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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2005 Sep;60(3):109-12.

Effect of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) on glycaemic status in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats.

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Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India.


Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), a commonly consumed vegetable is used as an adjunct in the management of diabetes mellitus. A study was carried out to examine the effect of edible portion of bitter gourd at 10% level in the diet in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. To evaluate the glycaemic control of bitter gourd during diabetes, diet intake, gain in body weight, water intake, urine sugar, urine volume, glomerular filtration rate and fasting blood glucose profiles were monitored. Water consumption, urine volume and urine sugar were significantly higher in diabetic controls compared to normal rats and bitter gourd feeding alleviated this rise during diabetes by about 30%. Renal hypertrophy was higher in diabetic controls and bitter gourd supplementation, partially, but effectively prevented it (38%) during diabetes. Increased glomerular filtration rate in diabetes was significantly reduced (27%) by bitter gourd. An amelioration of about 30% in fasting blood glucose was observed with bitter gourd feeding in diabetic rats. These results clearly provided experimental evidence that dried bitter gourd powder in the diet at 10% level improved diabetic status signifying its beneficial effect during diabetes.

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