Buy one get one 50% off all True Athlete products. Mix and match. Online and in store. Sale ends March 1, 2015. Shop now
plus get free shipping on orders over $25. Order by 6 p.m. ET Ships same day. Learn more.
Reorder products. See your order history.
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $25 or more.

How to get FREE Shipping:
1. Place your online order of $25 or more*
2. Ship to an address within the United States (including U.S. territories)
3. Your shipment should arrive within 2-6 business days from your order

* Your total purchase must reach the designated amount after any discounts are applied and prior to the costs of shipping and tax.
Order by 6, We'll Ship the Same Day

Domestic orders placed Monday - Friday by 6 p.m. Eastern Time will be packed and shipped the same day, pending verification of billing information and the shipping method selected. International orders and orders containing gift cards, out-of-stock items or refrigerated items will be processed as quickly as possible, but won't necessarily be shipped out the same day.

Excludes all orders placed on major US holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day).


Health Guides
Health Concerns
Vitamin Guide
Herbal Remedies
Weight Control
Sports & Fitness
Women's Health
Men's Health
Safety Checker
Food Guide
Personal Health Tools
 Print this article

Examining Diabetes Support Options

Examining Diabetes Support Options 
: Main Image
The latest research suggests that bitter melon may lower blood sugar
Most people know that obesity is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes, and losing extra weight is one of the best ways to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. But many people have difficulty with weight loss, and instead turn to natural medicines to manage blood sugar levels. The latest research suggests that bitter melon, one natural remedy for diabetes, may help lower blood sugar, though not as effectively as metformin, a commonly-prescribed diabetes medication.

Putting an ancient remedy to the test

Fruit, juice, and powdered bitter melon preparations are often prescribed in Asian traditional medicine to lower blood sugar levels. Cell and animal studies suggest bitter melon can lower blood sugar, but the remedy is not well studied in humans. To fill in the knowledge gap, researchers invited people with newly diagnosed, type 2 diabetes to participate in a study comparing the blood sugar lowering effects of bitter melon with those of metformin.

The study authors randomly selected 129 patients to receive bitter melon in three different amounts, or a recommended dose of metformin. Blood levels of fructosamine were measured at the beginning and the end of the four-week study. (Fructoseamine, an indicator of long-term blood sugar control, gives a better picture of how well diabetes is being managed than a single blood sugar reading.) Fasting blood glucose (sugar) levels and oral glucose tolerance-test (OGTT) results were collected as well.

After four weeks of treatment, the researchers found that the average fructosamine blood levels were significantly reduced in the metformin and 2,000 mg bitter melon (the highest amount given) groups; the metformin group experienced the largest fructosamine decrease. Metformin, but not bitter melon, significantly reduced average fasting blood glucose levels and improved OGTT results.

Dialing in on the best diabetes treatment

This study suggests that 2,000 mg of bitter melon taken daily may improve blood glucose control in people with newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Lower doses do not appear to be effective. However, metformin was the most effective at controlling blood sugar.

If you have diabetes and are considering natural remedies, it may be possible to incorporate bitter melon or other natural medicine into your diabetes care plan, but always talk to your doctor first. Natural products that are used to lower blood sugar may interfere with your other medications, or even cause dangerously low blood sugar levels when used in combination with blood sugar-lowering medications.

And don't forget about the tried and true natural diabetes fighters: regular exercise, a healthy diet, and weight loss if you're overweight.

(J Ethnopharmacol 2010; doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.12.045)

Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.

sign up. save big!

invalid email address entered. please try again.

almost there! click sign me up for exclusive coupons, great deals, early access to sales and info on how to stay healthy & fit.  view our privacy policy.