Myo-inositol Supplements Can Reduce Gestational Diabetes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that gestational diabetes affects up to 10% of pregnant women in the US. This condition is characterized by increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy, which may be undiagnosed and untreated, resulting in complications for both the mother and the baby. Women who have a family history of diabetes or who are obese or overweight have an increased risk for gestational diabetes.
A small pilot study conducted by Dr. Rosario D’Anna of the Department of Obstetrics at University Hospital in Messina, Italy, showed that supplementation with myo-inositol could reduce women’s risk for gestational diabetes. Myo-inositol may be found in fruits, grains, nuts, and meats, although not at very high levels.
The study involved 220 pregnant women with a family history of type 2 diabetes, who were randomly assigned to take either two grams of myo-inositol supplements twice a day plus the recommended amount of folic acid supplement, which is recommended for all pregnant women, or folic acid only from the end of their first trimester throughout pregnancy.
The results, which were published in Diabetes Care, showed that only 6% of women who took the inositol supplements developed gestational diabetes, while 15% of those who did not take it had increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy. In addition, seven babies from the group without myo-inositol were overweight, weighing more than eight pounds (a possible result of gestational diabetes), while none were overweight in the inositol group.
Although blood sugar levels usually return to normal after delivery, up to 50% of mothers who have gestational diabetes eventually develop type 2 diabetes in 5-10 years. More studies are needed to determine whether myo-inositol is effective and safe for pregnant women.
Doyle, K. Supplement reduces risk of diabetes in pregnancy. Reuters.