Background: As the pregnancy progresses, insulin sensitivity (SI) might slowly decrease to 50% of the normal value which could be resulted in gestational diabetes. As weight gaining is associated with reduction in insulin sensitivity and vice versa, we evaluated the possible correlation between nutritional status and insulin sensitivity, especially in early pregnancy.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 138 primiparous healthy women at 6-10 weeks of pregnancy. Maternal characteristics were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Participants' weights were measured by a digital scale. Nutrients intake were estimated from the 72-hour dietary recall by nutritionist-4 software. Physical activity scores were calculated by the pregnancy physical activity scale. Quantitative insulin sensitivity check index )QUICKI index) were computed from the fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels based on the formula.
Results: After adjusting for significant maternal characteristics, the QUICKI index in the first trimester was associated with participants' weight and household income. Furthermore, there was a significant inverse relationship between both saturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and the QUICKI index, while total fat intake was positively correlated. Also, consumption of vitamin C, glucose, fructose, sugar and carbohydrates increased the QUICKI index, while intake of vitamin E decreased it.
Conclusion: The obtained results showed that GDM may be prevented by management of weight during first trimester. Moreover, the significant correlation between the above mentioned nutrients, as well as the household income with QUICKI index can be further used for future studies.