Aside from diabetes, can Ampalaya also help control cancer?

Diabetes and cancer are among the most pressing diseases plaguing the country. The Philippines is ranked in the world’s top 15 in terms of diabetes prevalence while cancer comes third in the list of the leading causes of death in the country according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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The Department of Health (DOH) has always been proactive in crafting and implementing programs to improve the numbers relating to these diseases. In addition to advancements in health technology and treatments, however, prevention remains to be at the forefront when it comes to battling these afflictions.

In 1995, DOH issued Circular No. 168-A which classified 10 herbal plants as “halamang gamot” for various diseases. Only one of the ten was identified for diabetes, this is the bitter-tasting vegetable Momordica charantia Linn, locally known as ampalaya.

Positive results of numerous clinical trials and first-hand experience of diabetics has established the effectiveness of the Momordica charantia in lowering blood sugar levels.

Unknown to many Filipinos, however, a series of scientific studies on the vegetable’s anti-cancer properties have been conducted worldwide. And recent clinical tests have proven that fresh juice from the fruits of Momordica charantia kills in 48 hours various types of cancer cells including breast, prostate, adrenocortex, pancreas, head and neck and ovary to name a few[i].
Dr. Roel Tolentino, respected surgeon-oncologist, lay health educator, and former President of the Philippine Society of Oncologists explains that certain components found in the ampalaya fruit kills cancer cells by removing sugar, fats and toxins thus “starving to death” cancer cells while sparing other healthy cells.


These studies also identified the active ingredients present in the fruit juice of the Momordica charantia that starved the cancer cells as Polypeptide-P, Momordicin, and Charantin– which are the same components that gives the Momordica charantia fruits its blood sugar lowering potency.

Another finding is that the drying of sliced Momordica charantia fruits at low temperature and briefly roasting them increases its antioxidant properties. This finding is significant as there are FDA-registered food supplements which use dried and roasted pure fruit of the Ampalaya to produce products in tea and capsule form indicated for diabetes.

Dr. Tolentino further explains that such food supplements will widen the choice of those who want to avoid cancer or slow down its progression– as to whether to take Momordica charantia in fresh fruit juice, tea or in capsules.

He added these recent scientific breakthrough studies “have strengthened the possibility of preventing cancer and slowing down its progression through lifestyle modification, particularly by following natural low-sugar, low fat diets reinforced by natural food supplements like the ampalaya tea and capsule products made by Herbcare Corporation which uses dried and roasted pure ampalaya fruits to make their Charantia Food Supplements.”


In an interview with Daniel Abelarde, president of Herbcare Corporation, we asked whether their Charantia Ampalaya Food Supplements can also kill cancer cells like the fresh juice from the fruits of Momordica charantia used in the scientific studies? Abelarde replied: “As the active ingredients in the Fresh Juice which kills the various cancer cells are also found in our Charantia Ampalaya Food Supplements in tea and capsule form — then whether our product can also kill cancer cells, I have to answer that this is very possible.”