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Gestational diabetes linked to dysbiosis

in the gut

Previous research has shown a link between the gut  microbiota and human metabolic health, including type 2 diabetes. However, little is known regarding the role of the gut microbiome in the onset of gestational diabetes. Now, researchers have  found a clear association between a disturbed gut microbiome and gestational diabetes.

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Diabetes during pregnancy

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which a woman without diabetes develops glucose intolerance during pregnancy. The increasing prevalence of GDM and its subsequent health outcomes, is a significant public health concern. GDM affects 3-14% of pregnancies and 20-50% of these women develop type 2 diabetes (T2D) within 5 years [1,2]. Previous research already showed a clear link between T2D and the gut microbiome. This led researchers hypothesize whether the (changes in the) gut microbiome are involved in GDM as well. 




GDM affects 3-14% of pregnancies and 20-50% of these women develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years

Gut microbiota profiles

For this, the gut microbial composition of 43 GDM patients and 81 healthy pregnant women was compared using whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing of their fecal samples collected at 21-29 weeks. They explored the association between GDM and composition and function of the gut microbiota. When comparing gut microbiota profiles between GDM patients and healthy pregnant women, the researchers found distinct differences between both groups in which GDM patients exhibit a dysbiotic gut microbiota profile.

These findings suggests that the gut microbiota may be a potential predictor of T2D after pregnancy. This raises the possibility that susceptibility to metabolic diosrders such as T2D may be modified by restoring the balance in the gut microbiota, e.g. by diet of probiotics. 

The authors suggest; “Future studies should explore how gut bacterial dysbiosis could be improved and evaluate the efficacy of potential interventions, such as probiotics and dietary manipulations, among pregnant women.



Read the scientific article 


  1. Kim C, Newton KM, Knopp RH. Gestational diabetes and the incidence of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. Diabetes Care 2002;25(10):1862–8.
  2. Allalou A, Nalla A, Prentice KJ et al. A predictive metabolic signature for the transition from gestational diabetes mellitus to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 2016;65(9):2529–39.






Gut microbiota linked to gestational diabetes

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