Possible molecular mechanisms of glucose-lowering activities of Momordica charantia (karela) in diabetes.
J Cell Biochem. 2019 Feb 20. Epub 2019 Feb 20. PMID: 30790347
Diabetes mellitus is a highly prevalent metabolic disorder which is characterized by impaired glucose tolerance, with a relative or absolute insulin deficiency and profound changes in the metabolism of macronutrients. Traditional and complementary medicine is therapeutic strategies that have both been applied to improving glycemic control. Momordica charantia is one of the plant-based, folk medicines that used for improving glycemic control. We aimed to review, the effects of M. charantia on blood glucose with a clarification of the molecular pathways involved. Of the compounds derived from the plants, the insulin-like peptide, charantin, and the alkaloid vicine, have been reported to have hypoglycemic effects. Different mechanisms contribute to the antidiabetic activities of M. charantia, these include increasing pancreatic insulin secretion, decreasing insulin resistance and increasing peripheral and skeletal muscle cell glucose utilization, inhibition of intestinal glucose absorption and suppressing of key enzymes in the gluconeogenic pathways.