According to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gestational diabetes afflicts up to 10-percent of expectant moms across the U.S.
The condition is exacerbated if pregnant women are already overweight or carry a family history of diabetes. The confusing thing is that it can strike randomly, making carbohydrate absorption and high blood sugar a nightmare throughout pregnancy, with blood sugar returning to normal after delivery.
However, scientists have uncovered some relief in the form of a nutritional supplement called “myo-inositol”. Studies conducted on a group of 220 pregnant women with gestational diabetes confirmed that the supplement reduced the risk of the conditional greatly.
Myo-insotol works to protect pregnant women from gestational diabetes by helping to restore fertility in polycystic ovary syndrome. This was uncovered after half the women involved in the study were given two grams of myo-inositol supplements twice a day, starting in the first trimester and throughout their pregnancies, in addition to the typically recommended dose of folic acid. The women in the second group were given only folic acid over the same time period.
It was found that the only 6-percent of the pregnant women given myo-inositol developed gestational diabetes—while 15-percent of those not given the supplement developed the condition during their pregnancies. Also, no babies in the myo-inositol group became overweight—while seven babies in the non-supplement exceeded 8-pounds, 13 ounces, which is considered overweight.
“The results are promising…for up to 50 percent of women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes [and risk] developing type 2 diabetes in the next five to 10 years [following birth],” says Dr. Wanda Nicholson, who studies gestational diabetes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “…a larger trial and a broader group of women [must be conducted] before we recommend this supplement.”
If a larger study supports these findings, the good news is that myo-inositol supplements are available over the counter in U.S. drug stores. Furthermore, a 60 650-milligrambottle only costs about $10!