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J Med Food. 2012 Feb;15(2):101-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.0258. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Antidiabetic potentials of Momordica charantia: multiple mechanisms behind the effects.

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  • Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana. chaturve@mopipi.ub.bw

Abstract

Momordica charantia fruits are used as a vegetable in many countries. From time immemorial, it has also been used for management of diabetes in the Ayurvedic and Chinese systems of medicine. Information regarding the standardization of this vegetable for its usage as an antidiabetic drug is scanty. There are many reports on its effects on glucose and lipid levels in diabetic animals and some in clinical trials. Reports regarding its mechanism of action are limited. So in the present review all the information is considered to produce some concrete findings on the mechanism behind its hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. Studies have shown that M. charantia repairs damaged β-cells, increases insulin levels, and also enhance the sensitivity of insulin. It inhibits the absorption of glucose by inhibiting glucosidase and also suppresses the activity of disaccharidases in the intestine. It stimulates the synthesis and release of thyroid hormones and adiponectin and enhances the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Effects of M. charantia like transport of glucose in the cells, transport of fatty acids in the mitochondria, modulation of insulin secretion, and elevation of levels of uncoupling proteins in adipose and skeletal muscles are similar to those of AMPK and thyroxine. Therefore it is proposed that effects of M. charantia on carbohydrate and fat metabolism are through thyroxine and AMPK.

PMID:
22191631
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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