A new study in Europe is set to get underway examining the effect of vitamin D and lifestyle interventions on gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which pregnant women get high blood glucose, usually during their third trimester. What happens in gestational diabetes is that the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with the body’s needs, coupled with the body having general resistance to insulin. Consequently, pregnant mothers then have too much glucose in their blood.
Gestational diabetes can lead to some complications. Women are more likely to get preeclampsia or have to get a Caesarean section. Women are more likely to get type II diabetes later in life. Babies are more likely to be born large, which can lead to delivery complications. Babies are also more likely to have childhood obesity.
In the new study underway, abbreviated DALI, researchers are enrolling 880 women to participate in a randomized controlled trial. The trial will have 8 different arms, with 110 women placed in each arm. The arms include:
- Healthy eating arm. Women will be assigned to a nutrition coach who will explain how to improve their diet during pregnancy.
- Physical activity arm. Women will receive instruction on how to be more physically active. They will receive manuals and other tools to encourage physical activity.
- Healthy eating and physical activity arm. Women will receive both of the previous interventions.
- Control arm. Women won’t receive any intervention.
- Healthy eating, physical activity arm and vitamin D supplement arm. Women will receive the healthy eating and physical activity interventions, and they will also receive a vitamin D supplement of 1600 IU/day.
- Healthy eating, physical activity arm and placebo arm. Women will receive the healthy eating and physical activity interventions, and they will also receive a placebo pill to take daily.
- Vitamin D alone arm. Women will receive a vitamin D supplement of 1600 IU/day.
- Placebo pill arm. Women will receive a placebo pill to take daily.
The researchers will aim to see which arm prevents gestational diabetes the best.
DALI will be recruiting women from nine different countries, including United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Denmark. They hope to enroll women through December 2013 at the partnering centers in each country. The interventions will take place during the women’s third trimester.
To learn more, visit the DALI website: http://www.dali-project.eu/
Jelsma JGM et al. DALI: Vitamin D and lifestyle intervention for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) prevention: an European multicentre, randomised trial — study protocol. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 2013