WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Following a Mediterranean diet in pregnancy does not reduce the risk for adverse maternal and offspring complications but may reduce the odds of gestational diabetes, according to a study published online July 23 in PLOS Medicine.

Bassel H. Al Wattar, M.D., from Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues randomly assigned 1,252 women to either a Mediterranean-style diet or usual care. At 18, 20, and 28 weeks of gestation, all participants received individualized dietary advice.

The researchers observed no significant reductions in the composite maternal (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.76; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 1.03; P = 0.08) or composite offspring (aOR, 0.79; 95 percent CI, 0.58 to 1.08; P = 0.14) outcomes. A reduction was noted in the odds of gestational diabetes (aOR, 0.65; 95 percent CI, 0.47 to 0.91; P = 0.01); no reductions were seen in other components of the composite outcome. Compared with controls, mothers in the intervention group gained less gestational weight (adjusted difference, −1.2 kg; 95 percent CI, −2.2 to −0.2; P = 0.03). A significant reduction was seen in gestational diabetes (OR, 0.67; 95 percent CI, 0.53 to 0.84) when pooling findings with those from the Effect of Simple, Targeted Diet in Pregnant Women With Metabolic Risk Factors on Pregnancy Outcomes trial and similar trials.

“Although we did not find any differences between the groups in short-term offspring outcomes, we do not know the potential impact of in utero exposure to the various dietary components of the intervention on long-term outcomes such as childhood obesity and other conditions such as asthma and allergy disorders in the offspring,” the authors write.

Walnuts and almonds were donated by the California Walnut Commission and Blue Diamond Growers, respectively.

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