A compound found in green tea could help improve the health of women with gestational diabetes and their babies, researchers have said.
A team from China say they have found a link between epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) and better health outcomes in expectant females.
Previous research has already found EGCG, which is found in tea leaves, had positive benefits which is why it is used in many dietary supplements.
The authors, from the Central Hospital of Zibo, wrote: “Our current clinical trial is the first to report the potential therapeutic value of the natural compound EGCG in GDM, which is able to both alleviate maternal diabetic symptoms and reduce the incidence of neonatal complications.”
The trial consisted of 472 women in their third trimester of pregnancy all of whom had gestational diabetes. They were divided up into two groups, one of which was given 500mg of EGCG and the other group was given a placebo.
All participants had their diets monitored, as well as their blood sugar levels and their baby’s health when it was delivered.
The researchers found there were less babies with abnormal birth weight, both too low and too high, who belonged to women given the EGCG when compared to those who did not. There were also less respiratory problems in the infants whose mothers took the tea compound.
The authors wrote: “We have found that circulating glucose and insulin metabolisms of GDM-affected women are markedly improved by dietary EGCG intervention.
“These observations suggest that dietary EGCG supplementation for GDM women could also improve neonatal complications, at least in terms of low birth rate and hypoglycemia.”
The study has been published online ahead of print in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

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