Cod-Liver Oil Improves Metabolic Indices and hs-CRP Levels in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Patients: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

J Diabetes Res. 2019 Dec 28:2019:7074042. doi: 10.1155/2019/7074042. eCollection 2019.


Objective: To investigate the effects of cod-liver oil on metabolic status and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Methods: This study was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial with the allocation ratio of 1 : 1. The contents of EPA and DHA in cod-liver oil were measured using a gas chromatograph. A total of 550 GDM patients were randomly divided into the intervention group (cod-liver oil) and the control group (placebo, mineral oil), and both groups were given regular dietary care. Glycosylated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-hour plasma glucose (2hPG), lipid profiles, homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and hs-CRP were measured. Primary outcomes were different in HbA1c, FPG, 2hPG, and HOMA-IR between the two groups after 4-week randomization. Secondary outcomes were the blood glucose levels and perinatal complications (pregnancy-induced hypertension, polyhydramnios, premature delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, postpartum infection, premature rupture of membranes, and cesarean section) between the two groups before and after 12-16 weeks of cod-liver oil intervention from middle pregnancy to late pregnancy.

Results: EPA and DHA were the main components of cod-liver oil with 76 mg/mL and 150 mg/mL, respectively. There was no significant difference for primary outcomes in the levels of HbA1c, FPG, 2hPG, HOMA-IR, and lipid profiles between the two groups (P > 0.05). For the secondary outcomes, the levels of HbA1c, FPG, 2hPG, triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (LDL-C), HOMA-IR, and hs-CRP in the intervention group were significantly lower than those in the control group (P < 0.05). The incidence of perinatal complications in the intervention group was lower than that in the control group too (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Cod-liver oil consumption effectively reduced the levels of blood glucose, lipid levels, hs-CRP, and HOMA-IR and the incidence of perinatal complications.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Cod Liver Oil / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / metabolism*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lipids / blood
  • Pregnancy


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipids
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • C-Reactive Protein