Sunday, 19 June 2016

Anti-diabetic properties of bittermelon

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Bitter melon or bitter gourd originated from India and was introduced to many parts of the world. It is widely known for its medicinal benefits. Let's see the top 3 scientifically proven benefits of bitter gourd or  "Momordica charantia". 


1.     Acts as a natural anti-diabetic

Two studies have proven that bitter gourd helps in diabetes mellitus by working the same way as diabetic medications. 

Study by Chandru S et al compared the efficacy of bitter gourd juice and glitazone (a type of diabetic drug) in diabetic rats. In animal studies, it is shown that bitter gourd juice had reduction in blood sugar and was comparable with glitazone

Authors of this study postulate that bitter gourd juice works by increasing insulin sensitivity and causing the pancreas to secrete more insulin. 

"Bitter gourd juice proves to reduce blood sugar level"

Study by Rahman IU et al also reported similar findings among patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. 95 patients in this study took 2g (60mls) or 4g(120mls) of bitter gourd juice daily for 10 weeks. Both groups had blood sugar reduction. Their HBA1C level dropped along with fasting blood glucose level. 

Fuangchan A et al studied the effect of bitter melon and compared it to Metformin 1g, a standard first line medication for diabetes mellitus type 2. They proved that bitter melon juice has blood sugar reducing properties but not as strong as Metformin. This suggests that bitter melon juice can be used as supplement for sugar control in people with diabetes.

2. Added values in people with complications of diabetes

Raish M et al studied the effects of bitter melon juice  on the progression of diabetic kidney disease. Normally in patients with uncontrolled diabetes, many complications develop over time. 

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Kidney failure is one of it, and it causes many patients to be dependent on dialysis machine for the rest of their life. Other than that some patients develop nerve problems, in which patients will feel numbness and tingling over their feet. Some may even lose balance.

In his study, it was shown that bitter melon given by mouth improves kidney function in rats. Scientists suggest that bitter melon provides kidney protection by reducing the high sugar level and also by reducing the oxidative damages to kidney. But more research will be needed to find out if bitter gourd will be effective in patients with complications.  

Study by Kim JW also proves that kidney functions improves with bitter melon juice . This study
focuses mainly on combined effect of oats and bitter melon on sugar level and diabetic nephropathy. But significant reduce in blood sugar and protective effects on kidneys are shown even in rats that were only treated with bitter melon juice. But again, this study did not talk on those with established kidney disease. 

From preliminary information available largely from animal studies, it appear that bitter melon juice helps in reduction of blood sugar level and prevention of diabetic kidney disease. Bitter melon juice has anti-oxidant properties and anti-diabetic properties which help to achieve this. 

How to prepare fresh bitter melon juice

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Use unripe fresh bitter melon

Wash thoroughly, cut the melon and remove the seeds

 Use electric juicer to extract the juice

This method is used in the study by scientists Rahman et al.  

They prepared the bitter melon juice in this manner, and proceeded to freeze it to make it into powder form but it' s not necessary for personal use. 

They discovered anti-diabetic benefits at 2g of bitter gourd juice powders. 2g of powder is equivalent to 60mls of bitter gourd juice. 

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