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Saponins: Friend or Foe?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Jorlev, May 13, 2013.

  1. Jorlev

    Jorlev

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    Many here are taking Yucca for ammonia elimination and/or Quinoa for health benefits and getting certain nutrients lost by not eating other foods due to high sulfur or ammonia components.

    Both of these foods have saponins in them. I've read there are a variety of saponins so I guess the first questions is are certain saponins safer than others?

    I've also read that Yucca saponins act as a surfactant and cleans the intestines and villi providing better absorption of nutrients. I've read elsewhere that Yucca saponins harm villi.

    Quinoa saponins can be rinsed from the exterior of the seed but to what extent they are eliminated is questionable. Do Quinoa saponins also help eliminate ammonia?

    I can certainly attest to the fact that urine smells of less ammonia after eating Yucca but is it harming me in so way that makes it not worth my while. Then there's the issue of how much to take for benefit.
    I only take a quarter inch carrot slice worth of it with each meal but even that seems to be more than what would be in a 500mg pill.

    Anyway, if there's any Yucca, Quinoa or Saponin experts out there, would love to hear your views!!
  2. xjhuez

    xjhuez Senior Member

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    I also read somewhere (I'll try to locate the source) that yucca increased intestinal absorption. My first thought was, what if you have leaky gut? Do you even want that?
  3. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I don't know if all saponins are the same, but according to Stephen Buhner (famous for his Lyme protocol) they aren't harmful.
  4. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

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    I just want to caution you-all not to eat quinoa without washing it well before cooking it. Some years ago I bought a hot breakfast cereal made of cracked quinoa, and twice (since I didn't know what caused it the first time) I ate it and became very ill a few hours later, with things coming out both ends, so to speak. I think that they had not washed off the saponins before processing it. I don't have any problem if it's rinsed well. So it isn't as harmless as the Wikipedia article suggests.
  5. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    A lot of brands pre-rinse their quinoa, so it's not always necessary
    http://www.vitacost.com/bobs-red-mill-organic-gluten-free-wheat-free-quinoa
    I've taken a couple grams of sarsaparilla without any problem and people following Buhner's protocol take a couple grams a day of sarsaparilla for many months. Maybe there's different types of saponins.
  6. Jorlev

    Jorlev

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    I would believe that improved intestinal absorption sounds good as more nutrients can be used for the body.
    Leaky gut I think is an independent issue from intestinal absorption. Perhaps saponins may go into the blood stream with a leaky gut. Wish there were more definitive answers regarding saponins.
  7. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I haven't spent a lot of time researching leaky gut, but supplements such as bromelain and Bioperene/piperine are supposed to increase absorption of nutrients and so are added to various supplements. I found out that the way they work is by increasing gut permeability and some people say this can contribute to leaky gut.
  8. helen1

    helen1 Senior Member

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    Have decided to stop taking yucca (to decrease ammonia) after reading this:

    Saponins, Surfactant Activity, and Intestinal Function
    Saponins affect the permeability of intestinal cells by forming additional complexes with sterols (e.g., cholesterol) in mucosal cell membranes (Johnson et al., 1986). These authors found that saponins increase the permeability of intestinal mucosal cells, inhibit active nutrient transport, and may facilitate the uptake of substances to which the gut would normally be impermeable. This was confirmed in a more recent study (Gee et al., 1997), in which it was demonstrated that exposure of rats to saponin increased the trans- mucosal uptake of the milk allergen β-lactoglobulin. Saponin-exposed rats developed antigen-specific antibody responses to administration of ovalbumin (Atkinson et al., 15% and 0.30% Quillaja saponin to rainbow trout caused significant intestinal damage (Bureau et al., 1998). 1996), indicating that saponins may increase the sensitivity of animals to dietary antigens. A purified Quillaja saponin has effectiveness as an agent to enhance absorption of orally administered drugs (Chao et al., 1998). Saponins from various food sources, such as oats (Onning et al., 1996) and quinoa (Gee et al., 1993), increase intestinal cell permeability.
  9. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This is really out of date, and I have not investigated to confirm this, but the saponins in green potatos used to be claimed to cause major health risks, including aborting pregnancy. I think its a case of proceed cautiously until we know more.
  10. xjhuez

    xjhuez Senior Member

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    Can you supply a link to that study? Google scholar can't find it.

    There's no way I'm quitting oats or quinoa, regardless of what it says, but I might stop or lessen yucca.

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