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Last updated: August 31, 2022
Bitter melon, known as karela or bitter gourd, is a plant with quite a unique fruit with a great nutritional profile.
As the name suggests, bitter melon has a very bitter taste, which is one of the reasons it’s not the most popular fruit out there.
One way to take advantage of the strong nutritional profile of this fruit without actually eating it is by taking bitter melon extract capsules.
I have reviewed the best bitter melon supplements available on the market and have selected my top five, based on extract amount per serving, total capsules per product, extra ingredients, manufacturer, and price.
Top 5 Bitter Melon Supplements:
Top 5 Bitter Melon Supplements
Bitter melon as a fruit is not always readily available. In addition, not everyone appreciates its bitter flavors. This is why bitter melon supplements are an effective way to consume the fruit’s active compounds without having to eat the fruit.
Bitter melon supplements come in different varieties. Some come in dried powder form, others as whole fruit extracts. Always read the labels to see how much you get out of the product.
Here are 5 of the best bitter melon extract supplements available on the market today.
1. Nutricost Bitter Melon Capsules
This popular bitter melon supplement from Nutricost contains 180 capsules with 1 capsule as the serving size.
Each capsule contains 600 mg of bitter melon extract, equivalent to 2,400 mg of bitter melon (4:1), which is quite generous compared to other products on the market.
Also worth noting is that this Nutricost product is non-GMO, gluten-free, made in a GMP-compliant facility, and is independently tested by a third party.
Nutricost Bitter Melon Capsules:
- 180 capsules
- Serving size: 1 capsule
- 600 mg bitter melon extract per serving (4:1)
2. Zazzee Extra Strength Bitter Melon Extract
Zazzee offers this powerful bitter melon supplement that contains 150 veggie caps with 1 capsule as the daily serving size.
Each capsule in this product contains 360 mg of bitter melon extract, which is equivalent to 9,000 mg of bitter melon (25:1). Their extract has been standardized to contain a minimum of the beneficial bitter melon compound.
Manufactured in the USA, Zazzee’s capsules are entirely natural and vegan, without artificial flavorings or sweeteners, and free from gluten, wheat, soy, milk, or egg.
Zazzee Extra Strength Bitter Melon Extract:
- 150 capsules
- Serving size: 1 capsule
- 360 mg bitter melon extract per serving (25:1)
3. Carlyle Bitter Melon Complex
Carlyle Bitter Melon Complex is a traditional herbal supplement that offers the equivalent of 1,500 mg of bitter melon extract per serving, standardized to contain charantin and other naturally occurring plant compounds.
One bottle contains 200 quick-release capsules, with 1 serving being 3 capsules, which equates to more than two months worth of supply.
Carlyle’s products are naturally free of gluten, yeast, wheat, soy, lactose, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
Carlyle Bitter Melon Complex:
- 200 capsules
- Serving size: 3 capsules
- 150 mg bitter melon extract per serving (10:1)
4. Jarrow Formulas Wild Bitter Melon Extract
Jarrow Formulas is a formulator and supplier of superior nutritional supplements, founded in 1977 and now based in Los Angeles. Its mission is to promote optimal health with high-quality formulations based on sound scientific research data.
Their bitter melon supplement uses Glycostat, a clinically-tested and patented proprietary extract of wild bitter melon, which is shown to be superior in published research.
The product contains 60 tablets (30 servings), with each serving offering 1500 mg of wild bitter melon extract.
Jarrow Formulas Wild Bitter Melon Extract:
- 60 tablets
- Serving size: 2 tablets
- 100 mg bitter melon extract per serving (15:1)
5. Himalaya Organic Bitter Melon Caplets
Himalaya Herbal Healthcare has been in business since 1930, distributing products to more than 90 countries. Integrating the principles of traditional medicine with modern science, Himalaya offers a wide range of clinically-studied herbal formulations.
Their organic bitter melon supplement is a touch different in the sense that it provides bitter melon extract from the stem as well as from the fruit.
It contains 60 caplets, with one serving containing 410 mg of bitter melon powder and 250 mg of fruit extract.
Himalaya Organic Bitter Melon Caplets:
- 60 capsules
- Serving size: 1 capsule
- 410 mg organic bitter melon powder (stem) per serving
- 250 mg organic bitter melon extract (fruit) per serving (10:1)
What is Bitter Melon?
Named momordica charantia in Latin, bitter melon is a subtropical vine originating from India. The plant is now widely grown in large parts of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, mainly because of the nutritious fruit it produces.
The fruit is usually eaten in its early stages when it is still green or slightly yellow. The flesh is watery, similar to kiwano fruit, and has a very bitter taste. The flesh becomes even more bitter as it ripes further into an orange color.
The bitter melon fruit has been popular in Asian cuisine for many centuries. The fruit is widely used as a versatile ingredient in curries, stir fry recipes, and herbal teas and soups.
Bitter melon has also long been widely used in traditional medicine. It is believed that bitter melon can be used to lower blood sugar levels, treat skin diseases, and support healthy digestion.
Read my guide explaining what is bitter melon, with a detailed outline of the origins and nutritional profile of this fruit.
Bitter melon has a rich nutritional profile offering a good mix of vitamins and minerals. It is particularly rich in dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, and folate.
It’s also worth mentioning that bitter melon is very low in sodium, sugar, and cholesterol.
But while bitter melon certainly is a nutritious fruit, note that some of the claimed benefits have very little scientific backing.
|Bitter Melon Nutritional Profile (cooked without salt – 100 g)|
|>> Dietary fiber||2 g|
|>> Sugars||1.95 g|
|Calcium||9 mg (1% DV)|
|Iron||0.38 mg (3% DV)|
|Magnesium||16 mg (5% DV)|
|Manganese||0.086 mg (4% DV)|
|Phosphorus||36 mg (5% DV)|
|Potassium||319 mg (7% DV)|
|Sodium||6 mg (0% DV)|
|Zinc||0.77 mg (8% DV)|
|Vitamin A (RAE)||6 μg (1% DV)|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.051 mg (4% DV)|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.053 mg (4% DV)|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.28 mg (2% DV)|
|Vitamin B6||0.041 mg (3% DV)|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||51 µg (13%)|
|Vitamin C||33 mg (40%)|
|Vitamin E||0.14 mg (1%)|
|Vitamin K||4.8 µg (5%)|
|Sources: USDA, Wikipedia|
Bitter melon may not be everyone’s favorite fruit, but its nutritional profile certainly stands out. While supplements, in general, are not always the best answer, bitter melon extract capsules are a great way to take advantage of those nutrients.
It’s important to always try and maintain a balanced diet. A diet that gives you all the nutrients your body needs to perform well every day without the need for supplements and extracts.