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Side Effects of Saponins

By Ripa Ajmera ; Updated August 14, 2017

Saponins are phytochemicals, a type of chemical substance that is produced by, and found in, certain types of plants. Saponins are harvested from a variety of plants including soybeans, yucca, peas, quillaja and herbs such as soapberry and soapwort. Used as dietary supplements, they create a soapy form when shaken in a water solution. Saponins can be beneficial to the body.

Cholesterol Reduction

According to and, saponins are thought to bond with cholesterol and other pathogens in your body. This prevents them from being absorbed by your body, carrying them through your body’s digestive system instead, where they can be properly eliminated. This elimination process is thought to reduce your cholesterol level.

Boosting the Immune System

Phytochemicals get rid of destructive pathogens in your body. This relieves stress on your immune system and thereby allows it to function more effectively.

Additional Positive Side Effects

According to, including saponins in your diet can help reduce your risk of getting cancer. They can also serve as an antioxidant, relieve eczema and skin allergies, reduce your bone loss and lower your risk of getting various heart diseases.

No Harmful Side Effects

Because saponins come from natural plant sources including alfalfa, yucca and soy, as well as other herbs and vegetables, there are no known negative side effects from having them in dietary supplements. Scientific studies continue to examine the potential negative side effects of saponins, but thus far they are widely accepted as serving as a beneficial and safe supplement.

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