Gestational diabetes is a form of high blood sugar that affects pregnant women. Placental hormones may lead to an increase in the levels of blood sugar and women who suffer from gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing diabetes later in life as well. Pregnant women must take special care of their diet and a new study has reinforced this. The study says that following a simple Mediterranean-style diet might not be able to the overall risk of adverse maternal and offspring complications, but it may help reduce risk of gestational diabetes and weight gain during pregnancy.
The study titled, "Mediterranean-style diet in pregnant women with metabolic risk factors (ESTEEM): A pragmatic multicentre randomised trial", was published in the journal PLOS Medicine in a recent issue. The trial was conducted by researchers at Queen Mary University of London as well as University of Warwick. The study results suggested that following a simple Mediterranean-type diet maybe effective intervention measure for women who enter pregnancy with pre-existing obesity, chronic hypertension or high blood pressure and high levels of blood lipids. The study involved 1,252 women at five UK maternity units and the participants were either given routine antenatal care or asked to follow a Mediterranean-style diet together with antenatal care.
The researchers saw that although Mediteranean diet was able to reduce pregnancy weight gain and risk of gestational diabetes, it didn't lead to improvements in complications such as high blood pressure, pre-clampsia, stillbirth etc. However, the study said that maternal risks of gestational diabetes reduced by 35 per cent in the trial participants. The study report said, "A Mediterranean-style diet reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications in randomised trials involving the general population with risk factors." It added by saying, "To date, no trial has evaluated the effects of a Mediterranean-style diet in pregnancy on maternal and offspring outcomes."
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