Lupin seed extract may provide potent diabetes treatment

  • 23/10/2017

A new treatment for one of Australia and New Zealand's fastest growing diseases could be growing in the backyard.

Lupin seed extract, taken from a flowering legume grown mostly in New South Wales and Western Australia, could be the next "miracle grain".  

"They're quite high in protein, up to 40 percent" says Australian lupin farmer Thomas Cullen. 

Australian researchers are unlocking their potential to manage diabetes. Professor Philip Newsholme from Curtin University told 7 News that they "test many products in the lab, and this is the most potent." 

"It will induce the release of insulin from cells but it does it particularly potently" he says. 

Scientists have discovered how to use lupin flower to extract a key protein called conglutin gamma, which contains anti-diabetic properties. 

It could help over 240,000 people in New Zealand who have been diagnosed with diabetes and endure a dangerous blood sugar spike after eating. 

While drug trials take up to 10 years to complete, researchers say this treatment could be available much sooner as lupins are a natural food product, not a pharmaceutical drug.