Low-carb diet doesn't help for gestational diabetes

Lowering carb intake isn't enough to fight off gestational diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Senior author Dr. Didac Mauricio, from the University of Lleida in Spain, and his team randomly assigned 152 women with gestational diabetes either a low-carb diet or a control diet. The low-carb diet included 40 percent of total caloric intake from carbs, while the control diet patients got 55 percent of their calories from carbohydrates.

The average age of the study participants was about 33, and the mean gestational time at the beginning of the study was around 30 weeks.

The study found that the need for insulin treatment in both groups was the same - with 54.7 percent of women in both groups needing the treatment to help treat gestational diabetes.

Dr. Mauricio notes that medical nutritional therapy (MNT) is the standard treatment for gestational diabetes, but that controlling the glycemic load through carb restriction may need to be researched further, as there is currently little evidence to support specific nutritional approaches to help address the condition.

"I believe that we should start rethinking the role of the glycemic load of the diet in the treatment of gestational diabetes," Dr. Mauricio told Medscape Medical News.

There were also no differences in the pregnancy outcomes for both groups of women, such as maternal weight gain, birth size or newborn hypoglycemia.

"Additional randomized intervention studies that consider different populations and different strategies to modify glycemic load are warranted to assess the optimal [approach]," the authors wrote.

Source: Medscape Medical News

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