ANDHRA PRADESH

Bitter gourd for diabetes management

Wonder vegetable:Michael B Krawinkel from the Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Germany, giving a presentation at the conference on bitter gourd at ICRISAT, Patancheru, Medak district, on Thursday.-- Photo: Mohd. Arif

Wonder vegetable:Michael B Krawinkel from the Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Germany, giving a presentation at the conference on bitter gourd at ICRISAT, Patancheru, Medak district, on Thursday.-- Photo: Mohd. Arif  

Bitter gourd has been helpful in checking diabetes to a large extent, said experts at the two-day conference on bitter gourd which commenced at the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Medak district on Thursday.

The vegetable can be widely used in the prevention of the illness as well as disease management, they said.

Experiments on

Addressing the gathering, Prof. Michael B. Krawinkel, Institute of Nutritional Sciences, International Nutrition and Nutrition Medicine, Germany, said bitter gourd was endowed with properties to address diabetes and cancer-related health problems. However, experiments to scientifically ascertain facts are still on.

Referring to Ayurveda, Prof. Krawinkel said that bitter gourd was recommended to people with diabetes. “We are experimenting with bitter gourd extract on humans as well as animals. Around 90 persons from Southern India and 52 from Tanzania had been using the vegetable in the prescribed format and we are expecting the findings in the next couple of months,” Prof. Krawinkel told The Hindu . Informing that in the first phase of study it was observed that blood glucose levels were slightly reduced among patients, he expressed confidence that in the next two years they could be in a position to reduce the quantum of medicine by diabetics.

Prof. Ming-Shi Shiao of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Chang Gung University, Taiwan, said that consuming 500 gm to 1,000 gm of bitter gourd per week would check diabetes, while the general consumption was only 100 gm per week now. He suggested consuming bitter gourd in the form of soup.

Dr. Kalpagam Polasa, Director, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), said that the use of bitter gourd was referred to in the ancient text Charaka Samhita .

The programme was presided over by Dr. Warwick Easdon, Regional Director, AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center, Asia.



In the first phase of study it was observed that blood glucose levels were slightly reduced among patients



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