Benefits of Myo-Inositol Supplementation in Pregnant Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

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Role of Myo-Inositol Supplementation in Preventing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Pregnant Women

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with maternal risks (caesarean delivery, hypertensive disorders and a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus later in life) and foetal complications (macrosomia, neonatal hypoglycaemia, respiratory distress syndrome and childhood obesity). The condition is characterised by an increase in physiological insulin resistance and can be prevented by introducing food supplements that improve insulin resistance.

Myo-inositol (MI) is naturally present in animals and plants as inositol or phytic acid. The compound improves insulin sensitivity and ovulatory function in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Furthermore, it lowers fasting blood glucose and insulin in pregnant women with GDM and significantly reduces GDM in pregnant women with a family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus within first-degree relatives. In non-obese pregnant women with elevated maternal serum glucose levels, MI and folic acid significantly reduce abnormal maternal glucose levels. Myo-inositol along with D-chiro-inositol (DCI), folic acid and manganese significantly reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and systolic blood pressure in healthy pregnant women.

In dietary inositol supplements, the production of inositol glycan secondary messengers containing myo-inositol or DCI is thought to be associated with insulin-mimetic properties. However, future trials are essential to ascertain the exact molecular mechanism of actions of MI. Furthermore, larger, double-blind trials are required to evaluate different stereoisomers effects and postnatal long-term effects in populations with various ethnic backgrounds.

News source: Celentano C, Matarrelli B, Mattei PA, et al. Myo-inositol supplementation to prevent gestational diabetes mellitus. Curr Diab Rep. 2016;16(3):30.