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Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) Improves Outcomes in Gestational Diabetes

8/1/2017 11:48:57 AM
Gestational diabetes is primarily managed with diet, with more advanced cases requiring insulin therapy. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a natural compound found in green tea extract, has demonstrated beneficial effects on insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity in animal studies. In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, researchers Zhang et al. evaluated the effects of EGCG supplementation on maternal symptoms and neonatal outcomes in women with gestational diabetes.
 
A total of 404 women with gestational diabetes were randomized to take 500mg EGCG per day or placebo from the beginning of the third trimester until full term. From baseline to full term, those taking EGCG had significant reductions in fasting plasma glucose (105mg/dL at baseline vs 89mg/dL at full term), significant reductions in insulin levels (16μIU/mL at baseline vs 9μIU/mL at full term), significant decreases in HOMA-IR (3.8 at baseline vs 2.0 at full term), significant decreases in HOMA-β [a meaure of insulin resistance] (57 at baseline vs 45 at full term), and significant improvements on the QUICKI score of diabetic symptoms. In contrast, those taking placebo experienced no change in fasting plasma glucose, a significant increase in insulin levels, no change in HOMA-IR or HOMA-β, and no significant change in QUICKI score from baseline to full term. When compared with placebo, women taking EGCG had significantly lower levels of fasting plasma glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-β at full term.
 
Over the course of the study, 57 women withdrew to start insulin therapy for uncontrolled blood glucose levels. Of these 57 women, 16 (8% of the 202 participants) were from the EGCG group and 41 (20% of the 202 participants) were from the placebo.
 
Incidence of low birth weight and neonatal hypoglycemia were significantly reduced in the EGCG group, and the 1-minute and 5-minute Apgar scores were significantly higher in the EGCG group when compared with placebo.
 
The authors conclude that EGCG supplementation improves maternal and neonatal outcomes of gestational diabetes.  
 
Reference: Zhang H, Su S, Yu X, Li Y. Dietary epigallocatechin 3-gallate supplement improves maternal and neonatal treatment outcome of gestational diabetes mellitus: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017