Diabetic Health Quote
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New diabetes drug could help prevent obesity in unborn babies

Tue, 10 May 2011

A new clinical trial has found that a treatment for diabetes could help pregnant women who are also obese from having overweight babies. Metformin, which has been used by people with type 2 diabetes for years, could help control the obesity of a child in its mother's womb if taken up to three times a day during the pregnancy .

The NHS intends to carry out tests using metformin on 400 obese but non-diabetic women at hospitals around the UK. The health of both the mother and baby will be monitored, and the findings due to be available in four years’ time.

The treatment is intended to lower the amount of food that reaches the baby, instead of trying to get the pregnant mother to lose weight herself. It is hoped that preventing obesity in an unborn child during pregnancy could also help the long-term weight and health problems for many children.

It is also known that women with obesity problems have to make more insulin than other expectant mothers, which leads to more fat and sugars getting to the baby. The metformin, which has already been cleared for the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy, can be taken to reduce insulin levels and lower the supply of food to the baby, and reduce and therefore reduce the chances of the baby being born obese.

In addition, the drug may be able to lower the chances of the mother suffering from pre-eclampsia and decrease the need for caesarean sections.
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