Higher Alkylresorcinol Concentrations, a Consequence of Whole-Grain Intake, are Inversely Associated with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Iceland
Journal article, 2021

BACKGROUND: A diet rich in whole grains may provide benefits for pregnant women due to whole grains' high nutritional value and dietary fiber content. OBJECTIVES: To study the associations of whole-grain consumption, as well as the plasma alkylresorcinol concentration, a whole-grain consumption biomarker, in early pregnancy with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) diagnoses. METHODS: Subjects were women from the prospective study Pregnant Women in Iceland II (PREWICE II; n = 853) who attended their ultrasound appointment in gestational weeks 11-14 during the period from October 2017 to March 2018. During that visit, whole-grain consumption was estimated using a diet screening questionnaire, and blood samples were collected for analysis of plasma alkylresorcinols (ARs). Information on GDM diagnoses was later extracted from medical records. Multivariate log-binomial regression was used to evaluate the association of dietary whole-grain and AR concentrations with GDM. RESULTS: In total, 14.9% of the women adhered to the national food-based dietary guidelines (n = 127), which recommend 2 portions of whole grains daily. GDM was diagnosed in 127 women (14.9%). The frequency of whole-grain consumption was lower in women who were later diagnosed with GDM compared to the women without GDM (median, 5 times/week vs. 6 times/week, respectively; P = 0.02). This difference was reflected in the lower median concentration of total AR in women diagnosed with GDM (163 nmol/L vs. 209 nmol/L, respectively; P < 0.01). The quartile with the highest concentrations of AR had a RR of 0.50 (95% CI: 0.27-0.90) of being diagnosed with GDM, in comparison to the lowest quartile. There was a significant dose response in the GDM risk with higher AR levels. CONCLUSIONS: We found that a higher consumption of whole grains, reflected both by reported consumption according to the FFQ and AR biomarkers, was associated with a decreased risk of receiving a GDM diagnosis.



whole grains


gestational diabetes



Ellen Alma Tryggvadottir

Landspitali University Hospital

Thorhallur Ingi Halldorsson

Statens Serum Institut

Landspitali University Hospital

Rikard Landberg

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Laufey Hrolfsdottir

University of Akureyri

Landspitali University Hospital

Bryndis Eva Birgisdottir

Landspitali University Hospital

Ola K. Magnusdottir

Landspitali University Hospital

Ingibjorg Th Hreidarsdottir

Landspitali University Hospital

Hildur Hardardottir

University of Iceland

Reproductive Center in Reykjavík

Ingibjorg Gunnarsdottir

Landspitali University Hospital

Journal of Nutrition

0022-3166 (ISSN) 1541-6100 (eISSN)

Vol. 151 5 1159-1166

Subject Categories

Environmental Health and Occupational Health

Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine

Nutrition and Dietetics





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