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Homocysteine Levels Predicts Future Diabetes After Gestational Diabetes

Nov 22, 2005

High homocysteine in the early postpartum period is an independent risk factor for the development of diabetes in women with a history of pregnancy-induced diabetes (a.k.a. gestational diabetes). more than 15 percent of these individuals will have to undergo amputation.

Measurement of homocysteine at six week’s postpartum "would be helpful" to identify women with a previous history of pregnancy-induced diabetes at high risk for developing diabetes, study investigators conclude.

Diabetes that develops during pregnancy normally clears up after delivery. Nowadays, however, full-blown diabetes often develops in women who suffered with pregnancy-induced diabetes.

Homocysteine, an amino acid, has been tied to heart disease and stroke but its relationships to and role in the onset of diabetes is unclear.

To investigate, Dr. Nam H. Cho from Ajou University School of Medicine in Suwon, Korea and colleagues studied 170 women with a history of pregnancy-induced diabetes who had normal glucose tolerance or impaired glucose tolerance (a prediabetic condition) at baseline exams conducted at six weeks postpartum.

Over the next 4 years, 18 women (10.6 percent) became diabetic. Of these, nine had normal glucose tolerance and nine had impaired glucose tolerance at baseline.

Cho’s team found that higher postpartum homocysteine levels were associated with the onset of diabetes, regardless of age, body weight, and family history of diabetes.

The results hint that early postpartum "hyperhomocysteinemia" in mother who had pregnancy-induced diabetes ups the risk of diabetes later on, the authors conclude.
Diabetes Care November 2005.

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Researchers in Canada have found that buckwheat, which is sometimes found in pancakes, may be beneficial in the management of diabetes. In a recent study, extracts of the seed lowered blood glucose levels by 12 to 19-percent in diabetic rats. Researchers say the findings could someday lead to new treatments for people with diabetes. They also remind people that it’s the buckwheat found in the pancakes that could be beneficial, not the pancakes themselves. The study was led by researchers at the University of Manitoba in Canada and published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."