Do you have high blood sugar?

Currently around 240,000 New Zealanders live with diabetes, mostly type 2, with a further estimated 100,000 people undiagnosed.

Janice Lim, School of Health Science PhD student.

A new Massey University study is investigating the blood glucose response to antioxidant-rich plant extracts in people aged between 40-60 years old, to see if it helps lower the blood sugar levels in prediabetics.

PhD student Janice Lim says prediabetes is a key time for intervention to either slow or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

“Diabetes is when your body has trouble making or using insulin. Insulin transports glucose [sugar] from your blood into your cells where it makes energy. Without insulin, too much sugar remains in the blood, causing serious health issues. In the development of diabetes, some people become resistant to insulin, meaning it is unable to work as effectively in the body, so blood sugar levels remain high,” Ms Lim says.

“Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Currently, each year around five to 10 per cent of people with prediabetes go on to become diabetic.”

Originally from Singapore, Ms Lim completed a Master in Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom in 2016. Her thesis explored the effects of antioxidant-rich foods on high blood pressure.

“My key interest is finding nutritional solutions for metabolic disorders through conducting clinical trials in at-risk populations,” she says.

“A recent New Zealand study showed that when healthy individuals were given antioxidant-rich plant extracts, their post-meal blood sugar levels were reduced by 25-40 per cent. I want to investigate if this will also occur in those with high blood sugar levels and prediabetic people.”

The GLARE (Glucose Lowering Antioxidant-Rich Food Extracts) study is seeking participants with high blood sugar levels, aged between 40 and 60 years old, and based in Auckland. Participants should have a BMI (body mass index) between 20 and 35 kg/m2, and must not be taking any medication that influences blood sugar levels.

Participants will make five visits to the Nutrition Laboratory at Massey’s Auckland campus in Albany, between August and November to have blood samples taken. Participants will receive a $20 gift card when successfully screened for eligibility, and a $200 gift card on completion of four trial visits, as well as free breakfasts and free body composition, blood glucose and blood pressure assessments.

Participants can register their interest here.

Or by contacting

09 213 6650

The study is being supervised by Associate Professor Rachel Page, Head of the School of Health Sciences, Dr Pamela von Hurst, School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition and Dr Lynne Chepulis, Department of Nursing, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

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