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Mediterranean Diet Linked To Improved Gestational Diabetes Outcomes, Study

Women with gestational diabetes on the Mediterranean diet for 3 months had improved glycemic levels, that were comparable to pregnant women with normal glucose levels, a new study from Madrid, Spain shows.

The objective of the study was to assess whether Mediterranean diet-based medical nutrition therapy facilitates near-normoglycemia in women with gestational diabetes. Researchers also observed the effects on adverse pregnancy outcomes in their analysis.

How Was The Study Designed?

The study was a secondary analysis of the St. Carlos GDM Prevention Study and was conducted between January and December 2015 in Hospital Clínico San Carlos in Madrid, Spain.

One thousand consecutive women with normoglycemia were included before 12 gestational weeks, with 874 included in the final analysis.

Of these participants, 177 women were diagnosed with gestational diabetes and 697 had normal glucose tolerance.

All women with gestational diabetes received Mediterranean diet-nutrition therapy, which focused on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and good fats. They were also given a recommended daily extra virgin olive oil intake ≥40 mL and a daily handful of nuts.

The primary goal was to compare hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels at 36–38 gestational weeks in women with gestational diabetes as well as in women with normal glucose tolerance.

What Were The Findings?

Results of women with gestational diabetes had higher HbA1c levels at 24–28 gestational weeks.

At 36–38 gestational weeks, values were similar between both groups of women.

Similarly, fasting serum insulin and homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance was higher in women with gestational diabetes at 24–28 weeks but became similar at 36–38 weeks.

Within the study, 26.6 percent of women with gestational diabetes required insulin for glycemic control.

Women with gestational diabetes compared with normoglycemia subjects had higher rates of insufficient weight gain, small for gestational age, and neonatal intensive care unit admission.

The researchers conclude that “using Mediterranean diet-based medical nutrition therapy as part of gestational diabetes management is associated with the achievement of near-normoglycemia, subsequently making most pregnancy outcomes similar to those of women with normal glycemic tolerance.”

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