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J Nat Med. 2009 Jan;63(1):52-7. doi: 10.1007/s11418-008-0294-4. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Simultaneous determination of seven saponins in the roots of Codonopsis lanceolata by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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Healthcare Research Institute, Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, 1624 Shimokotachi, Kodacho, Akitakata, Hiroshima, 739-1195, Japan.


We developed a rapid and simple analytical method for the simultaneous determination of seven 3,28-bidesmosidic triterpenoid saponins in the roots of Codonopsis lanceolata. The saponins are lancemaside A, lancemaside B, lancemaside C, lancemaside E, lancemaside G, foetidissimoside A, and aster saponin Hb. Root samples were extracted with 50% methanol and prepared for analysis. Saponins were detected by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, and ginsenoside Rb(1) was used as an internal standard. The overall recoveries of all saponins were 92-116%, and the relative standard deviation values of intra- and inter-day precision were lower than 3.7 and 7.7%, respectively. Eight root samples collected from Korea and Japan were analyzed using the developed method. Lancemaside A was the most abundant saponin in the root samples from Korea, ranging from 2.65 to 3.64 mg/g dry root. However, the maximum content of lancemaside A among Japanese samples was 0.101 mg/g dry root.

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