Anti-diabetic and hypoglycaemic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon): a mini review

Br J Nutr. 2009 Dec;102(12):1703-8. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509992054.

Abstract

It has been estimated that up to one-third of patients with diabetes mellitus use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. Momordica charantia (bitter melon) is a popular fruit used for the treatment of diabetes and related conditions amongst the indigenous populations of Asia, South America, India and East Africa. Abundant pre-clinical studies have documented the anti-diabetic and hypoglycaemic effects of M. charantia through various postulated mechanisms. However, clinical trial data with human subjects are limited and flawed by poor study design and low statistical power. The present article reviews the clinical data regarding the anti-diabetic potentials of M. charantia and calls for better-designed clinical trials to further elucidate its possible therapeutic effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Momordica charantia / adverse effects
  • Momordica charantia / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rats
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Triterpenes / analysis

Substances

  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Triterpenes
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases