Various bitter melon preparations have demonstrated hypoglycaemic activity in experimental models, but double-blind controlled studies are not available to determine its clinical effects.
Current evidence of efficacy in diabetes comes from case series and an open study that have shown that bitter melon juice, fruit, and dried powder exerts a moderate hypoglycaemic effect (Basch et al 2003, Ahmad et al 1999). The largest study involved 100 people with type 2 diabetes and found that drinking a homogenised suspension of the vegetable pulp of M. charantia caused a significant reduction (P < 0.001) of postprandial serum glucose in 86% cases and fasting glucose in 5% cases (Ahmad etal 1999).
Bitter melon has shown promising effects in prevention as well as delay in progression of diabetic complications (e.g. nephropathy, neuropathy, cataract and insulin resistance) in experimental animals (Grover &Yadav 2004).
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...