The fruit contains ascorbigen, a bound form of ascorbic acid released by heating with water in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide or nitrogen. Large sized fruits, borne by certain types of M. charantia, are richer in ascorbigen than small fruits borne by other cultivated types 2.
The free amino acids present in the fruit are: aspartic acid, serine, glutamic acid, threonine, alanine, g-amino butyric acid and pipecolic acid. The green fruit contains luteolin. Carotene is the principal pigment of carpels, while lycopene characterizes the red aril3.
The fruits and seeds of M.charantia yielded a polypeptide (mp 240°), viz. p-Insulin, which was considered to be similar to bovine insulin4
p-Insulin, a polypeptide from the fruits and seeds rapidly decreased and normalized the blood sugar level in rats4.
p-Insulin was tested in a controlled clinical trial. In juvenile diabetics, the peak hypoglycemic effect was observed after 1-8 hrs; in patients with maturity onset diabetes, maximum fall in blood sugar level was noted after 12 hrs4.
- Quisumbing, 945-46; Rivera, Amer. J. Pharm., 1941, 113, 281; Rehm et. al., J. Sci. Fd Agric., 1957, 8, 679; Rehm & Wessels, ibid., 1957, 8, 687; Airan & Ghatge, Curr. Sci., 1950, 19, 19; Chem. Abstr., 1930, 24, 684; Nath & Ullah, Ann. Biochem., 1956, 16, 89.
- Bose & Guha, Sci & Cult., 1959-60, 25, 387.
- Rao et. al., J. sci. industr. Res., 1956, 15C, 39; Ganju & Puri, Indian J. med. Res., 1959, 47, 563; Palmer, 76.
- Handa, et. al., Fitoterapia, 1989, 60, 208; Chem Abstr, 1992, 117, 84115.
- Kirt. & Basu, II, 1131; Nadkarni, I, 806; Chem. Abstr., 1945, 39, 2623; Sharma et. al., Indian J. med. Res., 1960, 48, 471; U.S.D., 1955, 1758; Rivera, Amer. J. Pharm., 1942, 114, 72.