A group of scientists from the University of Otago found something amazing. Dahlia flower petals can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels.
It’s like having a tiny sugar-fighting superhero right in your garden!
How Does It Work?
The team was led by a brain scientist named Associate Professor Alexander Tups.
They found out that eating too much of a Western diet can cause inflammation in the brain. This inflammation can mess up how our body controls blood sugar.
But, they also found a molecule in plants that can help. This molecule can lower the inflammation in the brain and help our body control blood sugar better. And guess what?
They found this molecule in dahlia plants! And, there are two more molecules in dahlias that make the first one even better. This trio of molecules stopped brain inflammation and helped control blood sugar in their lab tests.
What Is Diabetes?
About 25% of adults in Aotearoa (that’s New Zealand’s name in the Māori language) have prediabetes. Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are a bit too high.
This can be a sign that you might get type 2 diabetes. Without any help, about 70% of people with prediabetes will get type 2 diabetes.
Dahlias to the Rescue!
The scientists did a test with people who have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. They gave them an extract made from dahlia petals.
The extract made their blood sugar control much better! In lab tests with animals, it lowered brain inflammation, made the brain respond better to insulin (a hormone that helps control blood sugar), and improved blood sugar control.
From Lab to Life
The project started with a grant in 2015. After eight years, Dr. Tups called it a career high. He said finding three compounds in a flower that improved blood sugar control was a dream come true.
“I hope and I really believe that our research will benefit people suffering from this condition,” he said.
A New Sugar-Busting Supplement
The scientists have patented their discovery. They’ve worked with Otago Innovation Limited (OIL) and other stakeholders to make a supplement from dahlia extract.
This supplement can help maintain normal blood sugar and insulin levels.
Dr. Graham Strong, the OIL project lead, said they are proud to launch a product that can support normal blood sugar and insulin levels.
It could be useful for people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes to stop the condition from getting worse.
So, next time you see a dahlia flower, remember its secret superpower. It might just be the sweet surprise that people with diabetes need!
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about a cure for type 2 diabetes, and why insulin is more expensive for people with diabetes.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about bone drugs that could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, and results showing eating more eggs is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
The study was published in Life Metabolism.
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