One fruit that is hugely popular for its health benefits is bitter melon, otherwise known as karela. It can be found in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. While it gets its name from being quite bitter to taste, it is acknowledged as a very potent fruit used in the treatment of several ailments, such as diabetes. Bitter melon has been subjected to several tests, with the aim of validating its potential as a natural treatment for diabetes.
The reason why these tests are vehemently carried out, is because it is now known that diabetes can cause pancreatic cancer and the belief is that, if bitter melon is capable of treating diabetes, then it might also be able to cure pancreatic cancer.
Several research has being carried out in different countries to determine the strength of bitter melon as a cure for diabetes. One of such research was carried out in the first quarter of 2011 and it involved a 28 day clinical trial and the findings were made public as it was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The results indicated that if about 2,000 mg of bitter melon is consumed everyday by sufferers of type II diabetes, their blood sugar levels will be lowered. However, it was also observed that the hypoglycemic results from this dosage was significantly lower than if 1,000 mg of metformin was taken daily by the diabetic patient. In a 2008 edition of Chemistry and Biology, it was stated that people that had consumed bitter melon had better glucose tolerance.
It has been revealed that tumors seem to have some insulin receptors that have the ability of feeding the cancer cells with glucose and leading to their growth and subsequent multiplication. This insulin can instigate the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors, but with the consumption of bitter melon the level of insulin will be controlled and as a consequence the pancreatic cancer will be curtailed.
In a study conducted by Dr. Rajesh Agarwal of Colorado University, bitter melon was examined to know it’s efficacy in dealing with four forms of pancreatic cancer cells in lab mice (in vivo) and in vitro.
The lab mice had pancreatic cancer cells introduced into their body system and these lab mice were separated into two groups. A group of lab mice were given water (placebo) and the other group were fed with juice from bitter melon for a period of 42 days.
It was discovered by researchers that the group of lab mice given the bitter melon juice, had their pancreatic cancer cells hindered from further spread by as much as 60% and also that the pancreatic cancer cells had begin to die off in a process known as apoptosis. What is even more amazing is that there was absolutely no indication of any ill effects of the juice on the lab mice, nor was there any form of toxicity as would have been the case in the treatment of the ailment through chemotherapy.
How Can Bitter Melon Be Consumed?
You can consume bitter melon in the following ways;
- As a raw fruit
- You can juice the fruit
- You can blend it’s seeds and add it to other foods
- You can also obtain bitter melon extract in supplement form, from a natural health store.
If you go to an Asian fruit market, you will be able to purchase bitter melon fruit. You should be careful not to consume more than two ounces of the fruit daily. If you do, you could experience diarrhoea and mild to severe belly pain.
Always get the expert opinion of your doctor before making use of bitter melon as a glycemic regulator, especially if you are already on other conventional medications. As if you combine diabetic drugs with bitter melon it can cause you to have very low blood glucose levels or hypoglycemia.
Bitter melon can also be used in the treatment of the following ailments:
- Minor burns
- Rashes and other skin problems
- Menstrual pains
Source: Build Life Healthy