An Early Check For Gestational Diabetes – And Help From Green Tea

| May 22, 2017

Between five and ten per cent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, which increases their risks of stillbirth, pre-eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure) or a Caesarean delivery. As I mentioned here, while gestational diabetes usually goes away immediately after the pregnancy, that isn’t the end of the story.

Around half the women who suffer from gestational diabetes during a pregnancy go on to develop type 2 diabetes within five years. And children from those pregnancies are also at increased risk of obesity, blood sugar problems and type 2 diabetes. So, anything that helps reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, or spot the problem early, is good news.

At present, gestational diabetes can’t be detected before the last three months of pregnancy. Based on a questionnaire to determine risk factors, women may be offered an oral glucose tolerance test to check their sugar metabolism. But researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, USA have now developed a simple blood test that could be used for early screening of the condition.1

The new test looks for a biomarker called glycated protein CD59, which increases when blood sugar levels are not well controlled. This can be detected in the blood of women with gestational diabetes as early as the 24th week of pregnancy, allowing for early intervention. But while antidiabetic drugs, such as glibenclamide, may be the conventional treatment for this condition, they can endanger the baby’s health, as I reported here.

So, it’s good to hear that Chinese gynaecologists have been looking at a much safer alternative – a natural compound from green tea. Epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) has been shown in earlier research to benefit blood sugar control. In the new study, compared with those taking a placebo, women with gestational diabetes who took an EGCG supplement had healthier glucose and insulin levels and better pregnancy outcomes. Fewer of their babies were of abnormal weight, had breathing problems or were hypoglycaemic.2

New findings from Finland suggest that women who consume more omega-3 fatty acids from fish during breastfeeding slash their children’s risk of type 1 diabetes. More on this in my next blog post.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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1. Ghosh P, Luque-Fernandez MA, Vaidya A et al. Plasma glycated CD59, a novel biomarker for detection of pregnancy-induced glucose intolerance. Diabetes Care. 2017 Apr 27 (Online ahead of print).

2. Zhang H, Su S, Yu X, Li Y. Dietary epigallocatechin 3-gallate supplement improves maternal and neonatal treatment outcome of gestational diabetes mellitus: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017 Mar 6 (Online ahead of print).

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Category: Natural Diabetes Alternatives

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