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  • Basic Info
Licensed from
Generic: wild yam
an herbal product - treats High cholesterol, Menopausal symptoms, and Hormonal properties
               



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Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

It is not clear whether blood sugar is lowered by Dioscorea villosa (wild yam). Dioscoretine, a compound found in the related species Dioscorea dumentorum (bitter or African yam), has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, but this has not been shown for Dioscorea villosa. Effects on blood sugar in humans have not been reported. Nonetheless, caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking diabetes drugs by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

Early evidence suggests that wild yam lowers blood levels of indomethacin, a non- steroidal anti- inflammatory drug, and reduces irritation of the intestine caused by indomethacin. Human studies have not been reported in this area and it is not clear if wild yam affects the blood levels of other anti- inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®).

Diosgenin, thought to be the active substance in wild yam, has been found in animals to reduce absorption of cholesterol from the intestine and to lower total cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies in humans show no change in the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, although the amounts of specific types of cholesterol in the blood may be changed; low- density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad cholesterol") and triglycerides may be lowered and high- density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good cholesterol") may be increased. It is thought that wild yam may enhance the effects of other cholesterol- lowering medications, including fibric acid derivatives such as clofibrate (Questran®), gemfibrozil (Lopid®), and fenofibrate (Tricor®). In animals, wild yam has been found to improve the effect of clofibrate in lowering cholesterol levels.

Tinctures of wild yam may contain high amounts of alcohol and may lead to vomiting if taken with disulfiram (Antabuse®) or metronidazole (Flagyl®).

An early study suggests that wild yam may interfere with the body's ability to control levels of the reproductive hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a key ingredient in some hormone replacement and birth control pills. There are reports that some wild yam products may be tainted with artificial progesterone. Women taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy should speak with a licensed healthcare provider before taking wild yam.

Wild yam may also interact with steroids, although human evidence is lacking.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

It is not clear whether Dioscorea villosa (wild yam) lowers blood sugar levels. Although dioscoretine, produced by the related species Dioscorea dumentorum (bitter or African yam), has been shown to lower blood sugar, this reaction has not been seen with Dioscorea villosa and has not been reported in humans. Nonetheless, caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood glucose. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring and doses may need adjustment.

Diosgenin, thought to be the active substance in wild yam, has been found in animals to reduce absorption of cholesterol from the intestine and to lower total cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies in humans show no change in the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, although the amounts of specific types of cholesterol in the blood may be changed; low- density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad cholesterol") and triglycerides may be lowered and high- density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good cholesterol") appears to be increased.

In an early study, a wild yam preparation was reported to block the body's natural production of progesterone. However, this finding was not supported by later research. There have been several reports that some wild yam products are tainted with synthetic progesterone. Because wild yam may contain progesterone- like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have hormone- like properties, in particular those with estrogen- like properties, may be altered.

Wild yam may also interact with potassium vitamin C or steroids, although human evidence is lacking.

               
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