Bitter melon contains a chemical that acts like insulin to help reduce blood sugar levels.
People commonly use bitter melon for diabetes, osteoarthritis, athletic performance, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Bitter melon is sometimes called bitter gourd. Don't confuse this with Ivy gourd, which is a different plant.
Uses & Effectiveness ?
We currently have no information for BITTER MELON overview.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if bitter melon is safe. It might cause a rash.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if bitter melon is safe. It might cause a rash. Pregnancy: Bitter melon is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Certain chemicals in bitter melon might harm the pregnancy.
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if bitter melon is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: Bitter melon seeds might cause severe anemia in people who have G6PD deficiency. Until more is known, avoid bitter melon seeds if you have G6PD deficiency.
Surgery: Bitter melon might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using bitter melon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with BITTER MELON
Bitter melon might lower blood sugar levels. Taking bitter melon along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-Glycoprotein Substrates) interacts with BITTER MELON
Some medications are moved in and out of cells by pumps. Bitter melon might change how these pumps work and change how much medication stays in the body. In some cases, this might change the effects and side effects of a medication.
Be cautious with this combination
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Lee-Huang S, Huang PL, Huang PL, et al. Inhibition of the integrase of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 by anti-HIV plant proteins MAP30 and GAP31. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1995;92:8818-22. View abstract.
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Leung SO, Yeung HW, Leung KN. The immunosuppressive activities of two abortifacient proteins isolated from the seeds of bitter melon (Momordica charantia). Immunopharmacol 1987;13:159-71. View abstract.
Naseem MZ, Patil SR, Patil SR, et al. Antispermatogenic and androgenic activities of Momordica charantia (Karela) in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol 1998;61:9-16. View abstract.
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Rahman IU, Khan RU, Rahman KU, Bashir M. Lower hypoglycemic but higher antiatherogenic effects of bitter melon than glibenclamide in type 2 diabetic patients. Nutr J. 2015;14:13. View abstract.
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Shibib BA, Khan LA, Rahman R. Hypoglycaemic activity of Coccinia indica and Momordica charantia in diabetic rats: depression of the hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and elevation of both liver and red-cell shunt enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Biochem J 1993;292:267-70. View abstract.
Somasagara RR, Deep G, Shrotriya S, Patel M, Agarwal C, Agarwal R. Bitter melon juice targets molecular mechanisms underlying gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer cells. Int J Oncol. 2015;46(4):1849-57. View abstract.
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Vikrant V, Grover JK, Tandon N, et al. Treatment with extracts of Momordica charantia and Eugenia jambolana prevents hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia in fructose fed rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;76:139-43. View abstract.
Welihinda J, et al. Effect of Momordica charantia on the glucose tolerance in maturity onset diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol 1986;17:277-82. View abstract.
Wen JJ, Gao H, Hu JL, et al. Polysaccharides from fermented Momordica charantia ameliorate obesity in high-fat induced obese rats. Food Funct. 2019;10(1):448-57. doi: 10.1039/c8fo01609g. View abstract.
Yin RV, Lee NC, Hirpara H, Phung OJ. T. The effect of bitter melon (Mormordica charantia) in patients with diabetes mellitus: s systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Diabetes. 2014;4:e145. View abstract.
Yook JS, Kwak JJ, Jeong WM, et al. Possible adaptogenic effects of Momordica charantia on high-intensity training-induced alteration in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2020;67(3):290-6. View abstract.
Yue J, Sun Y, Xu J, et al. Cucurbitane triterpenoids from the fruit of Momordica charantia L. and their anti-hepatic fibrosis and anti-hepatoma activities. Phytochemistry. 2019;157:21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2018.10.009. View abstract.
Aguwa, C. N. and Mittal, G. C. Abortifacient effects of the roots of Momordica angustisepala. J Ethnopharmacol. 1983;7(2):169-173. View abstract.
Akhtar, M. S. Trial of Momordica charantia Linn (Karela) powder in patients with maturity-onset diabetes. J Pak.Med Assoc 1982;32(4):106-107. View abstract.
Baldwa VS, Bhandara CM, Pangaria A, and et al. Clinical trials in patients with diabetes mellitus of an insulin-like compound obtained from plant source. Upsala J Med Sci 1977;82:39-41.
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Dutta PK, Chakravarty AK, CHowdhury US, and Pakrashi SC. Vicine, a favism-inducing toxin from Momordica charantia Linn. seeds. Indian J Chem 1981;20B(August):669-671.
Kohno, H., Yasui, Y., Suzuki, R., Hosokawa, M., Miyashita, K., and Tanaka, T. Dietary seed oil rich in conjugated linolenic acid from bitter melon inhibits azoxymethane-induced rat colon carcinogenesis through elevation of colonic PPARgamma expression and alteration of lipid composition. Int J Cancer 7-20-2004;110(6):896-901. View abstract.
Lee-Huang, S., Huang, P. L., Sun, Y., Chen, H. C., Kung, H. F., Huang, P. L., and Murphy, W. J. Inhibition of MDA-MB-231 human breast tumor xenografts and HER2 expression by anti-tumor agents GAP31 and MAP30. Anticancer Res 2000;20(2A):653-659. View abstract.
Liu, H. L., Wan, X., Huang, X. F., and Kong, L. Y. Biotransformation of sinapic acid catalyzed by Momordica charantia peroxidase. J Agric Food Chem 2-7-2007;55(3):1003-1008. View abstract.
Nerurkar, P. V., Lee, Y. K., Linden, E. H., Lim, S., Pearson, L., Frank, J., and Nerurkar, V. R. Lipid lowering effects of Momordica charantia (Bitter Melon) in HIV-1-protease inhibitor-treated human hepatoma cells, HepG2. Br J Pharmacol 2006;148(8):1156-1164. View abstract.
Nerurkar, P. V., Pearson, L., Efird, J. T., Adeli, K., Theriault, A. G., and Nerurkar, V. R. Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein gene expression and ApoB secretion are inhibited by bitter melon in HepG2 cells. J Nutr 2005;135(4):702-706. View abstract.
Ng, T. B., Wong, C. M., Li, W. W., and Yeung, H. W. Insulin-like molecules in Momordica charantia seeds. J Ethnopharmacol. 1986;15(1):107-117. View abstract.
Ng, T. B., Wong, C. M., Li, W. W., and Yeung, H. W. Isolation and characterization of a galactose binding lectin with insulinomimetic activities. From the seeds of the bitter gourd Momordica charantia (Family Cucurbitaceae). Int J Peptide Protein Res 1986;28(2):163-172. View abstract.
Pongnikorn, S., Fongmoon, D., Kasinrerk, W., and Limtrakul, P. N. Effect of bitter melon (Momordica charantia Linn) on level and function of natural killer cells in cervical cancer patients with radiotherapy. J Med Assoc Thai. 2003;86(1):61-68. View abstract.
Raman A and Lau C. Anti-diabetic properties and phytochemistry of Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae). Phytomedicine 1996;2(4):349-362.
Rebultan, S. P. Bitter melon therapy: an experimental treatment of HIV infection. AIDS Asia 1995;2(4):6-7. View abstract.
Senanayake, G. V., Maruyama, M., Sakono, M., Fukuda, N., Morishita, T., Yukizaki, C., Kawano, M., and Ohta, H. The effects of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extracts on serum and liver lipid parameters in hamsters fed cholesterol-free and cholesterol-enriched diets. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol.(Tokyo) 2004;50(4):253-257. View abstract.
Senanayake, G. V., Maruyama, M., Shibuya, K., Sakono, M., Fukuda, N., Morishita, T., Yukizaki, C., Kawano, M., and Ohta, H. The effects of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) on serum and liver triglyceride levels in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;91(2-3):257-262. View abstract.
Shekelle, P. G., Hardy, M., Morton, S. C., Coulter, I., Venuturupalli, S., Favreau, J., and Hilton, L. K. Are Ayurvedic herbs for diabetes effective? J Fam.Pract. 2005;54(10):876-886. View abstract.
Srivastava Y. Antidiabetic and adaptogenic properties of Momordica charantia extract:An experimental and clinical evaluation. Phytother Res 1993;7:285-289.
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