What Is Bitter Melon Extract?
Bitter melon is one of the funkiest-looking vegetables in nature. Kelly green, bulbous, and bumpy, the fruit (also called bitter gourd or karela) is one of a kind. It’s almost a half-fruit half-vegetable hybrid and comes from the vine of the Momordica Charantia plant. Bitter melon happens to be one of the most bitter of all the different vegetables.
It’s hard to compare the bitter melon to any other plant food but think of it as the black sheep in a family of zucchini, pumpkin, cucumber, and squash. Many types of Indian and Asian cuisines feature bitter melon. And the oldest cultures in the world have long-hailed the vegetable as a useful therapeutic aid. 1
Historically, bitter melon has been most successfully cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical climates. The fruit and leaves of its species are chock full of potent phytochemicals. This is why bitter melon extract has been counted on for centuries in Ayurvedic practices. 2
Turkish folk doctors have depended on the extract obtained from bitter melon for a long time. Their practice involves macerating the fruit in olive oil that’s been warmed by the sun and combining it with local honey.
Throughout history, some people have relied on bitter melon and its extract to help support the body in a variety of ways.3,4,5
Turns out, bitter melon extract has an excellent collection of health-supporting compounds that exhibit the potential. Just check out what the vitamins and nutrients in bitter melon extract may assist with when it comes to overall well-being.
- Bitter melon has quite a high vitamin C content. Of course, vitamin C is an essential micronutrient proven to help support bone growth, skin health and much more.6
- Another bitter melon asset is its rich stores of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a valuable fat-soluble nutrient that helps support skin and vision health.7
- When it comes to the polyphenols in bitter melon extract, you’ll find it’s a great source of the following beneficial compounds: catechins, gallic acid, epicatechins, and chlorogenic acid. These are just some of the potent antioxidants that have been shown to help support your body’s defense against free radical damage and oxidative stress.8,9
Furthermore, the nutritional value of bitter melon is quite impressive. Check out the specific dietary information below.
(per 100 grams of bitter melon)
- Calories 21
- Dietary fiber 2.1 grams
- Sugar 0 grams
- Vitamin C 89.4 mg
- Vitamin A 426 IU10
If you’re wondering where to buy bitter melon extract, read on.
* Note: While the nutritional data above relates to bitter melon and not bitter melon extract itself, it is meant to illustrate the source vegetable’s nutritional value.
Gundry MD uses the power of bitter melon extract in one of its most popular supplements, Vital Reds. In Vital Reds, bitter melon extract is combined with other potent polyphenols and probiotics to help support your digestive and overall health. Click on the link above to peruse product reviews and discover even more about bitter melon extract.
Bitter melon extract adds a tangy earthiness to Vital Reds. Just use the included scoop to add Vital Reds to smoothies, puddings, or even baked goods.
- 1-5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6517695/
- 6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3783921/
- 7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936685/
- 8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4306384/
- 9 https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jmf.2017.0114
- 10 https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/450617/nutrients