India’s large diabetic population presents opportunity for Dr Reddy’s nutritional launch

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

The diabetic drink, Celevida, is currently available in two flavours, Kesar Elachi and Chocolate ©Dr Reddy's Laboratories
The diabetic drink, Celevida, is currently available in two flavours, Kesar Elachi and Chocolate ©Dr Reddy's Laboratories

Related tags India Diabetes Dr Reddy's Blood glucose

Indian pharma firm Dr Reddy's Laboratories is making its first foray into the nutritional space in the country with a diabetic drink, Celevida.

The drink is said to help manage blood glucose levels among Indian patients.

Diabetes is a growing challenge in India with 73 million people suffering from diabetes, and 80 million people with pre-diabetes, and the country is expected to have the world’s largest diabetes population by 2035. Changing habits of diet and a sedentary lifestyle have contributed to the rise of diabetes in the growing population.

The company’s chief executive officer of branded markets (India and emerging markets), M V Ramana told NutraIngredients-Asia​ the move into nutrition drinks was “part of our overall strategy to strengthen our business portfolio for high-growth therapy areas. Nutrition is shown in various studies to improve clinical outcomes as well as quality-of-life in several disease conditions​.”

Regulate blood glucose

Celevida was designed for people with diabetes as well as non-diabetics intending to manage their weight. It contains a high protein level between 28 to 30% depending on flavour, high fibre levels (12 to 18%) and slowly digested carbohydrates, which will support in managing the postprandial blood glucose response and satiety.

Celevida is formulated with fibersol, a modified maltodextrin with glucose linkages that are more resistant to digestive enzyme amylase.

Due to the slower digestion of glucose from fibersol, it has a longer retention time in the gastrointestinal tract which give fibersol a lower glycaemic index (GI) and help slowly release glucose in the body. This way, it helps manage blood sugar spikes through steady energy release.

Celevida is also high in MUFA which helps in lowering triglycerides in diabetes patients and can improve glycaemic control by lowering fasting plasma glucose levels and post prandial blood glucose.

It is formulated with soy, ragi and gram flour which are considered a complete protein as it has all the essential amino acids and other macronutrients.

The drink is currently available in two flavours, Kesar Elachi and Chocolate. The firm expressed that the drinks had gone through a taste test with more than 300 diabetic and prediabetic consumers.

Clinical studies

Celevida had been clinically tested on 15 overweight or obese Indian subjects aged 18 to 45 years.

Participants were told to consume a reference food (27.5 g of monohydrate glucose dissolved in 100 mL of water) for three days.

They then consumed the test food (Celevida) for one day in a random order (flavour 1 - 46g in 300 mL of milk or flavour 2 - 38g in 345 mL of milk)

Glycaemic response (GR) was measured using blood samples collected before and after test food consumption (-5), 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes.

Researchers found that the GR of supplement (flavour 1) was 16.4 ± 2.6mg/dl, while that of supplement (flavour 2) was 25.7 ± 2.3mg/dl.

They also measured the glycaemic index (GI) of both products, which were below 55 and therefore classified as low GI. GI of flavour 1 was 27.3 ± 4.8mg/dl while flavour 2 was 36.7 ± 4.4mg/dl.

Satiety index rating using the visual analogue scale (VAS) was also performed on the subjects, which reported 60% and 66.7% of subjects consuming flavour 1 and 2 respectively felt hungry only after 3 hours, demonstrating good satiety.

Researchers commented: “Use of this product along with regular meal is likely to be of help in individuals with diabetes as it decreases the flux of glucose released in the bloodstream after digestion. This will not only help in reducing the postprandial glucose spikes in these individuals, but will also enable them to control their calorie intake through induction of satiety​.”

Although they recommended that larger studies involving subjects with diabetes, and looking at other endpoints like impact on glucose excretion, HbA1C, satiety and weight management were needed to delineate the place of such nutritional supplements in the diabetologist’s armamentarium.

Ramana stressed that Celevida is a Food for Special Dietary Use (FSDU) product and not a Foods for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP) product.

In India, where the fiber and the protein intake is low, high fibre and protein nutritional supplements must become part of the routine diet to control the overall impact on blood sugar levels.

Ramana said he was hopeful this nutrition drink could address unmet nutrition needs of the patients in India.

He added: “We are looking at multiple spaces to expand our footprints in the nutrition segment (and) will look at bringing in various other nutrition products soon​.”

According to the firm, Celevida is derived from the words ‘celebration’ and ‘vida’, which means celebrate life.

Source: Food and Nutrition Sciences


“Glycemic Index and Response of a Plant Based Nutritional Supplement and Its Subjective Satiety Following Its Use in Indian Adults”

Authors: Bhoite Rachana, et al​.

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