Bitter Melon for Hypertension

February 18/Moroyama, Japan/Pharma Investments, Ventures & Law Weekly -- According to recent research from Moroyama, Japan, "Bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.) is a common vegetable grown in Okinawa that has also been used recently in medicine for the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Among Bitter melon extracts compounds, the researchers focused on an extract known as momordin in the present study, to examine its effect on peroxisome-proliferator activated-receptor (PPAR) delta (also called PPAR delta in rodents) expression and promoter activity of the human PPAR delta gene."

"A human PPAR delta promoter-reporter plasmid was made as a template from a BAC CLONE (RPCI-11C) containing a -3076 bp (BglI site) + 74 bp (EcoRI site) sequence. Luciferase assay of PPAR delta promoter activity was performed using HepG2 cells. 10 and 25 nM Momordin significantly increased the expression of PPAR delta mRNA 1.5-fold (relative to the control). Moreover, 10 and 25 nM Momordin significantly increased PPAR delta promoter activity in a dose-dependent manner, reaching more than 1.5-fold relative to the control," wrote M. Sasa and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "Our present data obtained through successful cloning of the PPAR delta promoter demonstrate that PPAR delta production and activation are upregulated through PPAR delta promoter activity following momordin treatment."

Sasa and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis ("Activating Effect of Momordin, Extract of Bitter Melon (Momordica Charantia L.), on the Promoter of Human PPAR Delta." Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis, 2009;16(6):888-892).

For additional information, contact I. Inoue, Saitama Med University, Dept. of Endocrinol & Diabet, 38 Morohongo, Moroyama, Saitama 3500495, Japan.

From the March 8, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition Special: Heart Health