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Probiotic Linked to Reduced Risk of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when the placental hormones in pregnant women produce a potentially dangerous rise in blood sugar. A recent study suggests that taking a daily supplement of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 may reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes by more than 40%.


Participants in the study included 423 pregnant women with a personal or partner genetic tendency to develop diabetes. Over the course of 14 to 16 weeks, they were given either L. rhamnosus HN001 supplements or a placebo daily. Gestational diabetes was assessed between weeks 24 and 30.


At the conclusion of the study (which 373 women completed), the researchers noted a trend toward lower rates of gestational diabetes in the probiotic group. When the researchers limited their analysis to women over 35 or women with a history of gestational diabetes, they found a trend towards lower rates of gestational diabetes.


There were no negative side effects in the probiotic group.


Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand led the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 3, 2017, in the British Journal of Nutrition.


Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 is a version of a probiotic that is thought to have the most health benefits of any probiotic. Previous studies suggest it may help reduce diarrhea, improve immunity, and aid urinary tract health.

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