Wild yam again.

Botanical name: 

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: How does Wild Yam (dioscorea) affect Osteoperosis???
From: dyer.spdcc.com (Steve Dyer)
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 1995 17:41:02 GMT

EcogenCorp <ecogencorp.aol.com> wrote:
> Eric Alan Braun asked:
>> How does Wild Yam (dioscorea) affect Osteoperosis and Is it ok to use it orally or would the stomach acids make it ineffective for prevention of osteoperosis?
> Eric, Wild Yam contains cortizone like compounds, I believe.

They're "cortisone-like" only insofaras they're both sterols. But sterols are ubiquitous in nature in both animals and plants and most sterols don't have any effect on the human body at all, while others have wildly different effects depending on the particular chemical substitutions on the sterol rings. Saying that dioscorea has cortisone-like compounds is like saying that someone with (say) rheumatoid arthritis should eat lots of eggs because they contain cholesterol, which is "cortisone-like." Well, it's cortisone-like in that both are sterols but eating lots of cholesterol isn't going to have any cortisone-like effect on a disease process, because cholesterol doesn't have that kind of action. Nor for that matter, does ingesting cholesterol increase your body's production of cortisone over what you produce already, even though, strictly speaking, cortisone is produced using cholesterol as a precursor.

Diosgenin, the sterol found in Wild Yams, is not "cortisone-like" itself, nor can it be used to form cortisone or DHEA or anything else.