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Balsam Pear (Bitter Melon)

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia/MC) is a tropical vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals and has been used to treat diabetes in traditional cultures. Three of the active ingredients, including charantin, vicine, and polypeptide-p, are believed to stimulate insulin secretion and alter hepatic glucose metabolism, thereby lowering blood glucose levels.

The bitter melon also contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose concentrations by acting on peripheral tissues and suppressing appetite, which are similar to the effects of insulin in the brain.  Various studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of bitter melon in treating diabetes, and it has been suggested that the lectin plays a major role behind the hypoglycemic effect after eating the bitter melon.

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