Bitter melon offers sweet benefit in a healthy diet

April 14th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Research News


Buoyed by findings that a bitter melon extract kills breast cancer cells without harming healthy cells, a College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources researcher suggests that the bumpy green tropical fruit may have a place in a cancer prevention diet.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering Pratibha Nerurkar and her Saint Louis University colleagues reported their findings in the March 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

Used in Indian and Asian dishes and traditional medicines, bitter melon is rich in antioxidant flavonoids and vitamin C.

In previous studies, Nerurkar has shown that bitter melon extract in food can lower blood glucose, triglycerides and body weight in mice. Her lab will test whether it has a similar anti-diabetes effect in humans.

Read the abstract.

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