Identifying the compound responsible for the antidiabetic properties of Momordica charantia (bitter melon)

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(Natural News) Researchers from France and Congo investigated the active components of Momordica charantia, also known as bitter melon, and evaluate the antidiabetic properties of its ethanol extract. They reported their findings in an article published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research.

  • The aerial parts of M. charantia are widely used in Traditional Congolese Medicine because of their beneficial properties.
  • For their experiment, the researchers obtained an ethanolic extract from the leafy stem of M. charantia harvested in Congo.
  • After being treated with MSTFA (N-Methyl-N-(trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide), the extract was analyzed using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.
  • The researchers confirmed the presence of a well-known antidiabetic compound — a stigmasterol glucoside, or B-sitosterol compound known as charantine — in the ethanolic extract.
  • They tested the extract on rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes and found that it reduced glycemia significantly by 51.62 percent after three hours.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the presence of antidiabetic charantine in M. charantia growing in Congo justifies its use in Traditional Congolese Medicine.