Bitter melon can lower blood sugar levels and even prevent cancer

University of Colorado Cancer Center, November 11, 2021

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), also known as bitter gourd and balsam pear in other parts of the world, is one of those foods that meet more than your senses of sight and taste. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center demonstrated the vegetable’s ability to fight pancreatic cancer, one of the hardest cancers to treat.

It found that treating pancreatic cancer tumors in mice with 5 milligrams of freeze-dried bitter melon juice every day reduces the tumors’ size and makes them 64 percent smaller than those in untreated mice. What more, bitter melon proved more effective than a common chemotherapy drug used in a similar study, which reduced the tumor size by only 52 percent. The researchers noted that the dosage used in the study caused no adverse effects on the mice and may be adapted for human consumption.

In another study, bitter melon caused apoptosis – cellular death – in four pancreatic cancer cell lines, reducing the viability of two lines by 90 percent and the other two by an impressive 98 percent. It also halted the metastasis and re-growth of the cancer cells. Further research has shown the vegetable’s activity against other types of cancer as well, including blood, colon, liver, stomach, and breast cancers.

If you really don’t think you can take the vegetable’s flavor, you can take it in capsule form. Do note that some studies showing its benefits for blood sugar control used dosages as high as 2,000 mg a day. To ensure that bitter melon supplements are the best for your condition, it would be best to consult with your healthcare provider before taking them.