Yes, although keep in mind that there are many, many potential factors that can influence your fasting blood sugar. First, be sure to watch the bonus training on fasting blood sugar (see bonus tab above) for a detailed overview. As you know, I'm a fan of getting your nutrients from food first and only resorting to extra supplements if necessary. The nutrients mentioned in that training—vitamin D, magnesium, glycine (as found in collagen or gelatin)—are all helpful in overall blood sugar management.
One additional nutrient that recently gained attention is inositol. Inositol is a relative to B-vitamins (but technically not a true B vitamin), that I've had some success in lowering insulin resistance and fasting blood sugar in clients.
Although there’s not a ton of data (yet), some studies have found it effective at lowering blood sugar. There are many studies using it outside of pregnancy, particularly for lowering insulin resistance in PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and type 2 diabetes, but for our purposes, I want to focus on the research in pregnancy.
In one study of ~70 women with GD, fasting blood sugar went from an average of 99 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/l) to 83 mg/dl (4.6 mmol/l) following supplementation with inositol at 4 grams per day for 8 weeks. Markers of insulin resistance went down and total insulin levels also dropped (both of which show us that inositol improved insulin sensitivity, meaning their bodies were more responsive to their own insulin). [<--By the way, I can say that in my work with clients, we observed improvement in blood sugar in as a little as a week of supplementation, so don’t fret if you don’t have 8 weeks to wait.]
There’s also some research showing that supplementing early in pregnancy can help prevent gestational diabetes in some women who are at risk, such as those with a higher prepregnancy BMI (this is good to keep in mind if you plan on more children!).
It also is associated with lower rates of preterm birth and macrosomia (big babies) in women who were supplemented from early pregnancy who were at risk for GDM (this study also showed lower rates of GDM in the inositol-supplemented group).
Not all studies have been positive. Here’s one that showed no significant reduction in GDM in women with a family history of diabetes. That said, most of the studies done outside of pregnancy show a significant benefit to those with type 2 diabetes, so I still think inositol is worth a try with a family history of diabetes. From a physiological standpoint, it makes sense to increase your intake of nutrients that help with insulin resistance during a time when your body is highly insulin resistant (hello, gestational diabetes!) Here are a few research articles to check out on type 2 diabetes (1 and 2)
Overall, I think this is a viable supplement to consider if your fasting blood sugar is running high. Inositol is overwhelmingly supported as a beneficial nutrient for pregnancy/fertility/blood sugar control and there are no concerns over toxicity. In short, it seems to me to be another tool in your toolbox with no downsides (see this for more on inositol’s general role in reproductive health.
The form to purchase is myoinostol or, my preference, a supplement called Ovasitol, which has the two most common forms of inositol and in the specific ratios they exist in your body (myoinositol and D-chiro inositol). I have no connection with the company, it's just a good product with a lot of research behind it. You can check your local health food store or purchase on Amazon. If Ovasitol is out of your budget, opt for myoinositol.
The dosage used in research is 4 grams per day in split doses (so 2 grams twice per day). Inositol has a very pleasant, mildly sweet flavor, so it’s an easy addition to food/drinks.
If you have questions about supplementing with inositol, please post in our course Facebook group!