Bitter Melon Health Benefits for Diabetes
Clinical Studies for bitter melon demonstrated hypoglycemic properties
(blood sugar lowering) or other actions of potential benefit against diabetes mellitus. The
hypoglycemic chemicals found in bitter Melon include a mixture of steroidal saponins known as charantins, insulin-like
peptides, and alkaloids.
The anti-diabetic effect is more pronounced in the fruit of bitter melon
where these chemicals are in greater abundance. The bitte melon fruit has also shown the
ability to enhance cells’ uptake of glucose,
to promote insulin release, and potentiate the effect
In other in vivo studies, bitter melon fruit and/or seed has been shown to reduce total
cholesterol and triglycerides in both the presence and absence of dietary cholesterol.
study, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diabetic rats were returned to normal after
10 weeks of treatment. (Source: Journal of Chemistry and Biology, March 2008)
Anti-obesity and Antidiabetic Health Benefits of Bitter Melon Juice
A study done in The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii to investigate the effects of bitter melon juice on lipid accumulation and adipocyte differentiation transcription factors in primary human differentiating preadipocytes and adipocytes. has shown that preadipocytes treated with varying concentrations of bitter melon juice during differentiation demonstrated significant reduction in lipid content with a concomitant reduction in mRNA expression of adipocyte transcription factors. Similarly, adipocytes treated with bitter melon juice for 48 hours demonstrated reduced lipid content, perilipin mRNA expression, and increased lipolysis as measured by the release of glycerol.
This study suggests that bitter melon juice is a potent inhibitor of lipogenesis and stimulator of lipolysis activity in human adipocytes. Bitter melon juice may therefore prove to be an effective complementary or alternative therapy to reduce adipogenesis in humans. (Source: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010, 10:34)
Bitter Melon Health Benefits for Colon Cancer
A study done in University of Kansas Medical Center had determined the efficacy of methanolic extracts of bitter melon on colon cancer stem and progenitor cells. Results have shown that the methanolic bitter melon extracts showed significant inhibition of cell proliferation and colony formation. In addition, the cells were arrested at the S phase of cell cycle. Moreover, bitter melon extract induced the cleavage of LC3B but not caspase 3/7, suggesting that the cells were undergoing autophagy and not apoptosis. Bitter melon extract reduced cellular ATP levels coupled with activation of AMP activated protein kinase; on the other hand, exogenous additions of ATP lead to revival of cell proliferation. Finally, BMW treatment results in a dose-dependent reduction in the number and size of colonospheres. The extracts also decreased the expression of DCLK1 and Lgr5, markers of quiescent, and activated stem cells. Taken together, these results suggest that the extracts of bitter melon can be an effective preventive/therapeutic agent for colon cancer. (Source: Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal. 2013)
Anti-cancer Health Benefits of Bitter Melon Methanol Extract
A study done in Tzu Chi University in Taiwan explored the potential effectiveness of Momordica charantia (Bitter Melon) against human cancer cell lines. Methanol extract of bitter melon was used to evaluate the cytotoxic activity on four human cancer cell lines, Hone-1 nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells, AGS gastric adenocarcinoma cells, HCT-116 colorectal carcinoma cells, and CL1-0 lung adenocarcinoma cells. The methanol extract of bitter melon showed cytotoxic activity towards all cancer cells tested, with the approximate IC(50) ranging from 0.25 to 0.35 mg/mL at 24 h. Methanol extract of bitter melon induced cell death was found to be time-dependent in these cells. The apoptogenic protein, Bax, was increased, whereas Bcl-2 was decreased after treating for 24 h in all cancer cells, indicating the involvement of mitochondrial pathway in methanol extract of bitter melon -induced cell death. These findings indicate that methanol extract of bitter melon has cytotoxic effects on human cancer cells and exhibits promising anti-cancer activity by triggering apoptosis through the regulation of caspases and mitochondria. (Source: Evidence Based Complementart Alternative Medicine. 2012
Bitter Melon Side Effects
In large dozes, pure bitter melon juice can be purgative and may cause abortion of pregnancy.