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Table 4 Studies showing anti-diabetic properties of bitter gourd fruit and extracts

From: A comprehensive review on bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) as a gold mine of functional bioactive components for therapeutic foods

Sl No

Nature of study

Treatment given

Results obtained



In vivo trial in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats

Bitter gourd in powder form incorporated at 10% level at expense of equivalent amount of corn startch in AIN 76 basal diet for 45 days

Improved diabetic status by significant reduction in glomerular filtration rate

Shetty et al. 2005


In vivo study in insulin resistant db/db mice

Administration of whole fruit powder, a lipid fraction, a saponin fraction or the hydrophilic residue of bitter gourd at a daily dosage of 150 mg/ kg body weight for 5 weeks

Lower glycated Hb level in all treatment groups

Saponin and lipid fraction treated group shown reduced lipid peroxidation in adipose tissue

Reduced protein tyrosine phosphate 1 B (PTB 1 B) activity in skeletal muscles (first study to demonstrate PTB 1 B regulation)

Klomann et al. 2010


Multicentre, randomised, double blind, active control trial in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients

Bitter melon capsule with 500 mg of dried powder of fruit pulp containing 0.04 – 0.05 (w/w) of charantin at the rate of 500/1000/2000 mg bittermelon per day and 1000 mg metformin per day for 4 weeks.

Modest hypoglycaemic effect and significant reduction in fructosamine levels from baseline in 2000 mg treated patients. But less effect than metformin 100 mg per day

Fuangchan et al. 2011


Randomised clinical trial on diabetic patients

45 ml of bitter gourd fermented beverage as a morning drink

Significant improvement in reducing symptoms of diabetes, reduced fasting and post prandial blood sugar

Devaki & Premavalli 2014


In vivo rat model with induced diabetes with streptozotocin

Administration of fruit extract at the rate of 1.5 g /kg of rats for 28 days after induction of diabetes

Improved vascular compilation by decreasing blood pressure, serum total cholesterol, triglyceride levels, aortic tissue MDA level

Increased aortic nitrous oxide level

Abas et al. 2015


Preliminary clinical trial on non-insulin- dependent diabetes mellitus patients

Powdered bitter gourd made into a tablet having a polypeptide of 20 mg. Dose of 4 to 6 tablets per day half an hour before meals, t.d .s for 8 weeks

Effective oral adjunt hypoglycemic effect without no reportable clinical side effects

Salam et al. 2015


In vitro alpha amylase and alpha glucosidase activities

Spectrophotometric assay of protein extracts from two varieties of bitter gourd

Inhibition of alpha amylase and alpha glucosidase activity on par with acarbose.

Poovitha & Parani 2016


In vivo assay in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats

10 mg/ kg body weight of protein extract from bitter gourd cultivars was fed to rats. Blood drawn after 10, 30,60 and 120 min of oral administration

Significant reduction in peak blood glucose and area under the curve

Poovitha & Parani, 2016


In vivo study on diabetes induced mice by streptozotocin

Aqueous and ethanol extracts of bitter gourd at the rate of 200 mg / kg weight of mice for 3 weeks

Significant reduction in blood glucose level

Yousaf et al. 2016


In vivo study in high sucrose diet induced diabetic rats

Skin, flesh and fruit powder at the rate of 150 and 300 mg / kg body weight for 56 days

Decrease in blood glucose level & increasing serum insulin level at the arte of 300 mg

Mahwish et al. 2018


Randomized placebo controlled single blinded clinical trial with 52 individuals with prediabetics

Daily bitter gourd consumption of 2.5 g of powder over a course of 8 weeks: Cross over design, 8 weeks for each study period & 4 weeks wash out.

Lowered fasting plasma glucose

Krawinkel et al. 2018