Momordica charantia: a popular health-promoting vegetable with multifunctionality.
Sommaire de l'article
Products derived from edible medicinal plants have been used for centuries to prevent, treat, and even cure multiple diseases. Momordica charantia L., widely cultivated around the world, is a typical one bred for vegetables and medicinal usage. All parts of M. charantia possess important medicinal properties, including antidiabetic, anticancer, hypotensive, anti-obesity, antimicrobial, antihyperlipidemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, anthelmintic, neuro-protective, as well as hepato-protective properties both in vitro and in vivo. This review summarizes the active components and medicinal properties of M. charantia, especially the activities and mechanisms of its anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties. The anti-diabetic properties involve inhibiting intestinal α-glucosidase and glucose transport, protecting islet β-cells, enhancing insulin secretion, increasing hepatic glucose disposal, decreasing gluconeogenesis, and even ameliorating insulin resistance. Moreover, the expressions of PPARs could also be activated and up-regulated. Meanwhile, its anticancer properties are mostly due to apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and expression of serum factors associated with immunity. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of M. charantia and its benefits for development as a functional food.