Traditionally used in cooking and to treat many health conditions in India, bitter melon (Momordica charantia) may prove to be an effective aid in cancer treatment.
In a study now detailed in the journal Cell Communication and Signalling, researchers from St Louis University in Missouri conducted preliminary tests by using bitter melon extract on a variety of cancer cells, finding in each case that the cells were stopped from replicating.
Moving onto mouse models, the team found that the extract reduced the incidence of tongue cancer by interfering with the molecules that allow glucose and fat to travel in the body, cutting off much of the food supply to cancerous cells. This stopped tumors from growing and led to the death of some cells.
“All animal model studies that we’ve conducted are giving us similar results, an approximately 50% reduction in tumor growth,” stated Prof Ratna Ray, one of the members of the research team.
The next step for the team is a pilot study to determine whether the benefits of bitter melon are also seen in humans, adding further promise to its potential as an additional cancer therapy.
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Source: Medical News Today