Blood glucose lowering
Bitter melon comprises no less than 4 ingredients with blood glucose-lowering properties:
- A chemical substance called charantin
- A compound called vicine
- An insulin-like compound generally known as polypeptide-p
- A protein called lectin
These substances all work to assist reduce blood sugar levels.
Researchers in Thailand studied whether bitter melon lowered blood glucose levels, compared with metformin, in individuals who were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The study participants were split into 4 groups, to receive 500 milligrams, 1,000 milligrams or 2,000 milligrams of bitter melon per day, or 1,000 milligrams of metformin per day. While bitter melon did lower blood glucose levels, it didn’t have as much of an effect because the metformin did. For further details about this study, click here.
Quite a few other studies were less conclusive. Bitter melon did reduce blood sugar levels in lots of study participants, but not by enough to make an actual difference to an individual’s diabetes management. A 2014 study concluded that that while it seems that bitter melon has a helpful effect on blood glucose levels in individuals with either diabetes or pre-diabetes, more studies are needed to find out whether the vegetable might play a task within the management of diabetes.
Diabetes management aside, bitter melon can also be used in its place medicine in lots of parts of the world to treat colic, fever, burns, chronic cough and painful menstruation.
Whether it lowers your blood glucose levels or not, bitter melon packs a solid dietary punch. It provides source iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin B-6. It’s also wealthy in lutein, a vitamin that’s crucial for eye health.