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Call for volunteers as development of diabetes supplement progresses

Monday, 13 January 2020

Development of an innovative dietary supplement to combat diabetes with a natural extract derived from the dahlia plant has reached a second round of human trials, with volunteers required in the Wellington region.

The product which has been developed by University of Otago and Plant and Food researchers, is showing potential for people with pre-diabetes to have their symptoms reversed and in turn prevent the onset of fully fledged diabetes.

Jeremy Krebs Image
Professor (Dr) Jeremy Krebs.

University of Otago, Wellington, Endocrinologist, Professor (Dr) Jeremy Krebs says volunteers will play a crucial role in the next stages of development.

“We need male volunteers with either pre-diabetes; a condition where your blood sugar levels are slightly higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes, or diabetes managed by lifestyle changes or Metformin only, to come and take part” Dr Krebs says.

Participants would need to attend on four occasions to have blood samples taken after taking a capsule of the dahlia extract followed by a glucose drink. Participants will be paid a modest amount to cover travel costs.

Preliminary trials have shown the natural extract reduced the blood glucose level of participants. With those positive results, the technology is progressing towards commercial development with Christchurch based company Aroma NZ Ltd partnering with Otago Innovation Limited, the University of Otago commercialisation arm.

“This supplement has potential to reduce or reverse the risk of diabetes for so many people, and with it being a New Zealand made, natural product, we are delighted to be a part of this exciting process,” says Aroma NZ Limited Director Ben Winters.

Those taking part in the study being conducted in the Endocrine, Diabetes and Research Centre at Wellington Hospital, would need to attend on four occasions to have blood samples taken after taking a capsule of the dahlia extract followed by a glucose drink.

The study is ready to commence as soon as participants are found. If a man is interested in participating in this study, but doesn’t know if he has prediabetes, he could check out his risk by completing the online test on.
Complete the "Do I have prediabetes?" online test 

If progress continues on such positive trajectory the product could be on the market as soon as 2021.

Men keen to take part should contact the research centre:

Email diabetesresearch@ccdhb.org.nz
Tel +64 4 806 2458
Participants will receive a small payment in recognition of their time.

For further comment, please contact:

Professor (Dr) Jeremy Krebs
Endocrinologist & Trial Leader
University of Otago, Wellington
Tel +64 4 918 6630
Email jeremy.krebs@otago.ac.nz

Dr Graham Strong
Commercialisation Manager
Otago Innovation – University of Otago
Email graham.strong@otago.ac.nz

For Aroma NZ Limited
Ben Winters (Director)
Tel +64 3 389 9005
Email BenJr@aromanz.com

Mark Hathaway
Senior Communications Adviser
University of Otago
Mob +64 21 279 5016
Email mark.hathaway@otago.ac.nz