Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 299, Issue 1, pp 55–68 | Cite as

Inositol for the prevention of gestational diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

  • Amerigo VitaglianoEmail author
  • Gabriele Saccone
  • Erich Cosmi
  • Silvia Visentin
  • Francesco Dessole
  • Guido Ambrosini
  • Vincenzo Berghella



Inositol (ISL) embraces a family of simple carbohydrates with insulin-sensitizing properties, whose most common isoforms are Myo-inositol (MYO) and d-chiro inositol (DCI). The aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy and safety of ISL supplementation during pregnancy for the prevention of gestational diabetes (GDM).


We conducted a systematic literature search in electronic databases until October 2017. We included all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing pregnant women with GDM who were randomized to either ISL (i.e., intervention group) or either placebo or no treatment (i.e., control group). The primary outcome was the preventive effect on GDM, defined as the rate of GDM in women without a prior diagnosis of GDM. Pooled results were expressed as odds ratio (OR) with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI).


Five RCTs were included (including 965 participants). ISL supplementation was associated with lower rate of GDM (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.24–1.03, p = 0.01) and lower preterm delivery rate (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.17–0.74, p = 0.006). No adverse effects were reported. Adjusting for the type of intervention (MYO 2 g twice daily vs MYO 1100 mg plus DCI 27.6 mg daily), a significant effect was found only in patients receiving 2 g MYO twice daily.


ISLs administration during pregnancy appears to be safe and may represent a novel strategy for GDM prevention. In particular, the double administration of MYO 2 g per day may improve the glycemic homeostasis and may reduce GDM rate and preterm delivery rate.


Inositol Gestational diabetes Diabetes prevention Preterm delivery Maternal–fetal health 


Author contribution

AV: Conceptualization, data curation, formal analysis, investigation, methodology, original draft writing. GS: Investigation, validation, formal analysis original draft writing, review and editing. EC: Supervision, review and editing. SV: Validation, original draft writing, review and editing. FD: Manuscript review and editing. GA: Supervision, validation, review and editing. VB: Conceptualization, project administration, supervision, review and editing



Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Nothing to declare.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

404_2018_5005_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (177 kb)
Figure S1: PRISMA Flow-Diagram (PDF 176 kb)
404_2018_5005_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (281 kb)
Figure S2: Risk of bias graph. Authors’ judgment about each risk of bias item for included studies. (PDF 281 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Women and Children’s HealthUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience Reproductive Sciences and Dentistry, School of MedicineUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly
  3. 3.Gynecologic and Obstetric Clinic, Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental SciencesUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  4. 4.Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sidney Kimmel Medical CollegeThomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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