Bitter Melon Compound Could Help Reverse Insulin Resistance

| October 29, 2016

In earlier posts here and here, I have written about the incredible benefits that certain herbs can have on controlling blood-sugar levels. One of the best natural remedies for diabetes is the bitter melon (Momordica charantia), which has been shown in clinical trials to be an effective antidiabetic agent and – unlike standard drugs – to have no undesirable side effects.1

Now, researchers have pinpointed the natural chemical present in bitter melon that accounts for its amazing ability to aid the reversal of insulin resistance. The scientists, at China Medical University, Taiwan, have identified an insulin receptor-binding peptide in the fruit, dubbedmcIRBP-19, that helps insulin attach itself to receptors on muscle cells.2

The peptide also stimulates production of the glucose transporter protein GLUT-4, which carries glucose from the blood into cells. Studies with diabetic mice showed that the bitter melon compound stimulates the uptake of glucose by muscle cells and so lowers the level of glucose in the blood stream. The diabetes medication metformin works in a similar way but, as I explained here, this drug has been linked with increased risks of both heart disease and thyroid dysfunction.

Unlike metformin and other diabetes drugs, bitter melon doesn’t just contain a single active ingredient. In addition to the specific peptide identified in the new study, the plant contains around 225 other bioactive compounds, many of which appear to have antidiabetic effects.

Studies show that, in addition to helping reverse insulin resistance, natural plant chemicals in bitter melon could help pancreatic beta-cells to recover, increase in number and start to produce insulin again.3 A lack of insulin production is not only a characteristic of type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune disease that attacks the beta-cells), but also of advanced type 2 diabetes, where the pancreas becomes “worn out” from the constant demand for insulin due to high blood-sugar levels.

As I mentioned in a recent post, getting blood-sugar down to target levels is often the “holy grail” of type 2 diabetes treatment. But while this may help to reduce cardiovascular risks for some patients, a recent study shows that for others it could increase those risks. I’ll tell you more about this in my next blog post.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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1. Salam MA, El-Gengaihi SE, Zikry EN. Preliminary clinical trials of karela, Momordica charantia, on non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients. Egypt Pharmaceut J. 2015; 14:69-74.

2. Lo HY, Li CC, Ho TY, Hsiang CY. Identification of the bioactive and consensus peptide motif from Momordica charantia insulin receptor-binding protein. Food Chem. 2016; 204:298-305.

3. Joseph B, Jini D. Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency. Asian Pac J Trop Dis. 2013; 3(2):93-102.

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Category: Diabetes, Natural Diabetes Alternatives

Comments (2)

Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.

  1. Bhagwandas Billawa says:

    What is that bitter melon. Where will we going to get that and how to use that. Please explain

    • Martin Hum says:

      Bitter melon can be found at most fresh food markets and in select supermarkets on the high street.