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Is Bitter Melon Good For Diabetes?

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Bitter Melon increases cellular uptake of glucose and improves glucose tolerance. Charantin in Bitter Melon lowers blood-glucose levels. Lectin reduces blood-glucose concentrations by suppressing appetite. Bitter Melon, in some cases, can replace standard treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Avoid excessive consumption as it may cause stomach pain and diarrhea.

Bitter Melon, which is also known as Bitter gourd, is a unique vegetable-fruit used as a food or medicine. It is the edible part of the plant Momordica Charantia and tastes bitter. In fact, it is one of the most bitter tasting vegetables. Nevertheless, this bitter vegetable-fruit is revered for its anti-diabetic properties.

Multiple studies testing the efficacy of Bitter Melon on Maturity Onset Diabetic (MOD) patients, has proven beyond doubt how this bitter vegetable produces significant improvement in glucose tolerance among MOD patients. Statistics revealed that 73 percent of the patients who were administered Bitter Melon juice reported improvements in glucose tolerance.1

Bitter Melon For Diabetes: An Antidote

Bitter Melon has several active constituents that are anti-diabetic in nature. Understand why you should consume bitter melon for diabetes.

Charantin

One of these components is ‘Charantin’ and it is believed to lower blood-glucose levels by a significant degree. A demonstration by Pitiphanpong et al. showed that Charantin could be used to treat diabetes and can potentially replace treatment.2

Lectin

Another component of Bitter Melon is Lectin which has been proven in reducing blood glucose concentrations. Lectin acts on peripheral tissues by suppressing appetite. It is also major factor behind the hypoglycemic effect that develops after eating Bitter Melon.

According to the results of a four-week clinical trial, the administration of 2,000 mg daily dose of Bitter Melon significantly reduced blood glucose levels among patients with type 2 diabetes.3

A report published in the March 2008 deduced that Bitter Melon increased cellular uptake of glucose and improved glucose tolerance.4

Contraindications

Momordica Charantia might prove to be toxic to the liver and reproductive system in animals. Fortunately, these effects have not been reported in human beings despite the extensive use of Bitter Melon as a vegetable and specially for its medicinal properties. Bitter Melon should still be added to the diet with caution as excessive consumption can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Suffice to say that moderation is the key when consuming Bitter Melon.

References   [ + ]

1.Welihinda, J., et al. “Effect of Momordica charantia on the glucose tolerance in maturity onset diabetes.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 17.3 (1986): 277-282.
2.Joseph, Baby, and D. Jini. “Antidiabetic effects of Momordica Charantia (Bitter Melon) and its medicinal potency.”Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease 3.2 (2013): 93-102.
3.Fuangchan, Anjana, et al. “Hypoglycemic effect of bitter melon compared with Metformin in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 134.2 (2011): 422-428.
4.Leung, Lawrence, et al. “Anti-diabetic and hypoglycaemic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon): a mini review.” British Journal of Nutrition 102.12 (2009): 1703-1708.
CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.