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Definition of diosgenin:
Diosgenin is a pharmaceutical used for the synthesis of cortisone, progesterone, and other steroid products[1].
This is the common definition for diosgenin, other definitions can be discussed in the article




Diosgenin is made by hydrolysis of saponins, which are extracted from Dioscorea villosa, a plant which grows in North America. It is also present in a number of other plant species which mainly occur in North America[1]. Extracts of Dioscorea villosa containing diosgenin are sold in a variety of pharmacy and health food stores because of their presumed ability to minimize post-menopausal symptoms[2]. It is also thought to induce apoptosis in cancer cells, and to reduce high blood pressure[3][4].

It has a very low water solubility 0.02 mg/l, is very hydrophobic and is therefore expected in the marine environment to be mostly associated to organic matter, particles and sediments. It is also expected to have a high potential towards bioaccumulation. [5]

Environmental standards and legislation

Included in the OSPAR list of substances of priority action