Navigation Links
A ton of bitter melon produces sweet results for diabetes
Date:3/27/2008

Scientists have uncovered the therapeutic properties of bitter melon, a vegetable and traditional Chinese medicine, that make it a powerful treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

Teams from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica pulped roughly a tonne of fresh bitter melon and extracted four very promising bioactive components. These four compounds all appear to activate the enzyme AMPK, a protein well known for regulating fuel metabolism and enabling glucose uptake. The results are published online today in the international journal Chemistry & Biology.

We can now understand at a molecular level why bitter melon works as a treatment for diabetes, said Professor David James, Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Program at Garvan. By isolating the compounds we believe to be therapeutic, we can investigate how they work together in our cells.

People with Type 2 diabetes have an impaired ability to convert the sugar in their blood into energy in their muscles. This is partly because they dont produce enough insulin, and partly because their fat and muscle cells dont use insulin effectively, a phenomenon known as insulin resistance.

Exercise activates AMPK in muscle, which in turn mediates the movement of glucose transporters to the cell surface, a very important step in the uptake of glucose from the circulation into tissues in the body. This is a major reason that exercise is recommended as part of the normal treatment program for someone with Type 2 diabetes.

The four compounds isolated in bitter melon perform a very similar action to that of exercise, in that they activate AMPK.

Garvan scientists involved in the project, Drs Jiming Ye and Nigel Turner, both stress that while there are well known diabetes drugs on the market that also activate AMPK, they can have side effects.

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

Garvan has a formal collaborative arrangement with the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica. In addition to continuing to work together on the therapeutic potential of bitter melon, we will be exploring other Chinese medicines.

Professor Yang Ye, from the Shanghai Institute and a specialist in natural products chemistry, isolated the different fractions from bitter melon and identified the compounds of interest.

Bitter melon was described as bitter in taste, non-toxic, expelling evil heat, relieving fatigue and illuminating in the famous Compendium of Materia Medica by Li Shizhen (1518-1593), one of the greatest physicians, pharmacologists and naturalists in Chinas history, said Professor Ye. It is interesting, now that we have the technology, to analyse why it has been so effective.

Some of the compounds we have identified are completely novel. We have elucidated the molecular structures of these compounds and will be working with our colleagues at Garvan to decipher their actions at a molecular level. We assume its working through a novel pathway inside cells, and finding that pathway is going to be very interesting.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alison Heather
a.heather@garvan.org.au
61-292-958-128
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Food peptides activate bitter taste receptors
2. Mouse model for mesothelioma reproduces human disease
3. HealthMedia Fourth Quarter 2007 Produces Highest Revenue in Company History
4. Aggressive Therapy for Crohns Disease Produces Better Outcomes
5. Taxol with avastin produces noteworthy results
6. Stem cell research produces a key discovery for Fragile X Syndrome
7. Photo: Sweet Dreams From Turkey
8. New Web Site Lets You Test Your Sweet-Smarts Just in Time for Valentines Day and Easter
9. Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain
10. Sunsweet Introduces PlumSmart Light(R)
11. Looking For Some Sweet and Healthy Stocking Stuffers?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Healthcare Research ... those in the fight against cancer, has produced a seminal study that asked ... will release top-line findings in a webinar, Defining Compassionate Care Through the Voices ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... CALNOC, the nation’s first and only nursing quality indicators database ... Empowerment, Value and Collaboration – in Seattle, WA on October 23, 2017. , Dr. ... System in Seattle since 2000. In addition to his role at Virginia Mason, Dr. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... HealthPostures, the desk ... an expert sit stand solutions representative to the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show which ... the event that is garnering national attention is the Minneapolis Convention Center. , ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... and lobby of a new healthcare contact center in Georgia, PENETRON Specialty Products ... of the nation’s largest healthcare systems recently invested $51 million to purchase and ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... in recent years. The technology is so cutting edge, in fact, the U.S. ... for stem cell procedures. However, successful patient outcomes in certain clinical stem cell ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 Tillotts Pharma is strengthening ... Berlin office was opened in January 2017 ... portfolio includes Entocort ® for the treatment of ... ulcerative colitis, and VistaPrep ® for bowel preparation ... pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , February 23, 2017 The ... have legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2016. According to ... cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016 ... rate of 17%. While adult recreational sales are projected to ... 2020, with a 25% CAGR. The market may grow faster ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 Orthopedic and cardiac ... as aging demographic patterns lead to an increasing ... sports- and exercise-related injuries, chronic back problems, heart ... sales gains. The future of medical implants faces ... following questions and more: - What types ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: