Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bitter Melon- The New Kid on the Block

Bitter Melon, also known as the Bitter Gourd or Momordica Charantia is a bitter vegetable native to Asia and is used in Asian cooking.  It has been used in Indian medicine to treat diabetes, and is now making a scene on the cancer front.  

Not only does the Bitter Melon have the ability to affect how glucose travels through the body by inhibiting glucose transport, it has the ability to cause apoptosis, or cell death, in cancer cells.  Bitter Melon has proven to be effective against breast, lung, prostate, bladder, colon, liver, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, leukemia and other cancers.  

In regard to breast cancer, the following  study showed very promising results.  When breast cancer cells were exposed to Bitter Melon's extract, 80% of the cancer cells died within 48 hours, and none of the normal cells were affected.   You can see more information about this study here. 

In addition to it's cancer fighting by tumor reduction and prevention of metastasis, it activates AMP-Kinase receptors in the body.  By this activation, and glucose inhibition, it allows the body to lose body fat.  Not a bad side effect for many of us.

Here is some more information regarding Bitter Melon's affect on cancer and you can find links to the numerous studies on this amazing natural compound at the bottom.  


According to the following article, Bitter Melon has great potential for treating diabetes and use for it's chemotherapeutic affects on cancer cells without affecting normal cells within the body.  

Bitter melon: antagonist to cancer.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Metabolic Disorders and Alternative Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.


The incidence of cancer is increasing worldwide, in spite of substantial progress in the development of anti-cancer therapies. One approach to control cancer could be its prevention by diet, which inhibits one or more neoplastic events and reduces cancer risk. Dietary compounds offer great potential in the fight against cancer by inhibiting the carcinogenesis process through the regulation of cell homeostasis and cell-death machineries. For centuries, Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) has recommended the use of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) as a functional food to prevent and treat diabetes and associated complications. It is noteworthy to mention that bitter melon extract has no-to-low side effects in animals as well as in humans. The anti-tumor activity of bitter melon has recently begun to emerge. This review focuses on recent advancements in cancerchemopreventive and anti-cancer efficacy of bitter melon and its active constituents. Several groups of investigators have reported that treatment of bitter-melon-related products in a number of cancer cell lines induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis without affecting normal cell growth. Therefore, the effect of bitter melon should be beneficial for health, and use of the non-modified dietary product is cost effective.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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