Effects of Diet and Exercise on Insulin Resistance during Pregnancy

Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2006 Summer;4(2):84-90. doi: 10.1089/met.2006.4.84.


Current evidence suggests that both diet and exercise can alter the usual increase in insulin resistance seen in Western societies during mid and late pregnancy. A low-glycemic diet combined with a low-volume exercise regimen during pregnancy decreases the glucose and insulin response to both mixed caloric intake and exercise, and probably lowers both 24-h blood glucose concentrations and the maternal substrate utilization ratio of carbohydrate/fat. The end result is a marked decrease in both maternal weight gain and size at birth. Regular weight-bearing exercise alone lowers markers of insulin resistance and lowers blood glucose concentration during and immediately after exercise during pregnancy. Changes in diet and/or physical activity appear to prevent the onset of gestational diabetes mellitus in at-risk women and may be of value in the treatment of those who develop gestational diabetes.