ginger helps pregnant women with gestational diabetes

Ginger is the best remedy for pregnant women with morning sickness. Now, it may have another benefit for pregnant women: it may be a great herb for gestational diabetes.

Recent research has revealed that ginger may be a valuable herb for diabetics. In the past few years, ginger has been found to benefit diabetics by improving blood sugar, insulin resistance and long term control of diabetes (Comp Ther Res 2014;22:9-16; J Compliment Integr Med 2015;12:165-70). A meta-analysis concluded that ginger significantly lowers fasting blood sugar levels and significantly improves HbA1c, the most important marker of long term blood sugar and diabetes control.

Most recently, a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8 controlled studies of ginger and type 2 diabetes found that, while ginger did not affect fasting blood sugar, it did significantly improve HbA1c while the placebo did not. So, though ginger may not have an immediate effect on blood sugar, it does have a significant effect on long term control of diabetes (Medicine 2019;98(13):e15054).

And now, the same has been found for women with gestational diabetes. And that is very good news for long term control of their condition and for pregnancy outcomes.

A woman suffers from gestational diabetes if her impaired glucose tolerance shows up for the first time during pregnancy. It affects anywhere from 1% to 14% of pregnant women. This is the first study ever to look at ginger as a treatment for gestational diabetes.

The double-blind study gave either ginger or a placebo to 70 women with gestational diabetes who were in the 24-28 week of their pregnancy. The dose of ginger was 500mg three times a day after meals, and the study lasted for 6 weeks. Blood sugar levels taken two hours after eating did not improve significantly more than they did on placebo. This lack of immediate, short term benefit is consistent with the recent systematic review and meta-analysis. But every other measure improved significantly more on ginger. Fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin and beta-cell function and insulin resistance (HOMA) all improved significantly more than in the placebo group.

The researchers say that these results suggest that ginger could improve pregnancy outcomes in women with gestational diabetes.

BMC Complement Med Ther 2020;20: 116

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For much more on ginger, see our book Healthy Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Their Use.

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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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