The Easter medicine has been using bitter melon for problems like high blood pressure, painful menstruation, kidney stones, colic, malaria, skin infections, fever, hemorrhoids, stomach cramps, diarrhea, high cholesterol, and glaucoma. This plant is high in momordine, cucurbitacins, charantin, cucurbitins, peptides acid, glycoside, alkaloids, proteins, and momorcharins. Scienists believe that the primary constituents that are responsible for the hypoglycemic properties are oleonic acids, momordicin, cucucrbutanoids, and charantin.
Recently, scientists have been pointing out to the anticancer and hypoglycemic properties of bitter melon.
Diabetes and Bitter Melon
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica have done some researches on how to effectively treat type 2 diabetes using bitter melon. It contains chemical compounds which re able to activate AMPK. It encourages glucose transporters movement to the cell surface. If there are more transporters on the surface of the cells then it will increase the uptake of glucose from circulation in the blood into the tissues like muscles. This will lower the blood sugar levels. The researchers came to a conclusion that bitter melon had modest hypoglycemic effects which significantly reduce fructostamine levels from the baseline among the patients who have type 2 diabetes and received 2,000 mg/day. The hypoglycemic effect of this fruit was less than metformin at 1,000 mg/day.
Breast Cancer and Bitter Melon
According to the newest study from St. Louis University, bitter melon extract is able to trigger a chain of events on a cellular level which stops breast cancer cells from multiplying and kills them, too. The extract is able to modulate several signal transduction pathways and this induces the death of breast cancer cells. The extract can be utilized as a dietary supplement for breast cancer prevention. One can consume bitter melon as a fruit, as a drink, or add it into smoothies. There is a supplement form available, too.