(Natural News) Pregnancy can be a tough time for expectant mothers. They have to take extra care of their health, otherwise, there could be serious consequences for their baby. Fortunately, scientists from New Zealand were able to find a way to prevent gestational diabetes, one of the most common health problems in pregnant women. Their study, which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that taking a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 significantly reduced the risk of this disease.
Gestational diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels. It often occurs in women who were overweight or obese prior to their pregnancy. Aside from these, other risk factors include excessive weight gain during pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), older age, and a history of gestational, Type 1, or Type 2 diabetes. Having gestational diabetes can lead to high blood pressure, miscarriage, preterm birth, induction of labor and cesarean section. Additionally, moms with this condition often give birth to babies with a higher than average weight. Gestational diabetes has also been shown to increase the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in both the mother and child.
There is existing evidence that some probiotics have beneficial effects against gestational diabetes. Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization as live microorganisms that confer health benefits to an individual when given in adequate amounts. These good bacteria have been shown to modulate gut microbiota, inflammation, and glucose metabolism. Recently, a Finnish trial found that probiotics containing L. rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 can reduce gestational diabetes risk when taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.
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In this study, the researchers wanted to determine if a probiotic containing L. rhamnosus HN001 is also beneficial against gestational diabetes. This specific probiotic is widely used in the production of fermented milk products like yogurt. The team determined its effects by conducting a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled parallel trial involving 423 women who were 14 to 16 weeks pregnant. The participants were divided into two groups, with one group taking the probiotic in capsule form and the other receiving a placebo. At weeks 24 to 30 of their pregnancy, the researchers evaluated their serum levels to determine if they had gestational diabetes.
The results of the study showed that 6.5 percent of the mothers in the placebo group developed gestational diabetes. Meanwhile, only 2.1 percent of those who took the probiotic had the disease. These show a 68 percent reduction in gestational diabetes risk due to L. rhamnosus HN001 supplementation.
“This is an exciting result suggesting that this probiotic may be interacting with the normal gut bacteria in some way to reduce glucose levels in pregnancy,” said Professor Julian Crane from the University of Otago, Wellington, who is the lead author of the study.
Overall, the results of this study suggest that the L. rhamnosus HN001 probiotic provides a simple, cheap, and safe intervention method for gestational diabetes.
Lifestyle’s role in preventing gestational diabetes
A woman’s lifestyle plays an important role in the development of gestational diabetes. You can effectively reduce your risk of this disease by following a healthy diet and exercising.
The right foods can help keep your blood sugar levels in check but the wrong ones can cause it to rise to dangerous levels. To prevent gestational diabetes, it is important to include fiber-rich foods in your diet. This includes green leafy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You should also increase your intake of protein from chicken, spinach, and broccoli since this can help prevent birth defects. On the other hand, white foods like sugar, flour, and starchy items should be avoided, along with deep-fried, sugary, and fatty foods, since they can cause elevated blood sugar levels.
Exercising is also important for preventing gestational diabetes. Since you’re pregnant, you have to be more careful about what physical activities you take part in. Stick to swimming, walking, running, and skipping and avoid contact sports since these could lead to injuries. Try doing 30 minutes of exercise per day to enjoy its benefits. But if you can’t do this continuously, dividing it into shorter periods can also give you the same benefits. (Related: Pregnant women who exercise are 20% less likely to develop gestational diabetes.)
Read more news articles on natural diabetes prevention and treatment by visiting DiabetesScienceNews.com.