Helps with diabetes: bitter melons work against high blood sugar
The number of diabetes patients has been increasing worldwide for years. As researchers recently reported, one in eight people will be affected by the disease by 2045. With the right diet, diabetes can be controlled in many cases. The bitter melon can also help those affected. The vegetables can have a positive effect on blood sugar.
Get a grip on diabetes naturally
Around seven million people with diabetes live in Germany. Around 350 million people worldwide are affected by the so-called diabetes. According to health experts, the disease can often be cured naturally, especially in its early stages. This requires a healthy lifestyle with sufficient exercise and the right diet with fewer calories. Because often losing weight can normalize the insulin level again. Certain foods appear to be particularly beneficial for diabetics. Researchers have now found out that eating bitter melons (also known as bitter cucumbers) can have a positive effect on blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar lowering effects of bitter melon examined
As reported by the Justus Liebig University Gießen (JLU) in a communication, a bitter cucumber extract can significantly lower fasting blood sugar in people in the early stages of type 2 diabetes - so-called prediabetics.
Nutritionists were able to demonstrate this positive effect of bitter cucumber in a randomized double-blind trial in which the test subjects were assigned to different groups using a random mechanism.
The results of the study were recently published in the international "Journal of Ethnopharmacology".
They build on joint research in Gießen, Taiwan and Tanzania, in which the blood sugar-lowering effects of bitter cucumber (Momordica charantia) have been investigated in the past ten years.
Of particular importance for people in poorer countries
As the head of the study, Prof. i.R. Dr. Michael Krawinkel from the Institute of Nutritional Science at the Justus Liebig University Gießen (JLU) explained that, for ethical reasons, only subjects who were in the early stages of diabetes mellitus and who did not yet need drug therapy were included in the study.
The selection of this study group inevitably means that the measured deviations are not very large. It was all the more difficult to prove the effect. However, this was definitely successful.
The study found that the higher the initial value, the greater the effect on fasting blood sugar.
For the scientists involved, this means that an even stronger effect can be expected for the group of diabetics than could be observed with prediabetics.
Because the dietary approach is particularly important for people who do not have secure access to adequate drug treatment, the study was conducted in the city of Moshi, Tanzania, at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center.
Several components responsible for the effect of the bitter cucumber
As stated in the communication from the university, chronic non-infectious diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus have spread worldwide over the past few decades because dietary habits have changed.
This poses enormous challenges not only for individuals and their families, but also for decision-makers in countries with little money for healthcare.
This measures the importance of prevention and treatment through a diet that prevents diabetes and its consequences. In addition to general rules, special vegetables can play a special role in this diet.
It has been known for a long time that bitter cucumber ('karela' or 'bitter melon') influences blood sugar, but so far there has been no study that has been able to show the effect as scientifically stable as significant.
The test material made from bitter cucumber and cucumber for comparison was produced in the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan, where preliminary studies had also been carried out in cooperation with the Working Group on International Nutrition at the Giessen Institute of Nutritional Science.
These showed that not a single active ingredient, but several components are responsible for the effect of the bitter cucumber. (ad)