Can a low-glycemic index diet reduce the need for insulin in gestational diabetes mellitus? A randomized trial

Robert G. Moses, Megan Barker, Meagan Winter, Peter Petocz, Jennie C. Brand-Miller

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    132 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE - A low-glycemic index diet is effective as a treatment for individuals with diabetes and has been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes when used from the first trimester. A low-glycemic index diet is commonly advised as treatment for women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). However, the efficacy of this advice and associated pregnancy outcomes have not been systematically examined. The purpose of this study was to determine whether prescribing a low-glycemic index diet for women with GDM could reduce the number of women requiring insulin without compromise of pregnancy outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - All women with GDM seen over a 12-month period were considered for inclusion in the study. Women (n = 63) were randomly assigned to receive either a low-glycemic index diet or a conventional high-fiber (and higher glycemic index) diet. RESULTS - Of the 31 women randomly assigned to a low-glycemic index diet, 9 (29%) required insulin. Of the women randomly assigned to a higher- glycemic index diet, a significantly higher proportion, 19 of 32 (59%), met the criteria to commence insulin treatment (P = 0.023). However, 9 of these 19 women were able to avoid insulin use by changing to a low-glycemic index diet. Key obstetric and fetal outcomes were not significantly different. CONCLUSIONS - Using a low-glycemic index diet for women with GDM effectively halved the number needing to use insulin, with no compromise of obstetric or fetal outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)996-1000
    Number of pages5
    JournalDiabetes Care
    Volume32
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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