Bitter Melon to Fight Diabetes and Cancer
Bitter melon or commonly known as bitter gourd is a sour, green fruit. It is commonly consume in Asia and used around the world for its many medicinal properties.
Benefits of bitter melon include lowering diabetes symptoms, increasing immunity, treating skin problems, fighting free radical damage and inflammation, improving digestion and helping to prevent cancer.
Bitter melon can be eaten raw, cooked or extract and tablet form. Between 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of bitter melon extract daily, or split into 2–3 dosage, is usually recommended for treating most conditions.
Bitter melon should be avoided by those taking diabetic medications, pregnant women and people recovering from surgery.
Bitter Melon for Cancer
Researchers reported that components in bitter melon, which include a triterpenoid called charantin, activate an enzyme called AMPK, which interferes with the cancer cells metabolism of glucose and depriving them of the sugar they need to survive.
In a cell study, bitter melon reduced the viability of all 4 pancreatic cell lines tested, 2 of them by 98% and the other 2 by 90%. Bitter melon not only causes apoptosis, or cell death in cancer cells along several pathways, but can also stop the re-growth and spread of cancer cells.
Bitter gourd also targets other types of cancer. Also, it has shown activity against cancers of the colon, prostate, stomach, liver and naso-pharynx, as well as against leukemia.
Also, scientists at Saint Louis University Cancer Center found that bitter melon fights breast cancer cells as well.
Bitter Melon for Diabetes
Bitter gourd or bitter melon contains many compounds, but there are 3 main active compounds that make it such an effective natural medicine for diabetes. These compounds, Vicine, Polypeptide-p and Charatina, imitates the human insulin and help the cells to take up sugar molecules, stimulate the liver, the muscle glycogen synthesis (packing several glucose molecules together), increase insulin secretion and decrease glucose absorption in the body. Another molecule, known as momordin, also helps regulate fatty acid (which are broken down fat molecules) storage and glucose metabolism.
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