Acute blood glucose lowering effects and long-term safety of OpunDia supplementation in pre-diabetic males and females

J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Aug 9;130(3):631-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.05.047. Epub 2010 Jun 4.


Aim of the study: The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute and chronic effects of OpunDia (Opuntia ficus-indica) in obese pre-diabetic men and women.

Materials and methods: This double-blind placebo controlled study included participants (age range of 20-50 years) randomly assigned to one of the two groups and given a 16-week supply of either the 200 mg OpunDia (n=15), or placebo (n=14). The acute phase of the study consisted of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) with a 400 mg bolus of OpunDia given 30 min before orally ingesting a 75 g glucose drink. Baseline and post 16-week concentrations of glucose, insulin, hsCRP, adiponectin, proinsulin, Hb1Ac, cholesterol, and a comprehensive metabolic panel were collected along with body composition measured via densitometry (BOD POD). A repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to determine any significant interactions between group and time. Follow-up analysis was performed to determine differences among groups at each time point. Paired t-tests were performed on all variables to determine if any within group differences existed across time.

Results: There was a statistically significant decrease (P<0.05) in the blood glucose concentrations at the 60 (205.92+/-36.90 and 188.84+/-38.43 mg/dL, respectively), 90 (184.55+/-33.67 and 169.74+/-35.16 mg/dL, respectively) and 120 min (159.24+/-17.85 and 148.89+/-24.86 mg/dL, respectively) time points with the pre-OGTT compared to the OpunDia bolus trial. There were no between-group differences found with the OGTT time points, area under the curve, blood chemistry variables (insulin, hsCRP, adiponectin, proinsulin, Hb1Ac), diet analysis variables (carbohydrates, fat, protein and total kcals), body composition variables (fat mass, fat free mass, percent body fat and total body weight), or blood chemistry safety parameters (comprehensive metabolic panel) pre-to-post 16-week intervention.

Conclusions: This study shows the acute blood glucose lowering effects and the long-term safety of the proprietary product OpunDia, thus supporting the traditional use of Opuntia ficus-indica for blood glucose management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Opuntia / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Prediabetic State / drug therapy*
  • Prediabetic State / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Plant Extracts