Supplementation of Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium, and Vitamin D Decreases Effects of Gestational Diabetes

The implications of supplementing magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D into the diet of a pregnant woman with GDM (Gestational diabetes mellitus) was studied by a group of researchers in Iran. GDM, when glucose intolerance is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy, is an extremely common pregnancy complication common, found 15-20% worldwide. 

Oftentimes, obesity tends to enforce oxidative stress (an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body) which results in decreased serum levels of magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D. With GDM, both oxidative stress and inflammation are increased within the body. It is important to suppress inflammation during pregnancy, and a high level of oxidative stress can lead to chemical reactions in the body that can even potentially trigger premature labor (and other medial complexities). With increased inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress, a mother is put in increased risk of cardiovascular risk as well as resistance to insulin postpartum. Thus, it is presumed that with decreased inflammation and oxidative stress, the better the pregnancy outcomes are. 

For the experiment, 60 women ages 18-40 were utilized in a placebo controlled trial. The women were tested for GDM using the American Diabetes Association guidelines of having a fasting plasma glucose level greater than or equal to 92 mg/dL, a glucose level of greater than or equal to 180 mg/dL after one hour determined by the oral glucose test, and a glucose level of greater than or equal to 163 mg/dL after two hours as determined by the oral glucose test. 30 women were assigned 100 mg of magnesium, 4 mg of zinc, 400 mg of calcium, and 200 IU of vitamin D, while 30 women were given a placebo. Both groups were under the impression that they were getting the supplements, and they took them 2 times a day for 6 weeks. Weekly blood glucose levels tests were administered, and a reminder was sent to the women’s cell phones to remind them to take their supplements in order to avoid skewing the data. 

After the 6 weeks, the serum magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D levels were measured using enzymatic kits. The researchers also checked for bio-markers of inflammation and oxidative-stress. They determined that the co-supplementation significantly increased serum magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D while reducing biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. 

In summary, the supplementation proved to be effective for women with Gestational diabetes at increasing their nutrient levels in the blood and reducing the signs of inflammation and oxidative stress.  


Jamilian, M., Mirhosseini, N., Eslahi, M., Bahmani, F., Shokrpour, M., Chamani, M., & Asemi, Z. (2019). The effects of magnesium-zinc-calcium-vitamin D co-supplementation on biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress and pregnancy outcomes in gestational diabetes. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth19(1). doi: 10.1186/s12884-019-2258-y