[Effects of Bitter Melon] Abundant Natural Insulin,  3 Benefits of Bitter Melon

[Effects of Bitter Melon] Abundant Natural Insulin, 3 Benefits of Bitter Melon

Dec 03, 2023KimSunhyo

[Effects of Bitter Melon] Abundant Natural Insulin, 3 Benefits of Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon
3 Benefits of Bitter Melon
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Bitter Melon
1. Decreases fasting blood glucose
2. Improves metabolic syndrome
3. Anti-glycosylation

Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.

There's one food that has been gaining popularity recently in the context of diabetes management, and it's "bitter melon." Bitter melon, belonging to the gourd family, is characterized by its elongated and bumpy appearance, which has earned it the nickname "Goblin's Club" due to its unique look.

Bitter melon's recognition for its anti-diabetic properties is attributed to its components, particularly P-insulin and carantin found in bitter melon. P-insulin is known as "plant insulin" or "natural insulin" because it acts similarly to human insulin in the body. Carantin, on the other hand, activates the beta cells in the pancreas, responsible for producing and secreting insulin.

Bitter melon is also rich in the antioxidant vitamin C and contains other compounds like momordicin, which helps regulate cholesterol, and conjugated linolenic acid, which aids in weight management.

Now, let's explore how bitter melon can exert its anti-diabetic effects through human clinical trials involving diabetic patients.

1. Decreases Fasting Blood Glucose

Do you know your fasting blood glucose levels? Fasting blood glucose levels of less than 100 mg/dL are considered normal, 100-125 mg/dL are indicative of impaired fasting glucose, and levels of 126 mg/dL or higher are typically diagnosed as diabetes.

During sleep, our blood glucose naturally drops to some extent because we can't eat while we're asleep. To prevent blood sugar from dropping excessively, the liver produces glucose during the night. In individuals with diabetes, insulin, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar, doesn't function properly, leading to excessive glucose production by the liver. Therefore, high fasting blood glucose levels can be an indicator of diabetes.

In this regard, I'd like to introduce a human clinical trial that aimed to investigate whether bitter melon can lower fasting blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. In 2020, a group of researchers in South Korea had 96 diabetic patients consume bitter melon extract for 12 weeks, and the results showed a significant decrease in average fasting blood glucose levels.

"The group consuming bitter melon extract showed a decrease in average fasting blood glucose levels."

Reference :  Kim, S. K., Jung, J., Jung, J. H., Yoon, N., Kang, S. S., Roh, G. S., & Hahm, J. R. (2020). Hypoglycemic efficacy and safety of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Complementary therapies in medicine, 52, 102524.
2. Improves Metabolic Syndrome

Fasting blood glucose levels are also an important diagnostic criterion for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when individuals meet three or more of the following criteria: high fasting blood glucose, increased waist circumference, elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol. Having metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk of developing conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer.

In 2012, a group of researchers in Taiwan conducted a human clinical trial with 42 adults who met the criteria for metabolic syndrome, having 3-5 of the specified factors. The trial aimed to investigate whether bitter melon consumption could improve metabolic syndrome.

After three months of taking bitter melon capsules, not only did the incidence of metabolic syndrome decrease, but there was also a significant reduction in waist circumference.

"The reduction in the incidence of metabolic syndrome was highest at the end of the 3-month supplementation period and significantly differed from the baseline. This difference was significantly maintained for up to 4 months (1 month after supplementation was stopped). (Omitted) Waist circumference also significantly decreased after supplementation."

Reference :  Tsai, C. H., Chen, E. C., Tsay, H. S., & Huang, C. J. (2012). Wild bitter gourd improves metabolic syndrome: a preliminary dietary supplementation trial. Nutrition journal, 11, 4.
3. Anti-glycation

For diabetic patients, it's not just fasting blood glucose that needs attention. What truly impairs their quality of life and increases mortality rates are not blood glucose levels themselves but diabetic complications.

To prevent diabetic complications, it's crucial to remember the role of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). These are substances commonly referred to as "glycotoxins" and are known as culprits in diabetic complications and aging. AGEs are formed when blood glucose reacts with various protein components in the body. They can also accumulate in the body from consuming high-fat or high-protein animal-derived foods cooked at high temperatures.

Reducing the levels of these AGEs is referred to as "anti-glycation." I'd like to introduce a human clinical trial that investigated the anti-glycation activity of bitter melon. In this study, diabetic patients were given 6g of bitter melon containing carantin daily for 16 weeks, and the results showed a significant reduction in AGEs after this period.

"Furthermore, the group consuming bitter melon showed a significant reduction in total serum Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) after 16 weeks of intervention."

Reference :  Trakoon-osot, W., Sotanaphun, U., Phanachet, P., Porasuphatana, S., Udomsubpayakul, U., & Komindr, S. (2013). Pilot study: Hypoglycemic and antiglycation activities of bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.) in type 2 diabetic patients. Journal of Pharmacy Research, 6(8), 859-864. ISSN 0974-6943.

Today, we've explored the benefits of bitter melon through research. As we've seen, bitter melon is a substance that can help lower blood glucose levels and alleviate health problems caused by hyperglycemia.

However, there are individuals who should exercise caution when consuming bitter melon. Bitter melon is high in potassium, so individuals with chronic kidney disease, who have difficulty excreting potassium, should avoid its consumption. Additionally, if you are already taking diabetes medications, it's advisable to consult with your primary care physician before incorporating bitter melon into your diet.

I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.

More articles

Comments (0)

There are no comments for this article. Be the first one to leave a message!

Leave a comment