Saponins from Sea Cucumber and Their Biological Activities.

This review was published by Zhao et al in 2018, and described the defination of saponins from sea cucumber and their biological activities including anti-tumor, hypolipidemic, etc.


Sea cucumbers, belonging to the phylum Echinodermata, have been valued for centuries as a nutritious and functional food with various bioactivities. Sea cucumbers can produce highly active substances, notably saponins, the main secondary metabolites, which are the basis of their chemical defense. The saponins are mostly triterpene glycosides with triterpenes or steroid in aglycone, which possess multiple biological properties including antitumor, hypolipidemic activity, improvement of nonalcoholic fatty liver, inhibition of fat accumulation, antihyperuricemia, promotion of bone marrow hematopoiesis, antihypertension, etc. Sea cucumber saponins have received attention due to their rich sources, low toxicity, high efficiency, and few side effects. This review summarizes current research on the structure and activities of sea cucumber saponins based on the physiological and pharmacological activities from source, experimental models, efficacy, and mechanisms, which may provide a valuable reference for the development of sea cucumber saponins.

Selected content from Table 1, Sea Cucumber Saponins with Anti-Tumor Activity and the Possible Underlying Mechanisms
Possible underlying mechanism of sea cucumber saponins on fat digestion and obesity induced by fat accumulation. Sea cucumber saponins could repress the pancreatic lipase activity and increase fatty acid excretion in the feces to reduce the accumulation of adipose tissue.

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