Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Bitter Melon Produces Sweet Results for Diabetes
More studies into Type 2 diabetes. Many of my friends have Type 2, and we trade info back and forth - and we often confused and overwhelmed with all the info coming out on the subject of Diabetes in general - along with new treatments - Charles
Scientists have uncovered the therapeutic properties of bitter melon, a vegetable and traditional Chinese medicine, that make it a powerful treatment for Type 2 diabetes.
Teams from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica pulped roughly a tonne of fresh bitter melon and extracted four very promising bioactive components.
These four compounds all appear to activate the enzyme AMPK, a protein well known for regulating fuel metabolism and enabling glucose uptake. The results are published in the International Chemistry & Biology Journal.
People with Type 2 diabetes have an impaired ability to convert the sugar in their blood into energy in their muscles. This is partly because they don’t produce enough insulin, and partly because their fat and muscle cells don’t use insulin effectively, a phenomenon known as ‘insulin resistance’.
Exercise activates AMPK in muscle, which in turn mediates the movement of glucose transporters to the cell surface, a very important step in the uptake of glucose from the circulation into tissues in the body. This is a major reason that exercise is recommended as part of the normal treatment program for someone with Type 2 diabetes.
The four compounds isolated in bitter melon perform a very similar action to that of exercise, in that they activate AMPK.