Saponins solubilize the low density lipoprotein (LDL) fraction of cholesterol in micelles, thus lowering their concentration. Saponin from Quillaja bark is used as a flavoring agent in food and beverages. This saponin has been shown to enhance immune-cell proliferation in vitro.
Saponins are associated with many biological and pharmacological activities. It is known to stimulate immune response in mammals. Hence it is used as vaccine adjuvants. Saponins possesses antiviral, antifungal, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effects.
Potent hemolytic when injected i.v.; surfactant that enhances penetration of proteins and other macromolecules through cell membranes; it also has been used as an adjuvant for vaccines.