AGEs linked to diabetes in pregnant women

Pregnant Red DressA recent study has linked the consumption of fried foods by women pre-pregnancy to gestational diabetes (GDM), which is the development of high blood sugar during pregnancy despite no previous diabetes diagnosis. GDM disappears following birth, but women who suffer from it are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

The study, which was published in the magazine Diabetologia (official journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes), caught the attention of many different publications. Among the websites to write about the study were Medical Daily, International Business Times, Food World News, Diabetes.co.uk, Lifehacker, The Telegraph, Irishhealth.com, Family Practice News, Healio, and Medical Xpress.

Beginning in 1991, participants in the study were asked various questions about their eating habits in relation to fried foods, and data was collected at four-year intervals. A total of 21,079 pregnancies were studied by researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and 847 incidents of GDM were documented.

According to the findings, the more fried food the women ate, the more likely they were to have GDM. In fact, women who ate fried food daily were twice as likely to have GDM than women who avoided fried food.

One of the reasons for the link between fried foods and GDM is AGEs. The authors of the study stated:

“Frying also results in significantly higher levels of dietary advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the derivatives of glucose-protein or glucose-lipid interactions. Recently, AGEs have been implicated in insulin resistance, pancreatic beta-cell damage, and diabetes, partly because they promote oxidative stress and inflammation. Moreover, intervention studies with a diet low in AGEs have shown significantly improved insulin sensitivity, reduced oxidant stress, and alleviated inflammation.”

The researchers also noted that women who ate fried foods away from home were more likely to have GDM than women who primarily ate fried foods at home. They stated:

“Deterioration of oils during frying is more profound when the oils are reused, a practice more common away from home than at home. This may partly explain why we observed a stronger association of GDM risk with fried foods consumed away from home than fried foods consumed at home.”

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