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D-chiro inositol reduces risk of gestational diabetes in pregnant PCOS women

The nutritional supplement d-chiro inositol has been found to reduce the onset of gestational diabetes in women with PCOS.
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New research has found that administering d-chiro inositol to pregnant women who also have polycystic ovarian syndrome reduces the amount of weight gain during pregnancy, improves insulin sensitivity and glycaemic control and reduces the onset of gestational diabetes. The research was published in the June issue of the Italian medical journal Minerva Ginecologia, published Monday, June 30, 2014 and is the first research ever undertaken on d-chiro inositol during pregnancy.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS as it is more commonly known, affects about 10 percent of women, though some estimates put that figure as high as 25 percent. The condition appears to be more prevalent in lesbian women than in heterosexual women, though it is not known why this is. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is characterized by excess levels of male hormones which are triggered by excess levels of insulin which act upon the theca cells of the ovaries stimulating them to produce testosterone, irregular ovulation and menstruation which can lead to infertility and is associated with an increased risk for insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes and heart disease. PCOS is the leading cause of female infertility and the disease greatly increases the risk of premature cardiovascular disease including heart attack and stroke. Women with PCOS have an increased risk of gestational diabetes should they fall pregnant and a greater risk of problems during pregnancy.

The study abstract states

"The data of our study seem to show that the DCI supplement has a role in the regulation of glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, and is able to act on the metabolism of pregnant women at risk of developing gestational diabetes, who probably have a basic alteration of insulin and glucose metabolism. It acts improving insulin sensitivity and reducing the onset of gestational diabetes in pregnant women at risk, decreasing the weight gain and nocturnal hypoglycemia responsible for the attacks of hunger at night. Further studies would be desirable to clarify the mechanism of action of DCI at the cellular level in glucose metabolism during pregnancy, and clinical data must be confirmed with wider studies."

More information:

Costantino D, & Guaraldi C. (2014) [Role of D-chiro-inositol in glucidic metabolism alterations during pregnancy.]. Minerva ginecologica, 66(3), 281-291. PMID: 24971783

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