water and other substances, such as cholesterol and fats.
In this regard, the saponins present a behavior as a foaming or emulsifying agent. This ability to generate a bridge between two opposite polar molecules, such as with water and oil, saponins allows interact with molecules present on the surface of the cell membrane.
The amphiphilic structure of saponins, allow them to be associated at the molecular level with cholesterol molecules located on intestinal cells. Once generated binding, saponins shall foster the formation of pores on the surface of the cell, resulting in increased permeability and stimulating the flow of nutrients and other substances from the bloodstream.
Saponins can improve our health, and among these are the following properties:
- Optimizers hormone levels
Where are saponins?
In plants, saponins are especially skins plants where they form a protective layer of wax. Also they form an important part of the active immune system of plants, performing a function as “natural antibiotic” for them.
Sources of saponins
- Red wine
- red onions
- Tribulus Terrestris
- Fenugreek (fenugreek)
Supplementation with saponins
Within the range of supplements, we find those who bring saponins from natural extract, such as the case of Tribulus Terrestris. An indication when purchasing a product with these characteristics will observe the content and% saponins.
This is an extract derived from oats, as a natural herbal remedy used for various conditions such as improving energy levels, mood, resilience, reduce mental fatigue, and increase sexual desire.
This plant matter can enhance the health of women, especially if it is during menopause, acting as reinforcement under the hormonal level, since they have a similar molecular structure to estrogen.
Benefits of saponins
Saponins bind with bile salts and cholesterol in the intestinal tract, acting as “bile acid sequestrant”. Bile acids are compounds used to digest fats which are manufactured by the liver from cholesterol. Saponins bind to cholesterol, forming small micelles containing bile and pathogens (molecules that are too large to be absorbed through the intestinal wall) thus pass through the digestive tract and are excreted in the feces. Saponins cause cholesterol lowering or preventing their reabsorption and enhancing their excretion.
Saponins can prevent cancer risk. This may be due to the modulatory effects of the immune system saponins increase anti-tumor activity in the body. Stimulation of the secretion of bile acids in the intestinal tract and antioxidant activity may also contribute.
Antioxidants prevent cell damage protecting lipids from oxidation reactions of radicals. Saponins prevent oxidation of cholesterol in the colon, which can also help reduce damage and risk of colon cancer. Also they prevent degeneration of DNA, proteins and protect cells from damage from free radicals.
Similarly, collaborate to maintain a better texture and firmness of the skin, allowing wear a more youthful appearance despite the passage of time. Also they strengthen hair and nails.
Immune System Reinforcement
Saponins torn down and clean the impregnated material in the colon walls and encourage the growth of good bacteria and reduce harmful bacteria. This healthy balance causes the body to have a healthier immune system naturally to help eliminate the causes of frequent colds and flus, parasites, fungi and other bacterial infections and digestive disorders and constipation.
Saponins can also reduce and will delay onset of diseases related deterioration of bone system, such as osteoporosis, where the gradual loss of bone density occurs. Thus, symptoms derivatives, such as joint pain or stiffness can be mitigated. In elderly is a benefit ahead of possible accidents where they can fracture.