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June 2011 Issue

Bitter Melon: Sweet Solution for Diabetes?

Beneath the green, bumpy skin of the bitter melon awaits substances that might hold potential glucose control benefits. Bitter melon (Momordica charantia,) a cousin of the cantaloupe, is true to its name—it lends a unique, bitter bite to many Asian dishes. In addition to its whole plant form, bitter melon is available in juice, tea or capsules. Given its long history of use in folk medicine, scientists are beginning to investigate its bioactive compounds and therapeutic properties. On the Internet, bitter melon supplements are widely promoted as an herbal treatment for diabetes. But does the scientific proof bear out these claims?

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