Monday, November 15, 2010

Pregnancy and probiotics

A new study in the British Journal of Nutrition of July this year (2010. doi:10.1017/S0007114509993898), found that supplementing pregnant women with probiotics helps reduce the risk of diabetes during pregnancy, improve blood glucose control and improve child health. The women who took probiotics had gestational diabetes mellitus at a rate of 13 percent compared to 36 percent for the diet/placebo group and 34 percent for the control group. This is almost a 2/3rds reduction in gestational diabetes. This is such a cheap and effect intervention without any increased risk. It is thought that by reducing gestational diabetes it also reduces the risk of the mother developing diabetes later in life. The probiotic supplement was contained the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG, Valio) and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12. These are big names but it helps scientists identify which ones are the most effective as not all probiotics are the same.

In an earlier study of 50 pregnant women published in the same journal in March 2010 (doi:10.1017/S0007114510000176) found those women who experienced excessive weight gain during pregnancy had more Escherichia coli bacteria in their gut, and fewer Bifidobacteria than women with normal weight gain during pregnancy. This builds on a growing body of evidence dating back to 2006 linking healthy gut flora to healthy weight maintenance. The study showed that overweight women had fewer Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides and more Staphylococcus, Enterobacteriaceae and E. coli than normal-weight women.

Raakel Luoto, Kirsi Laitinen, Merja Nermes and Erika Isolauri
Impact of maternal probiotic-supplemented dietary counselling on pregnancy outcome and prenatal and postnatal growth: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study
British Journal of Nutrition (2010) doi:10.1017/S0007114509993898

Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, First View article, doi:10.1017/S0007114510000176
“Gut microbiota composition is associated with body weight, weight gain and biochemical parameters in pregnant women”
Authors: A. Santacruz, M. C. Collado, L. García-Valdés, M. T. Segura, J. A. Martin-Lagos, T. Anjos, M. Martí-Romero, R. M. Lopez, J. Florido, C. Campoy, Y. Sanz