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In the ongoing quest to combat diseases like cancer and diabetes, Western medicine faces significant challenges. However, amidst these uncertainties, the potency of healing foods, such as bitter melon, offers a ray of hope for relief.
Amid the alarming statistics the National Cancer Institute projected, revealing 297,790 new breast cancer cases and an estimated 43,170 fatalities in 2023, some hope emerges. Recent research highlights a unique Asian melon variety, showing potential in combating this aggressive and deadly disease and holding promise against other forms of cancer.
Bitter melon: Ancient wisdom meets modern science in the fight against diseases
Bitter melon, scientifically known as Momordica charantia and also recognized as bitter gourd, balsam pear, and karela, belongs to the pumpkin family and originates in South America, Asia, parts of Africa, and the Caribbean.
Rich in powerful antioxidants and possessing potent anti-inflammatory properties, bitter melon has served as both a nutritious food and a vital herbal remedy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries. Its healing potential was highly esteemed by Li Shizhen, the legendary physician and pharmacologist of sixteenth-century China, who included it in the renowned Compendium of Materia Medica.
Fast forward five hundred years and modern research provides compelling evidence to validate bitter melon’s disease-fighting effects, bridging ancient wisdom with cutting-edge science.
New research unveils a natural way to inhibit cancer cell growth
The article titled “The Role of Bitter Melon in Breast and Gynecological Cancer Prevention and Therapy” was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and presents a comprehensive review of the literature on the potential anticancer effects of bitter melon on breast, ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancer cells.
The research highlights promising outcomes, including inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and potential synergistic effects with standard chemotherapy. The findings of this study are significant as they provide valuable insights into the potential use of bitter melon as a natural and adjunctive therapeutic option for gynecological cancers. With its demonstrated anticancer properties, bitter melon could offer a promising avenue for cancer prevention and therapy, potentially complementing existing treatment approaches and improving patient outcomes.
How to effectively target cancer cells directly
A second article looked at how a substance called BMVE (bitter melon-derived vesicle extract) can fight breast cancer. Study authors found that BMVE, with an average size of about 147 nm, was able to enter breast cancer cells and slow down their growth and movement.
It also causes breast cancer cells to undergo a process called apoptosis, where they essentially self-destruct by generating reactive oxygen species and affecting their mitochondria. This suggests that BMVE could be a potential natural alternative to toxic cancer treatments by targeting cancer cells directly.
Support healthy blood sugar levels with this bitter superfood
Extensive research has confirmed bitter melon’s powerful blood sugar-lowering effects – which go to work against diabetes in a variety of ways. Studies have shown that bitter melon increases the cellular uptake of glucose, improves glucose tolerance, and stimulates insulin secretion.
When it comes to fighting diabetes, this unusual melon has no shortage of ammunition. Glycosides such as charantin, momordin, and vicine all help to decrease blood glucose concentrations, and one compound found in bitter melon – polypeptide-9 – has qualities similar to insulin.
Bitter melon’s ability to activate the enzyme AMPK – which helps to regulate metabolism and enable glucose uptake – mimics the beneficial effects of exercise. Significantly, AMPK activation is also instrumental in the way bitter melon attacks cancer cells.
How should I eat this bitter superfood?
You can find fresh, organic bitter melon at Asian markets. The bitter flavor can be something of an acquired taste – some aficionados advise stir-frying it with milder vegetables such as non-GMO (organic) corn, bell peppers, or carrots.
In addition, bitter melon supplements are available in capsule form. Studies showing blood sugar reduction have used up to 2,000 mg a day. But, naturally, you should discuss supplementation with a qualified healthcare provider before trying it.
Research into the clinical applications of bitter melon is ongoing. But one thing is already clear: when it comes to fighting life-threatening diseases, the benefits of this mouth-puckering bitter food may turn out to be pretty sweet.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purpose.