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Protodioscin: Wikis


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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 55056-80-9
ATC code none
PubChem 441891
Chemical data
Formula C 51H84O22  
Mol. mass 1049.199 g/mol
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism  ?
Half life  ?
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.  ?
Legal status Legal
Routes Oral

Protodioscin is a steroidal saponin compound found in a number of plant species, most notably in the Tribulus, Trigonella and Dioscorea families.[1][2][3] It is best known as the putative active component of the herbal aphrodisiac plant Tribulus terrestris.[4]

Extacts from T. terrestris standardised for protodioscin content have been demonstrated to produce proerectile effects in isolated tissues and aphrodisiac action in several animal species.[5][6] The mechanism for these effects has not been clearly established, and while protodioscin has been demonstrated to trigger release of nitric oxide in corpus cavernosum tissue,[7] and also to produce statistically significant increases in the levels of the hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone in animal studies,[8] evidence for efficacy in humans is limited and remains controversial.[9][10]


  1. ^ Ganzera M, Bedir E, Khan IA. Determination of steroidal saponins in Tribulus terrestris by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and evaporative light scattering detection. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2001 Nov;90(11):1752-8. PMID 11745732
  2. ^ Hibasami H, Moteki H, Ishikawa K, Katsuzaki H, Imai K, Yoshioka K, Ishii Y, Komiya T. Protodioscin isolated from fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) induces cell death and morphological change indicative of apoptosis in leukemic cell line H-60, but not in gastric cancer cell line KATO III. International Journal of Molecular Medicine. 2003 Jan;11(1):23-6. PMID 12469212
  3. ^ Dong M, Feng XZ, Wang BX, Ikejima T, Wu LJ. Steroidal saponins from Dioscorea panthaica and their cytotoxic activity. Pharmazie. 2004 Apr;59(4):294-6. PMID 15125576
  4. ^ Dinchev D, Janda B, Evstatieva L, Oleszek W, Aslani MR, Kostova I. Distribution of steroidal saponins in Tribulus terrestris from different geographical regions. Phytochemistry. 2008 Jan;69(1):176-86. PMID 17719068
  5. ^ Gauthaman K, Adaikan PG, Prasad RN. Aphrodisiac properties of Tribulus Terrestris extract (Protodioscin) in normal and castrated rats. Life Sciences. 2002 Aug 9;71(12):1385-96. PMID 12127159
  6. ^ Gauthaman K, Ganesan AP, Prasad RN. Sexual effects of puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) extract (protodioscin): an evaluation using a rat model. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2003 Apr;9(2):257-65. PMID 12804079
  7. ^ Adaikan PG, Gauthaman K, Prasad RN, Ng SC. Proerectile pharmacological effects of Tribulus terrestris extract on the rabbit corpus cavernosum. Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore. 2000 Jan;29(1):22-6. PMID 10748960
  8. ^ Gauthaman K, Ganesan AP. The hormonal effects of Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction--an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat. Phytomedicine. 2008 Jan;15(1-2):44-54. PMID 18068966
  9. ^ Rowland DL, Tai W. A review of plant-derived and herbal approaches to the treatment of sexual dysfunctions. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. 2003 May-Jun;29(3):185-205. PMID 12851124
  10. ^ McKay D. Nutrients and botanicals for erectile dysfunction: examining the evidence. Alternative Medicine Review. 2004 Mar;9(1):4-16. PMID 15005641


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