What is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus?
Women with high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are diagnosed to have Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). This pregnancy-related complication is characterized by maternal insulin resistance and is associated with inflammation throughout gestation.
Both mothers with GDM and their offspring have an increased risk of diabetes later in life and other consequences of GDM, which could be avoided with appropriate treatment.
What is the cause of Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is caused by oxidative stress, a condition where the free radicals in our body become too much for the antioxidants to keep at bay. Studies have shown that probiotics can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. They have also been looked at to see if they can help with type 2 diabetes and prevent GDM.
Can Probiotics Help Prevent Gestational Diabetes Mellitus?
This study seeks to measure the effect of a probiotic supplement capsule on inflammation and oxidative stress in women after being diagnosed with GDM. The capsule contains four bacterial strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12, Streptococcus Thermophilus STY-31, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii bulgaricus LBY-27.
High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), supposedly associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus, are inflammatory indices. On the other hand, malondialdehyde (MDA), Glutathione reductase (GSHR), and Erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GPx) are biomarkers for oxidative stress.
The Study Method On Multi-strain Probiotics and Pregnant Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Of the 64 initial participants, only 56 completed the study. The 56 participants, all pregnant with GDM between 24-28 weeks of gestation, filled out a general questionnaire in the initial interview.
This questionnaire collected data on age, weight before pregnancy, how active one was before pregnancy, any health problems or drug use in the past month, and if one had been taking probiotics in the two weeks before the study started. Height was also measured to calculate the pre-pregnancy BMI.
The researchers randomly allocated the 56 participants into two groups: 29 received probiotics, and 27 got a placebo once daily for eight weeks. In this double-blinded clinical trial, neither the participants nor the researchers knew which treatment the participant would receive. The probiotic contained four bacterial strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5, Bifidobacterium BB-12, Streptococcus Thermophilus STY-31, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii bulgaricus LBY-27.
Data on the dietary intake of each participant was also taken for three non-consecutive days (two weekdays and one weekend) — before the trial, after four weeks of treatment, and after the eight-week trial period.
Examiners also took blood samples before and after treatment to measure inflammation and oxidative stress indices.
There were no severe complications reported throughout the study.
The inflammatory indicators showed significant differences between the Probiotic and the Placebo Groups. While Hs-CRP and TNF-α decreased among the Probiotic Group, they increased in the Placebo Group.
Likewise, the oxidative stress markers MDA, GSHR, and erythrocyte GPx significantly improved in the Probiotic over the Placebo Group.
The present study found that probiotic supplement containing L.acidophilus LA-5, Bifidobacterium BB-12, S.thermophilus STY-31, and L.delbrueckii bulgaricus LBY-2 improves biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in women with GDM.