The Impact of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus on Human Milk Metabolic Hormones: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication with short- and long-term health consequences for the infant and mother. Breastfeeding is the recommended mode of feeding as it offers an opportunity to reduce the risk of GDM consequences, likely partially mediated through changes in human milk (HM) composition. This review systematically reviewed 12 identified studies that investigated the impact of GDM on concentrations of HM metabolic hormones. Meta-analysis was not possible due to significant heterogeneity in study designs and hormone measurement techniques. The risk of bias was assessed using the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) tool. The methodological qualities were medium in half of the studies, while 25% (3/12) of studies carried a high risk of bias. Significant relationships were reported between GDM and concentrations of HM ghrelin (3/3 studies), insulin (2/4), and adiponectin (2/6), which may play an integral role in infant growth and development. In conclusion, preliminary evidence suggests that GDM may alter HM metabolic hormone concentrations; however, these relationships may be limited to the early lactation stage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3620
Number of pages21
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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