Two Cheap Insulin Alternatives for Diabetes

The Indians, among other Asians, and Latin Americans have been planting and nourishing themselves of natural insulin vegetables and glucose regulating food for a long time. Your diabetes medication is ready for pick-up at a Mexican store near you.

Several in vivo rat, feline, canine, and human studies are documented to prove this. If only you, and several others would spread the word of the latest researches in what nature has to offer, we don’t have to watch rich socialites obliviously spend on insulin injectibles as the poor go blind and clock their deathbed, wait for billion-dollar funded synthetic medications to come up with a cure or join a jogging marathon for a cause we don’t really know much about. Time has come to alleviate yourself and your loved ones from the risk of developing glucose intolerance, eventually diabetes, and costly insulin shots.

Bitter Melon, natural insulin

Bitter gourd, Karela, Karolla, Momordica charantia, balsam pear, whichever floats your boat. They all pertain to the same green long rough textured vine that is bitter in taste, crawling in the tropical regions of the world. Who would have thought that a dirt-cheap less than 5 USD per pound vegetable would be able to regulate sugar levels?

In 1999, a Bangladeshi clinical trial was conducted to examine the effect of Momordica charantia on 100 patients with Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or Type 2 Diabetes. The researchers recorded the patients’ sugar levels both without food intake for 12-24 hours and after taking 75g of glucose. They then administered a bitter melon pulp suspension to diabetic patients and 86 out of the 100 responded to the vegetable intake, showing a significant 14% reduction in fasting and post-meal serum glucose levels.

A recent 2004 study at the Devi Ahilya University in India proved to have the same positive effects, where 15 men and women with Type 2 Diabetes between the ages of 52 and 65 took 200mg extracted constituents of bitter melon together with half doses of either Metformin or Glibenclamide or a combination of both. The result was a blood glucose level lower (hypoglycemia) than what patients may acquire from taking full doses of Metformin or Glibenclamide. It was likewise concluded that the vegetable may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of the drugs should they continue to use these prescription drugs. Several rat and hamster trials taking Momordica charantia alone also yielded good results in regulating glucose levels although animal studies may not always hold true in humans.

How Bitter Melon works

Bitter Melon

There are a myriad of phytochemicals present in bitter melon and at least three different groups of extracted components have been reported to regulate and lower blood glucose levels. These involve glucoside, a steroidal saponin-like substance called charantin; alkaloids called momordicine that supress neural response to sweet taste stimuli; and peptides mimicking the action of animal insulin. As of July 2006, Liva Harinantenaina and a group of Japanese researchers confirmed that the major pure cucurbutanoid compounds of bitter melon possess hypoglycemic effects on blood glucose levels. There is still a lingering obsurity on which of these is most effective, if not all working synergistically. All these may be a perfect addition to your diet much like the next vegetable, or cactus?

Prickly Pear Cactus

If you haven’t looked intently at the Mexican flag, a prickly pear cactus with its red-orange grandiose blossoms is where the eagle at the center is proudly perched on. For centuries, indigenous groups of South America and the southern part of the United States depended on this plant for nourishment. Also called nopal, nopalitos, and nopales, this cactus, of genus Opuntia, is consumed by the Aztec tribe and other locals in various forms to control or even potentially cure Type 2 Diabetes as long ago as the 15th and 16th centuries. Ask your Latin friend, he or she might have stories of the plant’s wonders.

Prickly Pear Mystery

There still lies a big question mark in a pharmacological point of view surrounding the plant’s mechanism on how it plays a role in glucose metabolism. Unlike the chemical constitutents found in bitter melon, whichever constituent found in the cactus that affects the glucose remains unclear.

Alberto Frati-Munari, one of the prickly pear research pioneers, concluded in one of his team’s studies that the number of cactus stems consumed are relevant to having long-term hypoglycemic effects in diabetic patients. He also suggested that the effect of Continue to Page 2