Bitter gourd can cure pancreatic cancer: Latest study

The humble bitter-gourd (also known as bitter melon) is a giant slayer of pancreatic cells, says the latest study by University of Colorando Cancer Centre. The study revealed that bitter gourd juice restricts the ability of pancreatic cancer cells to metabolize glucose, thereby cutting the energy source of the cells, and eventually killing them.

Bitter gourd
Bitter gourd

This is because, the cancer cells mostly depend on glucose for energy, as they are unable to produce alternate forms of energy themselves. Researchers have reported 60% reduction in growth of human pancreatic cells, in the study conducted in mice, which had been transferred with cancerous cells.

Similar results were also found in pancreatic cells grown in petri-dishes in laboratory conditions.

Mortality rates among Pancreatic cancer patients are higher, with the five-year survival rate being as little as 6% after diagnosis.

According to Rajesh Agarwal, University of Colorando Cancer Centre and Prof. at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said that researchers have been trying to evolve new drugs to target cancer cell abilities so as to supply themselves with energy, and bittergourd may help do just that.

Three years ago, researchers had noticed similar effect of bitter gourd extract on breast cancer cells, only in petridish. It affects the glucose metabolism pathway to restrict energy and kill pancreatic cancer cells.

People in Asian countries are already consuming it in plenty, Rajesh pointed out.

Ayurveda’s approach

Bitter gourd, commonly known as bitter melon, is a traditional ayurvedic herb, and is very commonly found in Indian subcontinent, south Asian countries, the Philippines and China.

The fruit is widely used to treat and manage Diabetes Mellitus. The herb is a powerful stimulant which can stimulate pancreas to produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose. Chemically, bitter gourd is thought to have certain chemicals similar to insulin, and is thereby supportive in treating diabetes.

Ayurveda uses bitter gourd juice, leaves and extracts in treating conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia, skin-related problems, to increase urine output, worm infestations, and psoriasis.

Other advantages

is considered to be a good appetizer. It is a good blood cleanser and hence helps evade infections if any, relieves constipation, relieves piles and haemorrhoids, helps in de-worming, treats acne, blackheads and psoriasis, treats wounds and injuries, soothes chronic cough, helps manage menstrual disorders, and most of all, reduces blood sugar levels the natural way.