The Power Of Bitter Melon
February 15th, 2015 | by Bella S.
Groups and individuals within the world of health and nutrition are constantly on the lookout for the new ‘super fruit’ that is full of potential goodness and has the properties to be really beneficial to the public overall. Plenty of these super fruits have come and gone including acai berries, grapefruit and cantaloupe, and 2015 brings yet another cycle of discovery in terms of what the hot topic health fruit of the year will be this time. We can confidently tell you that 2015 will be the year of the bitter melon.
Bitter melon is a variety of the fruit that grows in abundance in Africa, Asia and all over the Caribbean. For generations throughout these locations, the food has been used as a home treatment for many human ailments from diabetes to more mild illnesses.
In a recent and innovative study, the juice of the bitter melon has been shown to contribute to the killing of pancreatic cancer cells both in vitro and in test mice in experiments carried out at the University of Colorado. This is down to the fact that cancerous tumors contain strong insulin receptors that draw glucose towards cancer cells to help them divide and grow. As the juice of a bitter melon has been shown to regulate insulin levels, so it follows that this could help to stifle and prevent pancreatic cancer in the long term. Researchers conducting the double experiment found that their results indicated that the bitter melon juice helped in two ways; by inhibiting cancer cell multiplication by up to 60%; and also by inducing cell death. The fact that these results were attained from two separate methods, mice and in vitro, suggest that bitter melon juice could very well be an effective and promising potential way to treat pancreatic and other cancers once subjected to further research.
Numerous studies have also been conducted with an aim to explore the benefits of bitter melon on the treatment of diabetes. This stems from the belief that as the juice of the fruit has been shown to be so effective in regulating insulin levels with regards to pancreatic cancer treatment, then it is reasonable to assume that this process can be applied to diabetic patients also. Results of a 2011 clinical trial published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that noticeable effects were achieved by ingesting a daily dose of 2000mg of bitter melon, with the juice significantly decreasing potentially harmful levels of fructosamine that can be dangerous in type 2 diabetes. A previous study in 2008 proved that compounds within bitter melon significantly improved glycemic control and encouraged cells to uptake more glucose, leading to an overall improved glucose tolerance. Once again, these lab experiments and results give a promising outlook on the potential of using bitter melon to treat diabetes and obesity in the future.
So overall, the current attitude towards the power of bitter melon is that all the research seems to point to the fact that there is great promise in the food for future health care development. Whilst many more clinical trials and studies are needed, there is no doubt that bitter melon has the potential to be a game changing and extremely beneficial plant for the future of medicine and health.