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An Exotic Vegetable May Help With Metabolic Syndrome

Have you ever heard of wild bitter gourd? If you're at risk for metabolic syndrome you may want to consider learning more about this tropical vegetable, which has been found to improve metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is the group of risk factors that contribute to coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels and high cholesterol.

The study was published in the January 13, 2012, publication of Nutrition Journal.

In one of the first studies to examine the effects of wild bitter gourd on humans, researchers from the National Taiwan University recruited 42 participants with a mean age of 46 years old. Half of the participants were women and half were men. All had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

Over the course of 3 months, all of the participants consumed 4.8 grams daily of lyophilized wild bitter gourd in powder form. The researchers conducted tests to determine metabolic syndrome symptoms at the onset of the study and monthly for the rest of the research period. They also checked for symptoms 3 months following the supplementation period.

The researchers noted lower incidence of metabolic syndrome throughout the study. However, the biggest decrease was seen at the end of the 3 month supplementation period when a 19% reduction was noted.

Wild bitter gourd is common in Asia and Africa, where it has been used in traditional medicines for many years. Folklore says it has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, and antiviral effects.

If you're having trouble finding this healthy vegetable at your local supermarket, take a look around and see if you can find it in supplement or powder form, as was used in the study here.

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