Hypoglycemic Effect of Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia L) among Pre Diabetics in India: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Cross Over Study
Keywords:Hypoglycemia, pre diabetes, bitter gourd, diabetes, cross-over design
AbstractHigh prevalence of pre diabetes observed in many South Asian countries highlights a potential indicator of further progression of the diabetic epidemic in the region. Average expenditure related to diabetes per person in India is higher. Unless appropriate action is taken, this will place an economic burden, hence a food based approach was planned to reduce the incidence of pre diabetes. The main aim of the study was to investigate the hypoglycemic effect of bitter gourd (Mormordica charantia L.)among pre diabetics. A single blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized, cross-over designed intervention study was conducted with freeze dried bitter gourd powder (2.5 g) to find out its hypoglycemic effect. In the first phase Group 1 (AB) started the bitter gourd juice (A) intervention followed by placebo (B), while the Group 2 (BA) started the supplementation with placebo (B) followed by bitter gourd (A). The intervention continued for a period of eight weeks. Between the two arms, 4 weeks were left as wash-out period to minimize the carry-over effect of one phase to the other. Cross over was done after the washout period. The mean initial fasting blood glucose level of pre diabetics in AB group was 110.66 mg/dl which reduced significantly (p<0.01) to 99.86 mg/dl at the end of intervention. In case of BA group the placebo treatment did not bring any appreciable change in FBG where as the bitter gourd treatment was found to have a significant (p<0.01) impact. No serious adverse effects were observed. The present study proved that the consumption of bitter gourd juice prepared with 2.5 g freeze dried bitter gourd powder (50g of the vegetable) reduced the fasting blood glucose and total cholesterol level among the pre diabetics.
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