The aim of the present study was to investigate and compare the anti-platelet action of extracts from three different plants: bark of Yucca schidigera, seeds of grape and berries of Aronia melanocarpa (chokeberry). Anti-platelet action of tested extracts was compared with action of well characterized antioxidative and anti-platelet commercial monomeric polyphenol-resveratrol. Comparative studies indicate that all three plant extracts were found to be more reactive in reduction of platelet processes than the solution of pure resveratrol. The tested extracts due to their anti-platelet effects may play an important role as components of human diet in prevention of cardiovascular or inflammatory diseases, where blood platelets are involved.
The action of two phenolic compounds isolated from the bark of Yucca schidigera: trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene and its analogue -- resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene, present also in grapes and wine) on oxidative/nitrative stress induced by peroxynitrite (ONOO(-), which is strong physiological oxidant and inflammatory mediator) in human blood platelets was compared. We conclude that the novel tested phenolic compound -- trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene isolated from Y. schidigera bark possessing Generally Recognized As Safe label given by the Food and Drug Administration and allows their human dietary use -- seems to be a promising candidate for future evaluations of its antioxidative activity and may be a good candidate for scavenging peroxynitrite.
Yucca is also a rich source of polyphenolics, including resveratrol and a number of other stilbenes (yuccaols A, B, C, D and E). These phenolics have anti-inflammatory activity. They are inhibitors of the nuclear transcription factor NFkappaB. NFkB stimulates synthesis of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which causes formation of the inflammatory agent nitric oxide. Yucca phenolics are also anti-oxidants and free-radical scavengers, which may aid in suppressing reactive oxygen species that stimulate inflammatory responses. Based on these findings, further studies on the anti-arthritic effects of Yucca schidigera are warranted.
Saponins natural tendency to ward off microbes makes them good candidates for treating fungal and yeast infections. These compounds serve as natural antibiotics, helping the body fight infections and microbial invasions. These compounds appear to greatly enhance the effectiveness of certain vaccines, including ones for herpes simplex, HIV and influenza, when administered together with them. The compound functions as a helper agent, increasing the potency of the vaccines' action.
Researchers are looking closely at saponins' biochemical properties, which they believe include mechanisms that can stimulate the immune system, ward off microbial and fungal infections, and protect against viruses.
- Manuel F. R. Balandrin, Chemist - Science News, Vol. 148
The binding of bile acids by saponins cause a depletion of body cholesterol by preventing its re-absorption. Having other important implications — bile acids excreted in the bile are called primary bile acids. They are metabolized by bacteria in the colon, producing secondary bile acids. Some of the secondary bile acids are promoters of colon cancer. By binding to primary bile acids, saponins reduce formation of the secondary bile acids. Saponins have a direct stimulatory effect on the immune system.
-Peter R. Cheeke, Ph D, Professor of Comparative Nutrition Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University
Keith Johnson, MD., editor of the Turn Back the Clock newsletter, states: "Adding yucca saponins to your diet will act as a natural cortisone, and will wash out the harmful poisons that cause arthritis."