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Diabetes. 1990 Feb;39(2):234-40.

Metabolic effects of 1200-kcal diet in obese pregnant women with gestational diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.


Calorie restriction is widely used as a primary therapy for obese pregnant women with gestational diabetes. To better understand the metabolic consequences of marked calorie restriction, we performed a randomized prospective trial under metabolic ward conditions. Obese gestationally diabetic women were randomized to control (n = 5) and calorie-restricted (n = 7) groups. All patients consumed an approximately 2400-kcal/day diet during the 1st wk of the study, and at the end of the 1st wk, metabolic features of the two groups were statistically indistinguishable. During the 2nd wk, the control group continued to consume approximately 2400 kcal/day, whereas the calorie-restricted group consumed approximately 1200 kcal/day. Twenty-four-hour mean glucose levels remained unchanged in the control group (6.7 +/- 0.8 mM wk 1 vs. 6.8 +/- 0.8 mM wk 2), although they dropped dramatically in the calorie-restricted group (6.7 +/- 1.0 mM wk 1 vs. 5.4 +/- 0.5 mM wk 2, P less than 0.01). Fasting plasma insulin also declined in the calorie-restricted group (265 +/- 165 pM wk 1 vs. 145 +/- 130 pM wk 2), resulting in a significant change between groups (P less than 0.02). Surprisingly, fasting plasma glucose and glucose tolerance measured by the 3-h oral glucose tolerance test did not change within or between groups. Fasting levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate rose in the calorie-restricted group (290 +/- 240 microM wk 1 vs. 780 +/- 30 microM wk 2) but not in the control group (P less than 0.01). Finally, urine ketones increased significantly (P less than 0.02) in the calorie-restricted group, whereas they remained absent in the control group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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