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Issue 142 Winter 2021

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INTESTINAL FLORA AND GESTATIONAL DIABETES MELLITUS

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Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a disorder featuring high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy. As such, its occurrence is often associated with metabolic disorders, inflammatory activation and a loss of insulin sensitivity. Gut microbial dysbiosis (disruption of the microflora) has been linked to GDM, with a number of metagenomic studies describing changes to microbiota in pregnant women.

Su et al. assessed 122 pregnant women divided into two groups according to their body mass index (BMI). They found that 27 of the 98 subjects who had a BMI <24kg/m2 had GDM, while 7 of the 24 women with a BMI >24kg/m2 had GDM.

In women without GDM, the composition of the intestinal flora was unchanged and independent of BMI. Women with GDM in the higher BMI group showed a gut flora that was significantly different from those with GDM in the lower BMI group. Examination revealed that women in the higher BMI group with GDM had an increased relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and lower abundance of Firmicutes.

This study suggests that supplementary probiotics may have utility in reducing the risk of GDM.

Read the full article in Endocrine Connections 10 1366–1376




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