Lupane health benefit and review of published studies

Lupane type saponin derivatives include lupeol, betulinic acid, and betulin. Lupane is found in a number of herbs including frankincense.

Lupane as anti tumor agent
Hemolytic activity, cytotoxicity and membrane cell permeabilization of semi-synthetic and natural lupane- and oleanane-type saponins.
Bioorg Med Chem. 2009. Gauthier C, Legault J, Girard-Lalancette K, Mshvildadze V, Pichette A, Girard-Lalancette K, Mshvildadze V, Pichette A. Laboratoire LASEVE, Chaire de Recherche sur les Agents Anticancéreux d'Origine Naturelle, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi (Québec), Canada.
The hemolysis of red blood cells inducing toxicity in most animals including humans is a major drawback for the clinical development of saponins as antitumour agents. In this study, the hemolytic and cytotoxic activities as well as the membrane cell permeabilization property of a library of 31 semi-synthetic and natural lupane and oleanane-type saponins were evaluated. It was shown that lupane type saponins do not exhibit any hemolytic activity and membrane cell permeabilization property at the maximum concentration tested independently of the nature of the sugar moieties. While oleanane-type saponins such as beta-hederin and hederacolchiside A cause the death of cancer cell lines by permeabilizing the cellular membranes, lupane type saponins seem to proceed via another mechanism, which could be related to the induction of apoptosis. Altogether, the results indicate that the cytotoxic lupane type glycosides bearing an alpha-l-rhamnopyranose moiety at the C-3 position represent promising anti-tumor agents for further studies on tumor-bearing mice since they are devoid of toxicity associated with the hemolysis of red blood cells.

Sulfated lupane triterpene derivatives and a flavone C-glycoside from Gypsophila repens.
Chem Pharm Bull 2007. Elbandy M, Miyamoto T. Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie, Unité de Molécules d'Intérêt Biologique, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université de Bourgogne, France.
A new sulfated lupane triterpene, Gypsophilin, and its glucosyl ester, Gypsophilinoside were isolated from the roots of Gypsophila repens.

An anti-influenza component of the bark of Alnus japonica.
Arch Pharm Res. 2010; Tung NH, Kwon HJ, Kim JH, Ra JC. College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
This study to identify anti-influenza components of the bark of Alnus japonica resulted in the isolation of four lupane type triterpenes and one steroid. Their structures were characterized on the basis of physicochemical properties, NMR evidence, and ESI-MS data compared with reported data in the literature. Betulinic aldehyde exhibited a particularly strong anti-influenza effect against KBNP-0028 relative to a positive control.