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Yucca root medical abstracts
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Yucca root medical abstracts
Platelets. 2008 Feb;19(1):70-7.

Comparative anti-platelet and antioxidant properties of polyphenol-rich extracts from: berries of Aronia melanocarpa, seeds of grape and bark of Yucca schidigera in vitro.

Olas B, Wachowicz B, Tomczak A, Erler J, Stochmal A, Oleszek W.
Department of General Biochemistry, University of Lodz, 90-237 Lodz, Poland. olasb@biol.uni.lodz.pl

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. The effects of extracts on platelet adhesion to collagen, collagen-induced platelet aggregation and on the production of O2-* in resting platelets and platelets stimulated by a strong platelet agonist-thrombin were studied. The in vitro experiments have shown that all three tested extracts (5-50 microg/ml) rich in polyphenols reduce platelet adhesion, aggregation and generation of O2-* in blood platelets. 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.



Cell Biol Toxicol. 2007 Nov 9.

Comparative studies of the antioxidant effects of a naturally occurring resveratrol analogue - trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene and resveratrol - against oxidation and nitration of biomolecules in blood platelets.

Olas B, Wachowicz B, Nowak P, Stochmal A, Oleszek W, Glowacki R, Bald E.

Department of General Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lodz, Banacha 12/16, 90-237, Lodz, Poland, olasb@biol.uni.lodz.pl.

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. The trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene, like resveratrol, significantly inhibited protein carbonylation and nitration (measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method) in the blood platelets treated with peroxynitrite (0.1 mM) and markedly reduced an oxidation of thiol groups of proteins (estimated with 5,5'-dithio-bis(2-nitro- benzoic acid )] or glutathione (measured by high performance liquid chromatography method) in these cells. The trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene, like resveratrol, also caused a distinct reduction of platelet lipid peroxidation induced by peroxynitrite. The obtained results indicate that in vitro trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene and resveratrol have very similar protective effects against peroxynitrite-induced oxidative/nitrative damage to the human platelet proteins and lipids. Moreover, trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene proved to be even more potent than resveratrol in antioxidative tests. 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.



Nutrition. 2006 Nov-Dec;22(11-12):1202-9.

Antioxidant properties of trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene against modification of variety of biomolecules in human blood cells treated with platinum compounds.

Olas B, Wachowicz B, Majsterek I, Blasiak J, Stochmal A, Oleszek W.
Department of General Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland.

OBJECTIVE: A diet rich in natural antioxidants in combination with anticancer therapy is important in reducing morbidity and mortality in addition to diminishing toxicity and side effects of chemotherapeutic agents. Cisplatin (cis-diamminedichloroplatinum II, cis-Pt) is a common chemotherapeutic agent, but it causes side effects, including hematologic toxicity with changes in the biological function of blood cells. METHODS: We compared the action of two phenolic compounds isolated from the bark of Yucca schidigera: trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene and resveratrol (trans-3,4',5 - trihydroxystilbene, present also in grapes and wine) on oxidative stress induced by cisplatin (used in chemotherapy) and selenium-cisplatin conjugate ([NH(3)](2)Pt(SeO(3) [Se-Pt], with a slight toxic effect on blood cells) in human blood platelets and peripheral blood lymphocytes. RESULTS: The trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene, like resveratrol, significantly inhibited protein carbonylation (measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and western blot analysis) in blood platelets treated with platinum compounds (10 microg/mL) and markedly reduced oxidation of thiol groups of proteins in these cells. The trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene, like resveratrol, caused a distinct reduction of platelet lipid peroxidation induced by platinum compounds. The combined action of the tested phenolic compounds with Se-Pt evoked a significant decrease in DNA damage (measured by the comet assay) in lymphocytes compared with cells treated with Se-Pt only. CONCLUSION: We conclude that one promising natural product may be trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene, because it is a stronger antioxidant in the tested models in vitro compared with resveratrol (P < 0.05). The trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene can also be useful as a protective factor against platinum compounds during chemotherapy or cancer prophylaxis.



Biochem Pharmacol. 2006 May 14;71(10):1479-87. Epub 2006 Mar 6.

Relative effects of phenolic constituents from Yucca schidigera Roezl. bark on Kaposi's sarcoma cell proliferation, migration, and PAF synthesis.

Balestrieri C, Felice F, Piacente S, Pizza C, Montoro P, Oleszek W, Visciano V, Balestrieri ML.

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Second University of Naples, via L. De Crecchio 7, 80138 Naples, Italy. mluisa.balestrieri@unina2.it

Yuccaols (A, B, C) are phenolic constituents isolated from Yucca schidigera bark characterized by unusual spirostructures made up of a C15 unit and a stilbenic portion closely related to resveratrol. These novel compounds are of particular interest for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, their effects on cell proliferation, migration, and platelet-activating factor (PAF) biosynthesis remain unknown. PAF, a potent mediator of inflammation, is known to promote angiogenesis and in vitro migration of endothelial cells and Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) cells. The objective of our study was to determine the effect of Yuccaols and resveratrol on the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced proliferation, migration, and PAF biosynthesis in KS cells. The results indicated that Yuccaols (25 microM) were more effective than resveratrol (25 microM) in inhibiting the VEGF-induced KS cell proliferation. Western blot analysis revealed that Yuccaols reduced the VEGF-induced phosphorylation of p38 and p42/44, thus indicating a possible interference with the mechanism underlying the VEGF-stimulated cell proliferation. Furthermore, Yuccaols completely inhibited the VEGF-stimulated PAF biosynthesis catalyzed by the acetyl-CoA:lyso-PAF acetyltransferase and enhanced its degradation through the PAF-dependent CoA-independent transacetylase (250% of control). In addition, Yuccaol C abrogated the PAF-induced cell motility whereas Yuccaol A and Yuccaol B reduced the cell migration from 7.6 microm/h to 6.1 microm/h and 5.6 microm/h, respectively. These results indicate that the anti-inflammatory properties attributed to Yucca schidigera can be ascribed to both resveratrol and Yuccaols and provide the first evidences of the anti-tumor and anti-invasive properties of these novel phenolic compounds.



Nutrition. 2005 Feb;21(2):199-206.

Inhibition of blood platelet adhesion and secretion by different phenolics from Yucca schidigera Roezl. bark.

Olas B, Wachowicz B, Stochmal A, Oleszek W.

Department of General Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland.

OBJECTIVE: Yucca schidigera is a plant that grows in Mexico, and it has a very high level of saponins and phenolic compounds with antioxidant action. The products of Y. schidigera are used as food additives and have a generally recognized as safe label. This study investigated the antiplatelet mechanisms of four phenolic compounds. METHODS: We investigated antiplatelet mechanisms of the phenolic compounds trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene (trans-resveratrol), trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene, and yuccaols A and C that had been isolated from the bark of Y. schidigera by studying their effects on the first step of platelet activation, i.e., platelet adhesion to collagen and fibrinogen. The effects of these compounds on the release of adenine nucleotides, proteins, and beta-N-acetyl-glycosaminidase (a marker of lysosomal secretion) from blood platelets activated by thrombin were also studied. RESULTS: These different phenolic compounds (1 to 25 microg/mL) and their extracts decreased platelet adhesion and secretion. CONCLUSIONS: Resveratrol and yucca extract were more reactive in decreasing these processes than were other tested phenolic compounds.



fe Sci. 2004 Aug 6;75(12):1491-501.

Inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by yuccaol C from Yucca schidigera roezl.

Marzocco S, Piacente S, Pizza C, Oleszek W, Stochmal A, Pinto A, Sorrentino R, Autore G.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Salerno, via Ponte Don Melillo-84084, Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.

Yucca schidigera extract finds wide commercial application in foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. In a previous paper we have found as the main constituents of yucca bark, yuccaol A, B and C, new and very unusual spiro-derivatives made up of a C15 unit and a stilbenic portion closely related to resveratrol. This study was performed to examine whether yuccaol A, B or C (0.01-100 microM) could affect cytosolic inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein expression and nitric oxide (NO) generation in vitro in Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated J774.A1 macrophage cell line. NO production, detected as NO2-, increased significantly in LPS treated J774.A1 cells from 0.05 +/- 0.03 microM to 16.64 +/- 0.58 microM (P < 0.001). Yuccaol C (0.01-100 microM), added to the culture medium 1 h before LPS-stimulation, significantly (P < 0.001) and in a concentration related manner reduced NO release (P < 0.001) and iNOS protein expression (P < 0.05). In contrast, no inhibitory effect either on iNOS protein expression or on NO release was observed when yuccaol C was added after LPS stimulation. In contrast yuccaol A inhibited significantly (P < 0.001) only NO release at the highest concentration tested (100 microM) while yuccaol B did not reduce either NO release or iNOS expression. Yuccaol C was demonstrated to reduce iNOS protein expression via the transcription factor NF-kappaB. These results indicated that the empirical use of Y. schidigera as anti-inflammatory remedy could be addressed not only to the resveratrol content but also to the presence of yuccaol C.



J Nat Prod. 2004 May;67(5):882-5.

Yucca schidigera bark: phenolic constituents and antioxidant activity.
Piacente S, Montoro P, Oleszek W, Pizza C.

Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Via Ponte Don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.

Two new phenolic constituents with unusual spirostructures, named yuccaols D (1) and E (2), were isolated from the MeOH extract of Yucca schidigera bark. Their structures were established by spectroscopic (ESIMS and NMR) analysis. The new yuccaols D and E, along with resveratrol (3), trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene (4), yuccaols A-C (5-7), yuccaone A (8), larixinol (9), the MeOH extract of Yucca schidigera bark, and the phenolic portion of this extract, were assayed for antioxidant activity by measuring the free radical scavenging effects using two different assays, namely, the Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC) assay and the coupled oxidation of beta-carotene and linoleic acid (autoxidation assay). The significant activities exhibited by the phenolic fraction and its constituents in both tests show the potential use of Y. schidigera as a source of antioxidant principles.



Arch Pharm Res. 2003 Dec;26(12):1042-6.

Hypocholesterolemic property of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts in human body.

Kim SW, Park SK, Kang SI, Kang HC, Oh HJ, Bae CY, Bae DH.
Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Miz Medi Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

This study was undertaken to observe the effects of the blend of partially purified Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts on cholesterol levels in the human's blood and gastrointestinal functions, and to determine if a new cholesterol-lowering drug can be developed by the further purification of the extracts. Ultrafiltration and sequential diafiltration increased the amounts of steroidal saponin in aqueous yucca extract and terpenoid saponin in aqueous quillaja extract from 9.3% and 21.4% to 17.2% and 61.8%, respectively. Taking 0.9 mg of the blend (6:4, v:v) of the resulting filtrates a day for 4 weeks resulted in the decreases in total and LDL cholesterol levels in blood plasma of hyper-cholesterolemic patients with enhancement in gastrointestinal symptoms of patients.



Nutrition. 2003 Jul-Aug;19(7-8):633-40.

Inhibition of oxidative stress in blood platelets by different phenolics from Yucca schidigera Roezl. bark.

Olas B, Wachowicz B, Stochmal A, Oleszek W.

Department of General Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland. olasb@biol.uni.lodz.pl

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the comparative effects of resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene), trans-3,3',5,5'tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene, and yuccaols A and C isolated from the bark of Yucca schidigera on oxidative stress in resting blood platelets and blood platelets activated by different agonists (thrombin or thrombin receptor activating peptide). METHODS AND RESULTS: Tested phenolics (1-25 microgram/mL) reduced, to different degrees, the level of reactive oxygen species measured by the luminol-dependent chemiluminescence and changed the production of O(2)(-) measured by the reduction of cytochrome c in resting blood platelets. They also inhibited the generation of free radicals in blood platelets activated by thrombin (P < 0.05) or thrombin receptor activating peptide (P < 0.05). Treatment of platelets with resveratrol or yuccaols A and C at the concentration of 25 microgram/mL increased (statistically non-significant) the level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in these cells (P > 0.05), whereas trans-3,3',5,5'tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene and the alcohol yucca extract reduced lipid peroxidation in blood platelets (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Resveratrol and other phenolic compounds from the bark of Yucca schidigera inhibiting free radical generation in blood platelets may be beneficial in protecting against cardiovascular diseases when hyperactivity of platelets is observed.



Platelets. 2002 May;13(3):167-73.

Anti-platelet effects of different phenolic compounds from Yucca schidigera Roezl. bark.

Olas B, Wachowicz B, Stochmal A, Oleszek W.

Department of General Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lodz, Poland. olasb@taxus.biol.uni-lodz.pl

Resveratrol (3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene) has been reported to have a variety of anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-fungal and anti-platelet effects. It occurs naturally in different medicinal plants. Recently, resveratrol and other related phenolic compounds including trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene and yuccaols A and C were isolated from the bark of Yucca schidigera. The aim of the present study was to evaluate in vitro the effects of these compounds on platelet aggregation induced by thrombin and ADP. Pretreatment of platelets with resveratrol or other tested phenolics (1-25 microg/ml) slightly reduced platelet aggregation stimulated by 5 microM ADP (P < 0.05) or 10 microM ADP (P < 0.005). The comparison of the inhibitory effects of tested compound in thrombin-induced platelet aggregation revealed that phenolic showed even stronger antiplatelet actions than resveratrol. These compounds also had an inhibitory effect on the thrombin-induced enzymatic platelet lipid peroxidation determined as the level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances.



J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Jul;49(7):3408-13.

Effects of dietary supplementation with Yucca schidigera Roezl ex Ortgies and its saponin and non-saponin fractions on rat metabolism.
Duffy CF, Killeen GF, Connolly CD, Power RF.

Alltech European Biosciences Research Center, The National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. cduffy@alltech-bio.com

Yucca schidigera Roezl ex Ortgies, family Lillaceae, was fractionated with butan-1-ol to yield a butanol extractable fraction (BE; saponin fraction) and a non-butanol fraction (NBE; non-saponin fraction). Four groups of eight male rats were allowed ad libitum access to diets supplemented with water (control) or 200 mg x kg(-1) total Y. schidigera (TOT) or 200 mg x kg(-1) of each of the fractions (NBE or BE). The effects of dietary supplementation with the fractions and their interactions in TOT were analyzed according to the factorial experimental design by two-way analysis of variance. All three supplementation groups displayed significantly reduced serum urea levels (P < 0.05). The TOT and NBE fractions were found to significantly increase serum insulin levels (P < 0.01) in the absence of any fluctuations in serum glucose levels. Urea cycle enzyme activities, namely, arginase (EC 3.5.3.1) and argininosuccinate lyase (EC 4.3.2.1), were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) in vivo, although no effect was observed in vitro. Both fractions displayed effects, indicating that the active constituents are present in both fractions.



Vet Parasitol. 2001 May 22;97(2):85-99.

Studies on the use of Yucca schidigera to control giardiosis.

McAllister TA, Annett CB, Cockwill CL, Olson ME, Wang Y, Cheeke PR.
Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, P.O. Box 3000, Lethbridge, Alta., Canada T1J 4B1. mcallister@em.agr.ca

The potential anti-giardial activity of a powdered preparation of Yucca schidigera (yucca powder) was investigated in vitro, in a modified adherence inhibition assay, and in vivo, by enumeration of trophozoites (intestinal) or cysts (fecal) in experimentally infected gerbils and lambs receiving oral doses of whole or butanol-extracted yucca powder. Yucca powder, butanol-, acetone- and chloroform-extracted powder, and the butanol-insoluble fraction of the powder were required in concentrations of 22, 15, 62, 135 and 250 microg/ml, respectively, to reduce in vitro trophozoite adherence by 50%. Ethyl ether extract exhibited no anti-giardial activity. Virtually no trophozoites were tolerant of butanol extract at >or=90 microg/ml. Butanol extract at 1500 microg/ml exerted effects on trophozoites similar to the nitroimidazole, metronidazole, at 40 microg/ml during a 27-h incubation. Reducing trophozoite adherence to 50% of the controls required 5-10h of exposure to butanol extract or metronidazole. Oral administration of butanol extract (6.1mg) or metronidazole (1mg) once daily for 3 days reduced the number of trophozoites in the small intestine of infected gerbils, significantly (P<0.05) in the jejunum and ileum, and numerically (P>0.05) in the duodenum (n=8). Oral dosing of 50mg of butanol extract in eight doses over 3 days reduced (P<0.05) trophozoites in the duodenum and jejunum, and eliminated them from the ileum. Including 4.5% (w/w) yucca powder in the diet did not alter Giardia trophozoite recovery from the duodenum or jejunum of infected gerbils, but trophozoite reduction (P=0.051) was observed in the ileum (n=9). Jejunum gut loop data were inconclusive, possibly due to insufficient duration of exposure of trophozoites to butanol extract. Compared to controls (0g yucca powder per day) lambs receiving 10g of yucca powder per day in their diet shed fewer (P<0.05) Giardia cysts in their feces after 5, 9, 12 and 19 days of treatment, but a corresponding decline in the prevalence of infection was not observed (n=10). After 26 days, Giardia infections persisted in 90% of the lambs in both treatment groups. At the dosing levels studied in vivo, yucca powder did not affect the extent of cyst shedding by experimentally infected lambs, but further purification and concentration of the saponin fraction from Y. schidigera may provide the anti-giardial effects observed in vitro and in dosing trials.



J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Feb;49(2):747-52.

Resveratrol and other phenolics from the bark of Yucca schidigera roezl.
Oleszek W, Sitek M, Stochmal A, Piacente S, Pizza C, Cheeke P.

Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, ul. Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland.
WO@iung.pulawy.pl

Five phenolic constituents have been identified in Yucca schidigera bark, and their structures were established by spectral (FABMS and NMR) experiments. These included two known stilbenes, trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene (resveratrol) and trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene, as well as three novel compounds, yuccaols A, B, and C, with spiro-structures rarely occurring in the plant kingdom. It is suggested that yuccaols A-C are biosynthethized via attachment of a stilbenic derivative to the carbocationic intermediate of the oxidative flavanone-flavonol conversion.



J Nat Prod. 2000 Mar;63(3):332-8.

Antiyeast steroidal saponins from Yucca schidigera (Mohave yucca), a new anti-food-deteriorating agent.

Miyakoshi M, Tamura Y, Masuda H, Mizutani K, Tanaka O, Ikeda T, Ohtani K, Kasai R, Yamasaki K.

Maruzen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., 14703-10, Mukaihigashi-cho, Onomichi-city, Hiroshima 722-0062, Japan. miyakov@iea.att.ne.jp

A saponin fraction from the stems of Yucca schidigera (Mohave yucca) exhibited potent growth-inhibitory activities against certain food-deteriorating yeasts, film-forming yeasts, and dermatophytic yeasts and fungi. From this fraction, a number of new anti-yeast monodesmosidic spirostanol saponins, named schidigera-saponins A1 (1), A2 (2), A3 (3), B1 (4), C1 (5),C2 (6); 25(R and S) schidigera-saponins D1 (7), D2 (8), E1 (12), F1 (13); and 25(S) schidigera-saponins D3 (9), D4 (10), D5 (11), and F2 (14) were isolated, together with several related known saponins, and the structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods (see Chart 1). The relationship between the antiyeast activities and the structures of these saponins is described.


Mutat Res. 1997 Feb 3;373(2):197-200.

Antimutagenic effect of resveratrol against Trp-P-1.

Uenobe F, Nakamura S, Miyazawa M.

Osaka Kyoiku University, Department of Health Science, Japan.

The methanol extract of Yucca schidigera (YE) showed a suppressive effect on umu gene expression of the SOS response induced by 3-amino-1,4-dimethyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole (Trp-P-1) in Salmonella typhimurium TA1535/pSK1002. The suppressive effect of YE was also observed for 2-aminoanthracene and activated Trp-P-1, without a significant effect on bacterial growth. The extract exhibited a weak suppressive effect on SOS-induction by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, but not by furylfuramide or 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide. The antimutagenic activity of YE against Trp-P-1 was demonstrated by Ames assay using Salmonella typhimurium TA98. Isolation and purification of the active component of YE was carried out using SiO2 column chromatography, and 275 mg of antimutagenic compound was isolated from 2.5 kg of dried chips of yucca roots and branches. The compound was identified as 3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene (THS). The SOS suppression and antimutagenicity of THS against Trp-P-1 was determined by umu test and Ames test.



J Inflamm (Lond). 2006 Mar 29;3:6.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects of Yucca schidigera: a review.

Cheeke PR, Piacente S, Oleszek W.

Department of Animal Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97333, USA. peter.r.cheeke@oregonstate.edu

Yucca schidigera is a medicinal plant native to Mexico. According to folk medicine, yucca extracts have anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory effects. The plant contains several physiologically active phytochemicals. It is a rich source of steroidal saponins, and is used commercially as a saponin source. Saponins have diverse biological effects, including anti-protozoal activity. It has been postulated that saponins may have anti-arthritic properties by suppressing intestinal protozoa which may have a role in joint inflammation. 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.

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