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Food and health

Effect of daily consumption of probiotic yoghurt on insulin resistance in pregnant women: a randomized controlled trial

04 May 2020 Editor's Note: The Co-Editors-in-Chief are currently investigating this article as concerns have been raised about integrity of the clinical trial reported here. There is also an ongoing investigation by the Iranian National Committee for Ethics in Biomedical Researches. Further editorial action will be taken as appropriate once the investigation into the concerns is complete and all parties have been given an opportunity to respond in full.



Owing to excess body weight and increased secretion of inflammatory cytokines primarily during the third trimester, pregnancy is associated with elevated insulin resistance. To our knowledge, no report is available indicating the effects of probiotic yoghurt consumption on serum insulin levels in pregnant women. This study was designed to determine the effects of daily consumption of probiotic yoghurt on insulin resistance and serum insulin levels of Iranian pregnant women.


In this randomized controlled clinical trial, 70 primigravida pregnant women with singleton pregnancy at their third trimester were participated. We randomly assigned participants to consume 200 g per day of conventional (n=33) or the probiotic group (n=37) for 9 weeks. The probiotic yoghurt was a commercially available product prepared with the starter cultures of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, enriched with probiotic culture of two strains of lactobacilli (Lactobacillus acidophilus LA5) and bifidobacteria (Bifidobacterium animalis BB12) with a total of min 1 × 107 colony-forming units. Fasting blood samples were taken at baseline and after 9-week intervention to measure fasting plasma glucose and serum insulin levels. Homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was used to calculate insulin resistance score.


Although consumption of probiotic yogurt for 9 weeks did not affect serum insulin levels and HOMA-IR score, significant differences were found comparing changes in these variables between probiotic and conventional yogurts (changes from baseline in serum insulin levels: +1.2±1.2 vs +5.0±1.1 μIU/ml, respectively, P=0.02; and in HOMA-IR score: −0.2±0.3 vs 0.7±0.2, respectively, P=0.01).


It is concluded that in contrast to conventional yogurt, daily consumption of probiotic yogurt for 9 weeks maintains serum insulin levels and might help pregnant women prevent developing insulin resistance.

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  • 04 May 2020

    Editor's Note: The Co-Editors-in-Chief are currently investigating this article as concerns have been raised about integrity of the clinical trial reported here. There is also an ongoing investigation by the Iranian National Committee for Ethics in Biomedical Researches. Further editorial action will be taken as appropriate once the investigation into the concerns is complete and all parties have been given an opportunity to respond in full.


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This study was supported by a grant (no.1096) from the Vice-chancellor for Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. We are grateful to the Research and Development Division of Iran Dairy Industry Corporation (IDIC-Pegah) in Tehran for providing dairy products for the present study. We thank the staff of Naghavi and Shaheed Beheshti Clinics, Kashan, Iran for their assistance in this project. The study was supported by a grant (no. 1096) from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Author contributions

ZA conducted the study, carried out the statistical analysis, wrote the manuscript and contributed in the interpretation of the findings. MS supervised the study and assisted in writing the manuscript. ZT supervised the study. MNR assisted in writing the manuscript. ARF collaborated in statistical analysis. AK assisted in data collection. AE advised on statistical analyses, contributed in drafting the manuscript and assisted in interpretation of the findings. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to A Esmaillzadeh.

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ATLAS Collaboration., Asemi, Z., Samimi, M. et al. Effect of daily consumption of probiotic yoghurt on insulin resistance in pregnant women: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 67, 71–74 (2013).

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  • probiotic yoghurt
  • insulin
  • insulin resistance
  • women
  • pregnancy

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