Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) is a great supplement and is in many products for building muscle and losing fat.  

What You Probably Know

Bitter Melon is great for people who use carbohydrates to gain muscle. It sensitizes the muscle cell to absorb carbs. This means more of the carbs you eat are stored in the muscle as glycogen and less are stored in fat cells as glycerine.  In other words; if you eat carbs you should use Bitter Melon unless the reason you are eating carbs is to gain body fat.

fit guy arms over head

What You Probably Don’t Know

Research in India was done on Bitter Melon because local medicine men were using it to produce abortions.  It turns out that the most active ingredient in Bitter Melon fruit is a steroid named charantin.  The study made 3 preparations of the fruit disolved in differnt solutions. The researchers  fed or injected the solutions in rats. The oral solution disolved in alcohol had the best results; no change in prostate size but a dramatic increase in muscle. So It had a strong anabolic effect but no androgenic effect. Interestingly that same solution injected had a significant  androgenic effect as did the other preparations.  My opinion is that its this androgenic effect that induced abortions in indian woman or caused vaginal bleeding in the non pregnant women. 

So if you are a non-pregnant female or a man who wants to grow muscle and not gain fat while eating carbs then Bitter Melon is for you!

J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 May;61(1):9-16.

 

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