facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Bitter melon may help type 2 diabetics

April 3, 2008 at 12:18 PM   |   Comments

SYDNEY, April 3 (UPI) -- Bitter melon, a fruit used in traditional Chinese medicine, may help people with type 2 diabetes, Chinese and Australian researchers say.

Dr. Jiming Ye of the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica said the researchers used 1 ton of the fruit to extract four bioactive components and found all four appear to activate the enzyme AMPK, which regulates fuel metabolism and aids in glucose uptake.

The findings, published online in Chemistry & Biology, liken the action of the four compounds to that of exercise which also activates AMPK. Drugs are also used to activate AMPK, but these may have side effects.

"The advantage of bitter melon is that there are no known side effects," Ye said in a statement. "Practitioners of Chinese medicine have used it for hundreds of years to good effect."

Exercise activates AMPK in muscle, which in turn mediates the movement of glucose transporters to the cell surface -- the major reason that exercise is recommended for those with type 2 diabetes.

"We can now understand at a molecular level why bitter melon works as a treatment for diabetes," David James of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney said in a statement.

Topics: David James
© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
2
India asks Pepsi to cut down on sugar in its soft drinks
3
Child vaccination rates are high, CDC says
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
NIH to test safety of Ebola vaccine candidate
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback