The eventual aim of the research is to develop a dietary supplement for pre-diabetes to reverse symptoms and prevent the onset of fully-fledged diabetes.
Trial leader and endocrinologist, Professor Jeremy Krebs at the University of Otago, Wellington, told NutraIngredients-Asia that current evidence has shown that the extract regulates blood glucose level through the hypothalamus.
“It appears to be working in the brain as an anti-inflammatory property to resolve insulin resistance.”
The trial is conducted based on the evidence that associate professor Alexander Tups had earlier undertaken – including developmental work and mouse studies.
The upcoming trial, which is the second human study on the extract, will recruit 40 participants who are pre-diabetics or are suffering from early type II diabetes.
It will study the impact of consuming the extract in the form of capsules in fixed doses of 30mg, 50mg, and 120mg; consuming the extract at different timings, one hour before meals or immediately before meals; and the frequency of consumption – at twice or three times per day.
After taking the capsule, the participants will consume a glucose drink and their blood glucose levels for the next two hours will be monitored.
Prof Krebs said that this study design was in contrast to the first round of human clinical trial, where the dose was given based on the body surface area of the subjects.
In that trial, it found a dose-response effect on pre-diabetics who consumed the dahlia petal extract.
In other words, the higher the dose, the lower the blood glucose level. The findings have been submitted for publication in a journal.
The upcoming human trial is at its initial phase of recruitment and experiment is expected to start in the next two weeks.
The next step following this particular trial, is to study the benefits of the dahlia plant on a longer period – over three months.
The final product is expected to enter the market next year.
Christchurch-based company Aroma NZ will partner with Otago Innovation Limited – which is the commercialisation arm of the University of Otago in the commercial development of the product.