BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that Type 2 diabetes in children may be linked to a mother's blood sugar during pregnancy.
The study found that children of women with high blood sugar during pregnancy have changes in the way their bodies process carbohydrates. These changes are believed to lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Children who were exposed to maternal blood glucose were known to have lower insulin sensitivity and greater post-meal insulin secretion, despite body composition or other factors. The study strongly suggests the prenatal environment may program fetal carbohydrate metabolism, according to the authors.
"These findings support the concept that maternal blood glucose plays a role in how the developing fetus manages insulin secretion from the pancreas and also of insulin sensitivity at target tissues such as the skeletal muscle and liver," said Paula Chandler-Laney, Ph.D.
The authors of the study suggest that further studies will be needed that start at pregnancy and follow through childhood to determine if the insulin levels continue into adulthood.
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