Thiamine supplementation to prevent induction of low birth weight by conventional therapy for gestational diabetes mellitus

Med Hypotheses. 2000 Jul;55(1):88-90. doi: 10.1054/mehy.1999.1037.


Conventional treatment for gestational diabetes mellitus increases the proportion of infants born with a low birth weight, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus in later life. Thiamine supplementation during pregnancy may be shown to be a safe preventive measure. During pregnancy, approximately 50% of the women develop a biochemical thiamine deficiency, whereas the thiamine status falls, but remains within normal limits, in most other women. Thiamine is essential for glucose oxidation, insulin production by pancreatic beta-cells and cell growth. It is therefore likely that thiamine supplementation in pregnant women not only improves their glucose tolerance but also stimulates the intra-uterine growth, thereby preventing a low birth weight to ensue from conventional therapy which only improves glucose tolerance.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes, Gestational / physiopathology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Models, Biological
  • Pregnancy
  • Thiamine / therapeutic use*
  • Thiamine Deficiency / prevention & control


  • Thiamine