Journal Article

Steroidal Saponins in Oat Bran

February 07, 2016

Steroidal Saponins in Oat Bran. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. February 7, 2016. Junli Yang, Pei Wang, Wenbin Wu, Yantao Zhao, Emmanuel Idehen, and Shengmin Sang.

Author Affiliations

Laboratory for Functional Foods and Human Health, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Research Campus, 500 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081, United States


Saponins are one type of widespread defense compound in the plant kingdom and have been exploited for the production of lead compounds with diverse pharmacological properties in drug discovery. Oats contain two unique steroidal saponins, avenacoside A and avenacoside B. However, the chemical composition, the levels of these saponins in commercial oat products, and their health effects are still largely unknown. In this study, we directly purified 5 steroidal saponins from a methanol extract of oat bran, characterized their structures by analyzing their MS and NMR spectra, and also tentatively identified 11 steroidal saponins on the basis of their tandem mass spectra. Among the five purified saponins, 5 is a new compound and 4 is purified from oats for the first time. Using HPLC-MS techniques, a complete profile of oat steroidal saponins was determined, and the contents of the two primary steroidal saponins, 1 and 2, were quantitated in 15 different commercial oat products. The total levels of these two saponins vary from 49.6 to 443.0 mg/kg, and oat bran or oatmeal has higher levels of these two saponins than cold oat cereal. Furthermore, our results on the inhibitory effects of 1 and 2 against the growth of human colon cancer cells HCT-116 and HT-29 showed that both had weak activity, with 2 being more active than 1.

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