July 08, 2014
2 min read

Calcium, vitamin D improved metabolic markers in gestational diabetes

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Pregnant women with gestational diabetes could improve their metabolic status by supplementing their diet with both calcium and vitamin D, according to findings published in Diabetologia.

“Doctors can prescribe calcium-vitamin D supplements to women with gestational diabetes who are vitamin D deficient,” Ahmad Esmaillzadeh, MD, who conducted a randomized placebo-controlled trial at maternity clinics affiliated with Kashan University of Medical Sciences in Iran, told Endocrine Today. “This supplementation might help them reduce blood glucose levels, lipid profiles and biomarkers of oxidative stress.”

Esmaillzadeh, of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, along with Zatollah Asemi, PhD, of the Kashan University of Medical Sciences, and Maryam Karamali, of Arak University of Medical Sciences, evaluated 56 women aged 18 to 40 years with gestational diabetes who were 24 to 28 weeks into their pregnancy.

Ahmad Esmaillzadeh, MD

Ahmad Esmaillzadeh

Subjects were assigned to receive 1,000 mg calcium and a 50,000 U vitamin D3 pearl (n=28) or placebo (n=28) at baseline and day 21 of the study. The researchers collected fasting blood samples at baseline and 6 weeks. Fifty-one patients completed the trial (calcium and vitamin D, n=25; placebo, n=26) but the analysis was based on intention-to-treat.

Significant reductions were observed in women who received the supplements vs. placebo in fasting plasma glucose (−0.89±0.69 vs. 0.26±0.92 mmol/l, P<.001), serum insulin levels (−13.55±35.25 vs. 9.17±38.50 pmol/l, P=.02) and HOMA-IR (−0.91±1.18 vs. 0.63±2.01, P=.001). A significant increase was also seen in quantitative insulin sensitivity check index with treatment vs. placebo (0.02±0.03 vs. −0.002±0.02, P=.003).

Reductions were witnessed in serum LDL (−0.23±0.79 vs. 0.26±0.74 mmol/l, P=.02) and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (−0.49±1.09 vs. 0.18±0.37, P=.003). An increase in HDL (0.15±0.25 vs −0.02±0.24 mmol/l, P=.01) was also seen with treatment vs. placebo.

Patients experienced significant increases in glutathione (51.14±131.64 vs. −47.27±203.63 mcmol/l, P=.03) with treatment and avoided a rise in malondialdehyde levels (0.06±0.66 vs. 0.93±2.00 mcmol/l, P=.03).

“Taking calcium-vitamin D supplements might reduce the need for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in these women,” Esmaillzadeh said. by Allegra Tiver

For More Information:

Esmaillzadeh can be reached at the Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, PO Box 81745-151, Iran; email: esmaillzadeh@nutr.mui.ac.ir.

Disclosure: The research was supported by a grant from Kashan University of Medical Sciences.