C.K. Chin, S.A. Garrison
Notable quantity (~0.01% fresh weight) of protodioscin, a saponin, is present in green asparagus spears. A number of cell and animal studies have shown that protodioscin possesses several bioactivities, which include strong cytotoxic activities against many cancer cell lines, increase levels of androgens, and enhancement of sexual activities. A moiety of protodioscin, diosgenin, has been found to reduce cholesterol uptake and serum LDL levels, but not the HDL levels. Diosgenin has also been shown to prevent the initiation and development of colon cancer in rat induced by carcinogen azoxymethane. Rutin, a flavonoid, is also present in notable quantity (~0.03% fresh weight) in green asparagus spears. Rutin and its aglycone, quercetin, are antioxidants. Both quercetin and rutin have been found to reduce the events of colon cancer in mice induced by azoxymethane.
Chin, C.K. and Garrison, S.A. (2008). FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS FROM ASPARAGUS FOR HUMAN HEALTH. Acta Hortic. 776, 219-226
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.776.27
Asparagus officinalis L., protodioscin, saponin, diosgenin, rutin, flavonoid

Acta Horticulturae