Advances in study of dioscin——a natural product

XU Li-na1 WEI Yong-li1 PENG Jin-yong1

(1.College of Pharmacy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China 116044)
【Knowledge Link】residue; hydrolysate; glycosidic bond

【Abstract】Dioscin, a typical saponin, is widely present in the family of Dioscoreaceae, Liliaceae, Caryophyllaceae and Rosaceae, especially in Dioscoreaceae, including Discorea nipponica Makino, Dioscorea zingiberensis C. H. Wright and Dioscorea panthaica Prain et Burkill. Traditional Chinese medicine reported that dioscin plays a role in expectorant, relaxing the muscles and stimulating the blood circulation, aiding digestion and diuresis. With the development of science and technology in recent years, some new extraction and separation techniques and methods have been applied to the study of dioscin, and more and more pharmacological effects were found. Modern pharmacology studies have confirmed that dioscin had some activities on desensitization, anti-inflammatory, lipid-lowering, anti-tumor, hepatoprotection and anti-viral. After oral administration, dioscin is metabolized to diosgenin, which is the true active ingredient and is an important raw material to synthesize steroid hormone drugs. Therefore, the studies on dioscin are valueable and promising. In this review, we make a summary on the researches of dioscin including the extraction technology, separation and preparation, chemical synthesis, drug metabolism, determination and pharmacological researches.

【Keywords】 dioscin; natural product; pharmacological activity; determination;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81274195) Program for Liaoning Innovative Research Team in University by Department of Education in Liaoning Province (LT2013018) Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (20122105110004) Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of Ministry of Education of China (NCET-11-1007)

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This Article


CN: 11-2272/R

Vol 40, No. 01, Pages 36-41

January 2015


Article Outline



  • 1 Chemical research
  • 2 Dioscin metabolisms
  • 3 Dioscin pharmacodynamics and molecular mechanism
  • 4 Dioscin toxicology
  • 5 Prospect
  • References