Is it the Saponin in the Papaya Leaf that wards off cancer, or the gang of tannins and flavonoids?
In this study;
SAPONIN, PREPONDERANT PHYTOCHEMICAL IN CARICA PAPAYA LEAF EXTRACT, POSSIBLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS REPORTED ANTISICKLING & ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY
N.O.A. Imaga, S.O. Adenekan, T. J. Fakanye, F.K. Olaniyan and A. A. Alakaloko
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Idi-araba, Lagos State, Nigeria
…”the phytochemical, Saponin was found present in the chloroform, butanol and aqueous fractions but not in the ethyl acetate fraction while steroid was the least in quantity and found only in the chloroform fraction. Quantitative pyhtochemical screening on the crude C. papaya showed that saponin had the highest concentration(296μg/mL), thus indicating that it is the most abundant phytochemical present in C. papaya crude extract and solvent fractions. This confirms earlier findings that crude C. papaya leaf can have inhibitory effect on inflammation, can be used to develop immunity and protect the body against infection. This is because saponins, a group of phytochemicals that can be found in a variety of plant foods, have been shown to have a number of protective effects on the human body, including warding off cancer, lowering cholesterol, and preventing heart disease. Saponins are potent antioxidants, substances that neutralize free radicals to prevent disease. Saponins stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies, which help fight off bacterial and fungal infections. Other health benefits of saponins include reducing inflammation by producing an inhibitory effect on inflammation, lowering blood glucose responses, preventing dental caries, protecting against bone loss and increasing the effectiveness of certain vaccines as adjuvant (Skene and Philip, 2006). Saponin has the property of precipitating and coagulating red blood cells. Some of the characteristics of saponins include formation of foams in aqueous solutions, hemolytic activity, cholesterol binding properties and bitterness. These immense benefits of saponin make its presence in large quantities in C. papaya leaf extract a very palpable reason for the plants reported antioxidant and antisickling activities.
It is also probable that the flavonoids, tannins, steroids and glycosides present in the extract fractions all act in synergy to produce the medicinal benefits inherent in the C. papaya leaf extract.”