Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Insulin Concentrations and Lipid Profiles of Pregnant Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

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Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in Pregnant Women With Gestational Diabetes and its Impact on Iron Metabolism and Lipid Profile

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common complication among pregnant women worldwide, affecting 3%–8% of all pregnancies. Insulin resistance and increased lipid profiles are usually linked to GDM. Although various evidences indicate an enhanced insulin function and improvements in lipid profiles and glucose tolerance with omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, studies in patients with GDM is lacking. This study published in Clinical Nutrition investigated the impact of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on insulin metabolism and lipid profiles of pregnant women with GDM.

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 56 women with GDM were randomised to receive supplements of 1,000 mg omega-3 fatty acid (n=28) or placebo (n=28) for six weeks. Biochemical variables were quantified using fasting blood samples collected at baseline and at the end of the six-week intervention period.

No significant change in the homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) or serum insulin levels was observed in the omega-3 fatty acid supplemented group. However, the difference in change between the supplemented and placebo groups was found to be significant with respect to HOMA-IR (change from baseline: −0.4±2.1 vs. +1.1±2.4) and serum insulin levels (−1.5±7.5 vs. +3.5±8.5 µIU/mL). Omega-3 fatty acid supplements also led to a significant reduction in serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels (−236.3±1,541.9 ng/mL) compared to placebo (898.6±2,292.7 ng/mL). No impact on fasting plasma glucose, quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI), homeostatic model assessment-beta cell function (HOMA-B) or lipid profiles was observed with omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.

The study concluded that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation exerted beneficial effects with respect to insulin resistance in pregnant women with GDM; however, the supplementation did not influence HOMA-B, QUICKI and lipid profiles.

News Source: Samimi M, Jamilian M, Asemi Z, et al. Effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on insulin metabolism and lipid profiles in gestational diabetes: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Nutr. 2015;34(3):388–393.