A study recently published in Cancer Research, a journal for the American Association for Cancer Research, found that bitter melon extract, which is a popular dietary supplement, may eventually become a preventative treatment for breast cancer.
"Our findings suggest that bitter melon extract . . . induces breast cancer cell death," said lead researcher Ratna B. Ray. "This extract can be utilized as a dietary supplement for the prevention of breast cancer."
Bitter melon is sometimes referred to as momordica charantia.
To test their hypothesis that the compound would prevent breast cancer cell growth, scientists injected bitter melon into cancer cells in a lab setting, and found that the supplement actually inhibited new cancer cells from growing.
Those involved in the study are delving deeper into the results and will be testing their findings on animal models next.
These results are promising, and they also come close on the heels of another finding suggesting that vitamin D might be a viable treatment option for certain kinds of breast cancers.