Scientists seem to have found a potential way to tackle diabetes, a chronic health condition affecting millions of people worldwide. According to a new study, the petal extract from the dahlia flower can help control blood sugar in patients with diabetes.

A team of researchers, led by Alexander Tups from the University of Otago in New Zealand, found that the key to improving blood sugar regulation lies in the inhibition of brain inflammation caused by the Western diet.

In their research to find an ant-inflammatory plant molecule that can potentially improve blood sugar control, they came across plant polyphenol butein, a natural product found in dahlia flowers.

"We then found that the dahlia plant is a cultivatable source of this molecule and that it contains two additional plant molecules that enhanced the effect of the original one. This specifically blocked brain inflammation and improved blood sugar regulation in preclinical trials," Tups said in a news release.

During preclinical animal studies, researchers found the extract can reduce brain inflammation, boost sensitivity to insulin function and improve blood sugar regulation. In a cross-over clinical trial, dahlia extract showed considerable improvement in blood sugar regulation in participants with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes with no observed side effects. The findings of the study were published in the journal Life Metabolism.

People with uncontrolled blood sugar can have serious health issues, including kidney failure, blindness, strokes and heart attacks.

"Impaired blood sugar regulation is a debilitating condition affecting millions of people around the world. I hope and I really believe that the outcome of our intensive research will benefit people suffering from this condition," Tups added.

The team has patented the extract and with the help of Otago Innovation Limited (OIL), developed a tablet called Dahlia4 that uses the flower extract to improve blood sugar control. The drug has not yet been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"The product provides a unique blend of nutritional compounds to support normal blood sugar and insulin levels. The trials showed that this will be useful for those diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes to help stop the progression of the condition," said Dr. Graham Strong, who led the OIL team.