Could Bitter Melon Help In The Difficult Battle Against Pancreatic Cancer?

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Bitter Melon Juice and Diabetes

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study in 2011, by Fuangchan A, et al. which showed modest hypoglycemic effects and significant fructosamine stabilisation in those taking 2000mg/day of bitter melon.Unknown

“Bitter melon had a modest hypoglycemic effect and significantly reduced fructosamine levels from baseline among patients with type 2 diabetes who received 2,000 mg/day. However, the hypoglycemic effect of bitter melon was less than metformin 1,000 mg/day.”

In a separate study from 2008, Tan, MJ et al. indicated that certain compounds isolated in bitter melon improved control of glycemic levels, specifically helping cells to uptake glucose. They found an overall improvement in glucose tolerance. These findings indicate that cucurbitane triterpenoids, the characteristic constituents of M. charantia (compounds of bitter melon), may provide leads as a class of therapeutics for diabetes and obesity.

It seems therefore that bitter melon can aid in the regulation of diabetes, therefore, it would in turn help to prevent pancreatic cancer. And more encouraging still, are results discussed below that show reductions in the rate of cancerous tumour growth in the pancreas and even death of pancreatic cancer cells as a result of taking the supplement.

Bitter Melon Juice and Pancreatic Cancer

A study published in the Oxford Journals by Manjinder Kaur et al found that Bitter melon juice activated cellular energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase causing apoptotic death of human pancreatic carcinoma cells.Unknown-1

This study tested 4 lines of pancreatic cancerous cells in vivo and in vitro.  They injected a group of mice with pancreatic cancer cells and then proceeded to feed the control group with water, and the other half with bitter melon juice. The results showed that tumour growth was inhibited by 60% in the group ingesting the bitter melon, and evidence of strong apoptotic death (programmed death of the cancerous cells). The juice was found to decrease cell viability in all four pancreatic carcinoma cell lines.

“IHC analyses of MiaPaCa-2 xenografts showed that BMJ(Bitter Melon Juice) also inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis and activates AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) in vivo. Overall, BMJ exerts strong anticancer efficacy against human pancreatic carcinoma cells, both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting its clinical usefulness.”

The results are extremely promising, and this study has opened the door to further research into this area.

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