Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bitter melon extracts block breast cancer

Extract of bitter melon appears to block growth and induce death of cancerous cells, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado and Saint Louis University, and published in the journal Cancer Research.

"Our findings suggest that bitter melon extract modulates several signal transduction pathways, which induces breast cancer cell death," said lead researcher Ratna B. Ray. "This extract can be utilized as a dietary supplement for the prevention of breast cancer."

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd and wild cucumber, is the fruit of the plant Momordica charantia, a vine in the gourd family that grows in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The fruit is popular in Asia, Africa, China and the Caribbean, and is used in traditional medicine as a treatment for diabetes and infection.

Researchers tested bitter melon extract on cancer cells in the laboratory, and found that the extract suppressed cell division signals and stimulated signals leading to programmed cell death (apoptosis). Read more...

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