Effect of acute bitter melon intake on postprandial glucose and insulin in sedentary, abdominally obese persons

Chong Lee, Tongyu Ma


Background: Lifestyle modifications have been considered to be the primary prevention strategies for diabetes. However, there is a lack of evidence guiding the use of functional food sthat potentially possess anti-hyperglycemic effects. The objective of this study was to investigate the acute effect of bitter melon intake on postprandial glucose and insulin levels in sedentary, abdominally obese persons.

Methods: In this study, 16 sedentary, abdominally obese participants were randomly assigned to receive either 100 ml of bitter melon juice or placebo juice 30 minutes prior to an oral glucose tolerance test. Plasma glucose and serum insulin were measured every 30 minutes during the 2-hour postprandial period. Two-way repeated measure ANOVA was used to test the effects of bitter melon on postprandial glucose and insulin levels after adjustment for covariates.

Results: The 2-h postprandial glucose was significantly lower in bitter melon group as compared with control group (99.5 ± 22.3 vs 133.9 ± 36.9 mg/dL, P=0.04), resulting in an absolute glucose reduction of 34.4 mg/dL (95% confidence interval, 1.7 to 67.1 mg/dL) and a relative glucose reduction of 26%. There was a fairly significant reduction in 2-h postprandial glucose incremental area under the curve (iAUC) (52.9 ± 29.5 vs 94.7 ± 47.3 mg/dL·h, P=0.052), resulting in a relative glucose reduction of 44%.

Conclusion: Our acute study demonstrated that the single-dose intake of bitter melon juice decreased postprandial glucose levels among sedentary, abdominally obese persons. Bitter melon juice appears to be a promising functional food to manage hyperglycemia for people who are at elevated risk of developing diabetes.

Key Words: Functional Food; Momordica Charantia; Hyperglycemia; Sedentary; Obese

Full Text: [Abstract] [Full Article]

DOI: 10.31989/ffhd.v9i6.605


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