While still not-so-famous in the West, the bitter melon fruit has made quite a reputation for itself in the East, being used in many traditional medicine recipes. The fruit has been said to treat stomach cramps, fever, hemorrhoids, skin infections, glaucoma and most importantly – high blood pressure as well as other serious conditions. Bitter melon is rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as glycoside, acids, peptides, alkaloids, proteins, momordines, charantin, cucurbits, cucurbitacins and more.
The main compounds responsible for the fruit’s hypoglycemic properties are the oleanolic acids, as well as charantin, momordicin and cucurbitanoids. Not only that, but bitter lemon is considered a potential cancer and hypoglycemia cure, according to newest studies.
Bitter Melon and Diabetes
According to scientist from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research as well as the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, the bitter melon fruit is truly a potential diabetes cure. The fruit is known to contain numerous chemical compounds that are capable of activating AMPK that stimulates the glucose receptors movement to the surface of the cells. This increases the uptake of glucose from circulation in the blood into the body tissues like the muscles, thus lowering the levels of blood sugar.
Also, bitter melon has been shown to have modest hypoglycemic effect as well as significantly reducedthe levels of fructosamine from the baseline of the type-2 diabetes patients that were receiving a daily dosage of 2000 mg. Despite that, the bitter lemon’s hypoglycemic effect was no more than metformin at 1000 mg/day.
Bitter Melon and Breast Cancer
Another study from the University of Saint Louis stated that extract from bitter melon can trigger chain reactions on a cellular level that stop the proliferation of breast cancer. The study’s lead scientists concluded that the bitter lemon extract modulates a few signal transduction pathways that induce the death of breast cancer cells. According to him the extract can be utilized as a dietary supplement for preventing breast cancer.
Bitter melon can be consumed both raw or as a part of a smoothie mixture with other fruits or vegetables. If you’re not into consuming raw fruits and vegetables, you can always get the bitter melon supplement from almost all health stores.