The humble karela, it has emerged, is a giant slayer of pancreatic cancer cells. A University of Colorado cancer study published in the journal 'Carcinogenesis' shows that bitter gourd juice restricts the ability of pancreatic cancer cells to metabolize glucose, thus cutting the cells' energy source and eventually killing them.
The reason this works is because cancer cells rely mostly on glucose for energy, having problems producing alternate forms of energy themselves. Researchers saw a 60% reduction in the ability of human pancreatic cancer cells to grow in mice that had been transferred with the cancerous cells.
They also saw the same results on pancreatic cancer cells grown in petri dishes in laboratory conditions.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst types with a high mortality rate with the five-year survival rate is as low as 6% after diagnosis. Apple CEO Steve Jobs died from pancreatic cancer in 2011.