Does Magnesium Reduce Your Diabetes Risk?
Magnesium is often thought of primarily as a mineral for your heart and bones, but this is misleading. Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated. Magnesium is also found in more than 300 different enzymes in your body, including some of those that help regulate blood sugar. This is one mechanism by which magnesium may keep diabetes at bay – a finding that’s been gaining increasing scientific support.
Magnesium May Lower Your Risk of Diabetes
Dr. Mercola explores the significant findings that indicate magnesium’s role in reducing your diabetes risk.
Magnesium Has a Beneficial Effect on Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance occurs when your body cannot use insulin properly, allowing your blood sugar levels to get too high. Insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, as well as a risk factor in many other chronic diseases.
It is well known that people with insulin resistance also experience increased excretion of magnesium in their urine, which further contributes to diminished magnesium levels. This magnesium loss appears to be secondary to increased urinary glucose, which increases urinary output.
Therefore, inadequate magnesium intake seems to prompt a vicious cycle of low magnesium levels, elevated insulin and glucose levels, and excess magnesium excretion. In other words, the less magnesium your body has, the less it appears to be able to “hang onto it.”
The Magnesium-Diabetes Link
The evidence is pouring in that if you want to prevent type 2 diabetes, proper intake of magnesium is crucial. Unfortunately, by some estimates up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient.
Other research shows only about 25 percent of US adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.
Consuming even this amount is “just enough to ward off outright deficiency,” according to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor. If you’re deficient, you could be at risk of type 2 diabetes. Here’s a snapshot of some recent research:
- One 2013 study involving pre-diabetics found that most had inadequate magnesium intake. Those with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by a whopping 71 percent.
- In a large Japanese study (the Hisayama Study) published in Diabetic Medicine in 2013, researchers found magnesium intake was a significant protective factor against type 2 diabetes in the general Japanese population, especially among those “with insulin resistance, low-grade inflammation, and a drinking habit.
- In the Framingham Offspring Cohort (2006), higher magnesium intake improved insulin sensitivity and reduced type 2 diabetes risk.
Magnesium Isn’t Only Important for Diabetes Prevention…
Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame. In addition, magnesium is necessary for:
- Activating muscles and nerves
- Creating energy in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
- Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
- Serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis
- Acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin
Dr. Dean has studied and written about magnesium for more than 15 years. The latest addition of her book, The Magnesium Miracle, came out in 2014 and in it you can learn about 22 medical areas that magnesium deficiency triggers or causes, all of which have all been scientifically proven. This includes:
Anxiety and panic attacks Asthma Blood clots Bowel diseases Cystitis Depression Detoxification Diabetes Fatigue Heart disease Hypertension Hypoglycemia Insomnia Kidney disease Liver disease Migraine Musculoskeletal conditions (fibromyalgia, cramps, chronic back pain, etc.) Nerve problems Obstetrics and gynecology (PMS, infertility, preeclampsia) Osteoporosis Raynaud’s syndrome Tooth decay