Feasibility study to test anti-obesity effects & safety of long-term consumption of momordica charantia (bitter melon)

Fujii, Mai
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2013]
As the obesity epidemic increases globally, several weight loss interventions are being considered for successful management strategies, including alternative medicine. Momordica charantia (bitter melon) is consumed in many Asian countries and has traditionally been used for its medicinal properties. Animal and cell culture studies indicate that MC can prevent diabetes as well as hyperlipidemia and obesity. Several clinical studies have demonstrated hypoglycemic effects of MC. However, a clinical study to test the efficacy of MC on plasma lipids and weight reduction in humans is lacking. The main objectives of this study were to explore the feasibility and safety of long-term consumption of MC and to investigate the effects of MC on body weight and plasma lipid profiles. Healthy, overweight and obese subjects were recruited and received MC fruit powder for daily consumption without dietary and lifestyle changes. The results showed that many subjects indicated a high level of willingness to consume MC daily in the feasibility study. Also, the feasibility of daily MC consumption is possibly enhanced by additional supplementation that masks the bitterness of MC. The present study faced difficulties in recruiting and retaining eligible subjects for the clinical trial, there was only one subject who qualified and participated in the trial among 25 subjects who were recruited as possible candidates. Thus, efficacy and safety of daily consumption of MC for anti-obesity treatment remain unknown. Further investigations of efficacy and safety of MC on obesity with a large sample of randomized clinical trial design could indicate a possible alternative approach in obesity treatment.
M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
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