Study: bitter melon against breast cancer? Scientists from the Universities of Saint Louis and Hawaii have used bitter melon to inhibit the division and growth of breast tumor cells in experiments in test tubes.
Scientists from the Universities of Saint Louis and Hawaii have used bitter melon to inhibit the division and growth of tumor cells in the breast during experiments in test tubes. The research team led by Professor Ratna Bhattacharyya Ray from the Department of Pathology and Internal Medicine at St. Louis University in the US state of Missouri has now published the results in the current issue of "Cancer Research" (23 Feb 2010). They suspect that substances in bitter melon modulate the signal transmission pathways that inhibit breast cancer cell growth. In the future, the agent for breast cancer prevention could be used as an additive in food. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among women in Germany. Having an effective naturopathic remedy here for prevention would be a real miracle for those affected later and the costs in the health system.
The bitter melon (also bitter cucumber or balsam pear) has been in discussion for a long time because of its anti-cancer (anti-carcinogenic) effect. It belongs to the cucurbit family and is more at home in tropical countries and is one of the normal foods here. In their home countries, but also in Germany, Momordica charantia, as it is also called, is used in natural medicine for viral diseases, complaints of the intestinal tract and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
However, the researchers warn against too much euphoria, because the study has so far only been carried out in the test tube. Further studies on living organisms such as mice and clinical studies are necessary to really clarify this. This should already be the case with regard to the interaction between bitter melon and worm infestation, fungal and herpes diseases. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopath, February 24th, 2010)
For further reading:
Abstract of the study in "Cancer Research"
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