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Journal of Cancer Prevention

Original Article

Cancer prevention research 2011; 16(1): 86-92

Published online March 30, 2011

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Protective Effect of Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) against Oxidative Stress

Seung Mi Sin1, So-Youn Mok2, Sanghyun Lee2, Kye Man Cho3, Eun Ju Cho1 and Hyun-Young Kim3


This study was focused on the evaluation of antioxidative effect of bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.). Bitter melon was extracted with methanol and then fractionated into 4 fractions (hexane, methylene chloride, ethyl acetate, and butanol fractions). The protective effect of bitter melon against oxidative stress was investigated under in vitro and cellular system. The extract and fractions from bitter melon exerted strong scavenging activity of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl and hydroxyl radical. Protective effects of bitter melon from nitric oxide (NO), and peroxynitrite under cellular oxidative stress model using LLC-PK1 cell were observed. The induction of oxidative stress by treatments of free radical generators led to the decrease in cell viability and elevation in NO formation. However, the treatment of fractions from bitter melon alleviated the oxidative stress by free radicals through increase in cell viability and inhibition in NO formation. The present study indicates that bitter melon alleviates oxidative stress and it plays as antioxidant. In particular, among the extract and fractions, the butanol fraction showed the highest protective effect from oxidative stress, suggesting that the butanol fraction from bitter melon includes the promising protective compounds from oxidative stress. (Cancer Prev Res 16, 86-92, 2011)

Keywords: Bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.), DPPH, ㆍOH, Oxidative stress, LLC-PK1, 3- Morpholinosydnonimine, Sodium nitroprusside

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