BITTERMELON AS AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR DIABETES
Bittermelon, Momordica charantia, has been used in the Orient as a food supplement for diabetes, gastrointestinal therapy, cancer and viral infections. In Myanmar, China and India, it is highly valued for its anti-diabetic activity.
Bittermelon has twice the potassium of bananas, and it has shown to increase the number of beta cells, those which produce insulin, in the pancreas. Nutritional analysis of bittermelon reveals that it is rich in iron and it has twice the beta carotene of broccoli. It also contains calcium, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3 and C, not to mention fiber and phosphorus.
Bittermelon is anti-diabetic, its medicinal quality has shown to increase the production of beta cells by the pancreas, thereby improving the body’s ability to produce insulin. It is one of the few agents which has the potential to bolster a flagging pancreas.
There are three different groups of constituents in bittermelon that have been reported to have hypoglycemic, blood sugar lowering, actions potential benefit in diabetes mellitus. These include a mixture of saponins, known as charantin, insulin like peptides and alkaloids. Bittermelon fruit has shown to improve glucose tolerance in Type II diabtes and the active ingredients are oleanolic acid glycosides, MOMORDINS which prevent absorption of sugar from intestines.