Researches have linked bitter melon and diabetes saying that the vegetable is an effective cure for diabetes. It has potent insulin reduction properties that control the production of insulin by the body and therefore promoting blood glucose control. Bitter melon had been found to contain high amount of chemicals that produce the hypoglycemic effect. Some of the researches show that bitter melon or bitter gourd enhances the cell’s glucose uptake, promotes the release of insulin and makes the insulin more effective as well as reduces cholesterol.
With people going back to natural healing, the health link between bitter melon and diabetes is showing positive results. Alternative medicine originating from India or known as Ayurvedic medicine sees bitter melon as a “plant-insulin” that can be a prospective source of insulin supply. But diabetes patients must not see bitter gourd as a substitute for taking insulin. In India doctors, for instance, bitter melons are dispensed to diabetic patients while in other small countries, bitter melon or bitter gourd is an herbal medicine for diabetes treatment.
What makes bitter gourd a treatment for diabetes? There are actually three important compounds found in bitter melon and diabetes patient can benefit from their ability to reduce blood sugar.
- Charantin is a compound of mixed steroids that is more potent than Tolbutamide, an oral medicine to lower blood sugar.
- Polypeptide P is a polypeptide similar to insulin in its hypoglycemic ability. Alkaline is also observed to lower blood glucose in Type 1 Diabetes although researches are not conclusive on whether the hypoglycemia is the effect of the compounds or if it was combined effect.
- Oleanolic Acid Glycosides have reported improvement in glucose tolerance in Type 2 diabetes. These compounds stop sugar absorption from the intestines. Bitter melon also plays an important role in increased beta cells in the pancreas which in turn improves the body’s insulin production.
Diabetes is a life-threatening disease if not properly treated and bitter herb must not be used as a replacement for insulin. Bitter melon has been used as a natural herb for diabetes but patients should see their doctor and discuss plans for natural herb supplements.