Bitter melon extract is a substance extracted from bitter gourds through high-technology techniques. Because bitter melon itself has a certain hypoglycemic effect, it can play a role in the auxiliary treatment of diabetes. Then, can bitter melon extract lower blood sugar? Let’s find out.
The nutritional value of bitter melon extract
Bitter melon has long been used as a food for both medicine and food in folklore, and there are many legends about its efficacy. In addition, there are claims in recent years that it contains “plant insulin” and that it can lower blood sugar. The Momordica charantia extract is now a quite popular ingredient.
Bitter melon extract contains a variety of hypoglycaemic ingredients such as momordicosides, bitter melon polysaccharides, peptides, and alkaloids. These components have been shown to lower blood sugar levels in animals in a variety of ways, including resisting free radicals, exerting insulin-like effects, stimulating pancreatic β cells to secrete insulin, and affecting glucose metabolizing enzymes.
Hypoglycemic components of bitter melon extract
The peptide -p or p- insulin in the bitter melon extract is an insulin-like hypoglycaemic protein with a hypoglycaemic effect similar to that of insulin, which is why bitter melon extract is called “plant insulin”.
Another major compound isolated from bitter melon seeds is a glycol alkaloid called vicine. Intraperitoneally, this pyrimidine nucleoside has been shown to induce hypoglycemia in non-diabetic fasted rats.
In the available literature, bitter melon saponins are known to be clinically active components of bitter melon, but not all saponins have hypoglycaemic effects. Among these MCE-B has hypoglycaemic effects in both normal and diabetic mice induced by Alloxan.
Bitter melon polysaccharides have various biological activities such as antioxidant, antidiabetic, immune enhancing, neuroprotective, antitumor, and antibacterial. Both bitter melon base extracted polysaccharide (MCB) and water-extracted polysaccharide (MCW) can reduce streptozotocin STZ-induced fasting blood glucose in diabetic mice.
It can be seen that bitter melon extract does have a certain lowering blood sugar effect. The extraction of bitter melon hypoglycemic components and the development & application of hypoglycemic products have important significance and broad market prospects.