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By Osamu Tanaka, Yukiyoshi Tamura, Hitoshi Masuda, Kenji Mizutani (auth.), George R. Waller, Kazuo Yamasaki (eds.)

''A wealth of information...these volumes can be immensely invaluable to somebody having to house this hard staff of compounds.'' ---Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, from a evaluate of Saponins utilized in conventional and smooth Medicine and Saponins utilized in nutrition and Agriculture ''A worthwhile contribution to the literature.'' ---The Quarterly evaluate of Biology, December 1997

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Steudel (Betulaceae). Preliminary safety tests established that pterocaryosides A and B were not bacterial mutagens nor acutely toxic to mice, and subsequently, a human taste panel judged these compounds to be about 50 and 100 times as sweet as 2% sucrose, respectively. The onset of sweetness was found to be instantaneous, but both compounds had a persistent, bitter off-taste, which limits their prospects for further development. However, these compounds are the first sweet-tasting secodammarane saponins to have been characterized to date, and the difference in sweetness potency exhibited by the relatively minor saccharide substitution occurring among these two compounds is intriguing.

Fenugreek seeds are assumed to have restorative and nutritive properties (appetite stimulant) and hypocholesterolemic and antidiabetic effects. In the last several years, our research has focused on identifying the main elements responsible for these latter properties which were attributed to the high fiber content 1,2 (reducing intestinal absorption of glucose) and the presence of 4-hydroxyisoleucine (increasing insulin secretion)3. Moreover, the hypocholesterolemic activity was found to be related to the defatted part of the seed 4 involving saponin-rich subfractions 5 ,6.

Studies on the constituents of Fructus Momordicae. II. Structure of sapogenin. Yakugaku Zasshi 1983b, 103, 1155-1166. ; Okuhira, M. Studies on the constituents of Fructus Momordicae. III. Structure ofmogrosides. D. Stimulation of the gerbil's gustatory receptors by some potently sweet terpenoids. J. Agric. Food Chem. 1993,41,1305-1310. ; Katayama, C. Osladin, a sweet principle of Polypodium vulgare. Structure revision. Tetrahedron Lett. 1992,33,4009-4010. M. ) I1jinskaya. Acta Pharm. Sin. 1992,27,841-844.

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