Supplements May Ease Gestational Diabetes' Effects

The number of pregnant women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes is on the rise--recent data from the CDC reported that 1 in 10 pregnant women has the condition.  Those women may be relieved to learn of a small but promising new study that has found that taking certain supplements--vitamin D and calcium, specifically--can actually lower blood sugar readings and improve other measures of metabolic health that can suffer with gestational diabetes.

In the supplement group, fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels improved, measures that deteriorated in the placebo group. There was no effect on triglyceride levels.

The senior author, Dr. Ahmad Esmaillzadeh, an associate professor at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, said that these supplements are not suitable for all women.

"Vitamin D has some toxic effects on women and their babies, so we cannot recommend that all women should take it," he said.  "But we can recommend it for people with gestational diabetes who are vitamin D deficient."

Image: Pregnant woman holding supplements, via Shutterstock

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