Preventing Gestational Diabetes: The Potential Role of Myo-Inositol Supplementation

Gestational diabetes is a growing concern worldwide. Researchers have recently explored the potential benefits of myo-inositol, a naturally occurring sugar found in various food sources, as a dietary supplement to prevent gestational diabetes. 

A recent Cochrane review found evidence from seven studies that suggest that antenatal dietary supplementation with myo-inositol during pregnancy may reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and preterm birth. However, the available data indicate that myo-inositol supplementation may not reduce the risk of having a large-for-gestational-age infant.

It is important to note that the current evidence is based on small-scale studies that were not adequately powered to detect differences in outcomes such as perinatal mortality and serious infant morbidity. Moreover, most of these studies were conducted in Italy, with only one study in Ireland, which questions the generalizability of the findings to other settings. Additionally, there is inconsistency among the doses of myo-inositol, timing of administration, and study populations. Therefore, the certainty of the evidence for many outcomes has been downgraded to low or very low certainty.

Given these limitations, further research is warranted to explore the potential of myo-inositol as an antenatal intervention for preventing gestational diabetes. 

In conclusion, while the current evidence suggests a potential benefit of myo-inositol supplementation in reducing the incidence of gestational diabetes, more robust and comprehensive studies are needed to ascertain its safety, efficacy, and optimal administration protocols. 

Motuhifonua SK, Lin L, Alsweiler J, Crawford TJ, Crowther CA. Antenatal dietary supplementation with myo‐inositol for preventing gestational diabetes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2023;2. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011507.pub3. Accessed 03 July 2023.


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