Platycosides from the Roots of Platycodon grandiflorum and Their Health Benefits

  • Nyakudya, Elijah (Research Center for Industrial Development of Biofood Materials, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Jeong, Jong Hoon (Research Center for Industrial Development of Biofood Materials, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Lee, Nam Keun (Research Center for Industrial Development of Biofood Materials, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Jeong, Yong-Seob (Department of Food Science and Technology, Chonbuk National University)
  • Received : 2014.02.21
  • Accepted : 2014.04.10
  • Published : 2014.06.30


The extracts and pure saponins from the roots of Platycodon grandiflorum (PG) are reported to have a wide range of health benefits. Platycosides (saponins) from the roots of PG are characterized by a structure containing a triterpenoid aglycone and two sugar chains. Saponins are of commercial significance, and their applications are increasing with increasing evidence of their health benefits. The biological effects of saponins include cytotoxic effects against cancer cells, neuroprotective activity, antiviral activity, and cholesterol lowering effects. Saponins with commercial value range from crude plant extracts, which can be used for their foaming properties, to high purity saponins such as platycodin D, which can be used for its health applications (e.g., as a vaccine adjuvant). This review reveals that platycosides have many health benefits and have the potential to be used as a remedy against many of the major health hazards (e.g., cancer, obesity, alzheimer's) faced by populations around the world. Methods of platycoside purification and analysis are also covered in this review.


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