Can probiotics help women with gestational diabetes? 8 February 2018 Research into Gestational diabetes is the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia and this is why it is important mothers get the best possible care. The Diabetes Australia Research Trust is funding an important study being undertaken by a team at the University of Queensland and involving Dr Helen Barrett, the Director of Endocrinology at Mater Hospital Brisbane and a Senior Research Fellow at Mater Research into if probiotics can help women with gestational diabetes. Probiotics are live micro-organisms which can improve your health. They are generally found in foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles. “Currently most of the treatments for gestational diabetes are focused on lifestyle interventions, like encouraging mums to eat better and get more physical activity, or taking insulin,” Dr Barrett said. “What we are doing is studying the microbiome of the mother – the ecosystem of microbacteria that live inside the body – to see if we can understand the influence of factors like maternal weight and the impact of gestational diabetes. “A woman’s microbiome changes during pregnancy and we want to understand why. It seems to be caused by the pregnancy but we need to better understand this. “From there we want to understand if using probiotics can change the microbiome and, if so, how we can do this to help reduce the impact of gestational diabetes.” To help Diabetes Australia support more research projects visit The Cure Club.