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Magnesium may help slow progression of prediabetes

2 min read

Studies on the amount of magnesium people consume in their diet and the risk of diabetes have found that people who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements containing magnesium were about half as likely to develop diabetes over the next 20 years as those people who took in the least magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency is a common condition with prediabetes and diabetes

Magnesium is an important mineral that helps your body maintain blood glucose levels. It is needed for the proper functioning of several enzymes that help the body process glucose.  Magnesium deficiency is a common condition among people with prediabetes and diabetes. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition a lack of magnesium in the body causes high blood sugar and low levels of insulin.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to the development or worsening of diabetes

When a person suffers from low insulin and high blood sugar it may lead to the development of diabetes in those who do not already have it. Furthermore low insulin and high blood sugar can worsen blood glucose control for people who already have diabetes. A person with prediabetes or diabetes can still take control of blood glucose levels. Supplementing with magnesium can prevent insulin resistance and lower the risk of diabetic complications. 

Prediabetes is defined as having impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used to detect it - sufferers have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A common condition in people with prediabetes is an increased level of an inflammatory protein that can cause damage to blood vessels, this means sufferers are also at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Studies indicate that a high magnesium intake can slow the progression to diabetes

Research published in the journal Diabetes Care followed 4,497 people aged 18 to 30 years old, none of whom were diabetic at the start of the study. After a 20 year follow up period, 330 of the subjects developed diabetes.

People with the highest magnesium intake, who averaged about 200 milligrams of magnesium for every 1,000 calories they consumed, were 47% less likely to have developed diabetes during follow up than those with the lowest intakes, who consumed about 100 milligrams of magnesium per 1,000 calories.

Diabetes risk falls as magnesium intake increases

The study (and a great deal of other supporting research) concluded that "Increasing magnesium intake may be important for improving insulin sensitivity, reducing systemic inflammation, and decreasing diabetes risk." and may be particularly beneficial in offsetting risk of developing diabetes among those at high risk.

Always consult your doctor if already taking medication

If you are already taking prescription medication for any reason we always recommend you consult your doctor if considering taking a magnesium supplement. In some cases it may interact negatively with medication and negatively affect your blood sugar levels.

A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.