Bitter melon extract battles breast cancer

According to results of a recent study published in the American Association for Cancer Research Journal, bitter melon extract was found to positively affect breast cancer cell growth.

“Our findings suggest that bitter melon extract modulates several signal transduction pathways, which induces breast cancer cell death,” said lead researcher Ratna B. Ray, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pathology at Saint Louis University.

Rajesh Agarwal, Ph.D professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado, Denver School of Pharmacy and editor of the study, also weighs in: “Breast cancer is a major killer among women around the world, and in that perspective, results from this study are quite significant. This study may provide us with one more agent as an extract that could be used against breast cancer if additional studies hold true.”

Of course, additional studies are needed to further understand the specific way bitter melon extract affects cancer cells. Dr. Agarwal and his colleagues err on the side of cautious optimism, knowing that further studies will need to establish the validity of the bitter melon results.

Bitter melon extract is cultivated in Asia, Africa and South America and the extract is commonly used in folk medicines as a remedy for diabetes in India, China and Central America.

My personal opinion is that I wouldn’t purchase bitter melon just yet. There has been more and better studies on other substances that I would prefer to treat breast cancer such as green tea extract, proteolytic enzymes, and maitake mushrooms to name a few.

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