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Gestational diabetes, which causes high blood sugar and can lead to fetal and maternal complications, affects 5% of pregnancies worldwide. In women with gestational diabetes, extra calories and increased weight induce inflammatory pathways which could lead to insulin resistance. Obesity is one underlying factor that may contribute to gestational diabetes through the increased risk of oxidative stress (an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body).

Earlier this year (March 2019), results were published from a clinical trial assessing the effect of co-supplementation with magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D, all of which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, on pregnancy outcomes among women with gestational diabetes. In this trial, 60 women with gestational diabetes were assigned to either co-supplementation (200 mg magnesium, 8 mg zinc, 800 mg calcium, and 400 IU vitamin D per day) or placebo for 6 weeks.

What were the findings of the study?

The researchers found that those assigned to co-supplementation had a significant reduction in biomarkers for inflammation (P=0.01) and oxidative stress (P=0.003) compared to those in the placebo group. Also, the co-supplementation group had a significant increase in total antioxidant capacity, a measure of antioxidant status where higher levels indicate lower oxidative stress, compared to the placebo group (P=0.01).

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Additionally, infants of mother’s with gestational diabetes are at risk for macrosomia, which describes a newborn who is significantly larger than average. Macrosomia can lead to difficulties with delivery, low blood sugar levels in the newborn, and increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome in childhood. In this trial, women in the co-supplementation group had smaller newborns compared to women in the placebo group (3090 vs. 3346 grams, P=0.05) and had a lower rate of macrosomia (3.3% vs. 16.7%, P=0.08).

These findings suggest that providing women with gestational diabetes with magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D supplements could improve biomarkers for inflammation and oxidative stress and possibly reduce macrosomia. Of note, the vitamin D dose in this trial was very small and women in the co-supplementation group only achieved a vitamin D level of 19 ng/ml. It’s likely that women and infants in the co-supplementation group would have experienced even better results had the dose been much higher.

Do you have existing chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation can lead to chronic disease, and symptoms such as pain, chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety. The presence of inflammation can indicate the need for dietary changes and the improvement of nutrient levels. GrassrootsHealth offers an Inflammation Panel to test your hsCRP, vitamin D, omega-3 and HbA1c levels, to give you a better idea of your current state of inflammation and how to address it. Find out your levels today! Log on to the shop (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

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How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!