RSSMagnesium for diabetes prevention and treatment

Posted on Mon, 30 Jan 17

Magnesium for diabetes prevention and treatment

Most people are far below the recommended dietary intake of magnesium, a problem that could contribute to type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, magnesium supplementation could prevent and help treat diabetes, according to a new review of the clinical evidence.

Low intakes of magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains and dark, leafy green vegetables, combined with successive loss of magnesium in the soil, and thus the food chain, over the years has resulted in most people not meeting the recommended daily intakes for magnesium [1].  

Because of the importance of magnesium to human health this is a concern for many reasons, but one of the most critical is risk for type 2 diabetes. Magnesium is known to play a crucial role in blood glucose regulation and low dietary intakes are a well-established risk factor for type 2 diabetes [2].   

Human clinical studies show that supplementation with magnesium can help. An analysis of 18 clinical trials including people with diabetes, as well as people at high risk, found that magnesium reduced fasting plasma glucose in people with diabetes. And in people at high risk magnesium significantly improved plasma glucose levels after a glucose tolerance test, and resulted in a trend towards improvement in insulin sensitivity.  

The study duration, magnesium type and dose varied greatly, with duration ranging from 4 to 48 weeks and studies using magnesium oxide, citrate, chloride, aspartate, and sulfate amongst others, with doses ranging from 250 mg to 360 mg elemental magnesium daily.  

“Given our findings, magnesium (Mg) supplementation is attracting interest in the treatment of diabetes and as prevention for diabetes in those at higher risk,” commented the study authors. And “taken together, our findings suggest that diets with a higher intake of Mg or the supplementation with Mg should be encouraged in people at higher risk of diabetes.” 


  1. Volpe SL. Magnesium in disease prevention and overall health. Adv Nutr 2013; 4: 378S–383S.
  2. Dong J-Y, Xun P, He K, Qin L-Q. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Diabetes Care 2011; 34: 2116–2122 
  3. Veronese N, t al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism in people with or at risk of diabetes: a systematic review  and meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr.  2016 Dec;70(12):1354-1359.

Tags: Magnesium, Diabetes, Blood Sugar

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