BITTER MELON (Momordica charantia): This edible gourd should be every physician’s “go-to” plant for the 16 million or more Americans with high-normal glucose readings or ‘boderline diabetic/metabolic syndrome patients.
Preliminary evidence suggests bitter melon’s hypoglycemic action can be explained through several independent mechanisms: for one, it has been shown to increase peripheral glucose oxidation as well as glucose tolerance and insulin signaling in induced insulin resistance models (Sridhar MG, et al: Br J Nutr. 2008;99(4):806-12. Basch E, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2003;60:356-9). It also decreases hepatic gluconeogenesis, while increasing glycogen synthesis.
Bitter Melon increases insulin output from the pancreas, and it also provides a unique compound called polypeptide-P, which is an insulin mimetic with a similar structure to bovine insulin (Krawinkel MB, Keding GB. Nutr Rev. 2006;64(7 Pt 1):331-7).
Compounds produced by this intriguing gourd have been…
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