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  • Basic Info
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Generic: Chinese Yam
an herbal product - treats High cholesterol, Menopausal symptoms, and Hormonal properties
               



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Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

High cholesterol: Animal studies have shown that wild yam can reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the gut. Early studies in humans have shown changes in the levels of certain sub- types of cholesterol, including decreases in low- density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad cholesterol") and triglycerides and increases in high- density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good cholesterol"). However, no changes in the total amount of blood cholesterol have been found. More studies are needed in this area.
Grade: C

Menopausal symptoms: Most studies have not shown a benefit from wild yam given by mouth or used as a vaginal cream in reducing menopausal symptoms. However, replacing two thirds of staple food with yam for 30 days was shown to improve the status of sex hormones, lipids, and antioxidants in a recent study in postmenopausal women. The authors suggest that these effects might reduce the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women. Further research is needed before a recommendation can be made.
Grade: C

Hormonal properties (to mimic estrogen, progesterone, or DHEA): Despite popular belief, no natural progestins, estrogens, or other reproductive hormones are found in wild yam. Its active ingredient, diosgenin, is not converted to hormones in the human body. Artificial progesterone has been added to some wild yam products. The belief that there are hormones in wild yam may be due to the historical fact that progesterone, androgens, and cortisone were chemically manufactured from Mexican wild yam in the 1960s.
Grade: D

               
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