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Bitter melon may offer 'exciting' cancer promise

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By Nathan Gray+

13-Mar-2013
Last updated on 13-Mar-2013 at 17:26 GMT2013-03-13T17:26:12Z

Bitter melon may offer 'exciting' cancer promise

Bitter melon juice may prevent the development of pancreatic cancer by cutting off the fuel supply to cancerous cells, according to new data.

The research, performed in mouse models and on human cells in a lab, show that bitter melon juice restricts the ability of pancreatic cancer cells to metabolise glucose, therefore cutting off the cells' energy supply and eventually killing the cancer.

Writing in the journal Carcinogenesis, the US-based research team said heir results demonstrate that bitter melon "exerts  in vitro  in vivo, suggesting its clinical usefulness."

"Three years ago researchers showed the effect of bitter melon extract on breast cancer cells only in a Petri dish," explained Dr Rajesh Agarwal from the University of Colorado Denver. " This study goes much, much farther."

"We show that it affects the glucose metabolism pathway to restrict energy and kill pancreatic cancer cells," he said, noting that the team also used bitter melon juice, rather than an extract - as the juice is already consumed in many Asian populations.

"It's a very exciting finding," commented the lead researcher. "Many researchers are engineering new drugs to target cancer cells' ability to supply themselves with energy, and here we have a naturally-occurring compound that may do just that."

4 comments (Comments are now closed)

Bitter melon lovers rejoice!

I love bitter melon. It's great in soups and stir-fries. A health benefit to boot? All the better!

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Posted by Aila
14 March 2013 | 19h222013-03-14T19:22:18Z

RE: RE: Last we will hear of this

Dear Sue.

Just a short note to say that there are social media 'like' and share buttons at the top of the story (just above the headline).

The main set only have a facebook 'like' option but if you press '+' there is another Facebook option that allows you to share.

Also, thank you both (Toby too) for your comments, and please keep the debate going.

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Posted by Nathan Gray - Science Reporter at NutraIngredients
14 March 2013 | 16h192013-03-14T16:19:28Z

RE: Last we will hear of this

Good point, but an informed public is not easily fooled. So these articles ARE important; we just need them more widely publicized. Unfortunately, I don't see a Facebook link or I'd share on my page.

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Posted by Sue Kunstmann
14 March 2013 | 16h072013-03-14T16:07:19Z

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