Momordica charantia L. is growing in many tropical and subtropical regions; the fruits of bitter melon are also gradually becoming popular for treating diabetes and associated diseases. Over 248 compounds belonging to the lipids, phenolics and terpenoids class are reported by diverse studies. However, M. charantia L. appears to be an inimitable species that synthesizes a diverse range of natural products in the fruits, leaves, stems and roots. The cucurbitane types of triterpenes exist in the various tissues of the plant in their aglycone as well as glycosylated forms. The bitter melon seems to exert their lipid lowering and antiobesity effects via several mechanisms like PPARs, LXRs, SREBPs, and Sirts mediated fat metabolism in various tissues, prevent adipocyte hypertrophy and visceral fat accumulation. M. charantia L. has been comprehensively studied worldwide for its therapeutic properties to treat a number of diseases like diabetes, dyslipidaemia, obesity, and certain cancers. This chapter apparently displays an encompassing literature review on vast potential of bitter melon as antiobesity agent and assembles data on complex phytochemistry.
Part of the book: Natural Medicinal Plants