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Are Bitter Melon Supplements Safe to Use?

Traditionally a staple in Asian, African, and Caribbean cuisines, bitter melon is now trending as a supplement purported to help prevent or improve certain health conditions. Even Kourtney Kardashian’s supplement brand, Lemme, offers a bitter melon supplement claiming it helps “reduce cravings, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and support glucose metabolism.”

“Bitter melon, like other fruits and vegetables, contains beneficial micronutrients such as calcium, potassium, and vitamin C that can support overall health,” says Galati. “It also contains fiber and fluid, which can help with satiety, gut health, and weight management.”

However, bitter melon isn’t safe for everyone. If you’re considering adding the fruit or supplement to your routine, here’s what nutritional experts advise.

Is Bitter Melon Safe for Kidneys?

Though some early research shows positive results, there isn’t enough data to suggest that bitter melon has substantial health benefits, particularly for diabetes management or lowering blood pressure, according to Galati. She also notes potential side effects from consuming large amounts of bitter melon or taking its supplements.

“Bitter melon can interact with medications, and like any supplement, there’s a risk of contamination if it’s not third-party tested by a reputable lab,” Galati says. Possible side effects include kidney damage and general gastrointestinal issues.

“Be sure to check with your healthcare team to discuss safety and dosage before starting something new,” Galati recommends.

What Is the Healthiest Fruit?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating healthy, says Galati.

“The healthiest food in any category will depend on you, your budget, your culture, your health goals, and so much more,” she explains. “It’s great to make more nutrient-dense choices when possible, but choosing the more processed or convenient option isn’t always bad either. As a registered dietitian who wants you to build a healthy lifestyle that lasts, I’d recommend ditching the idea that there’s a healthiest version of anything.”

In summary, while bitter melon has its benefits, it’s essential to approach its use thoughtfully and consult with healthcare professionals, considering individual health conditions and potential side effects.

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