A study from Brazil has identified a link between diabetes mellitus and magnesium intake. The clinical study, which examined 51 patients with type 2 diabetes, measured blood glucose levels after fasting and then after eating.
In healthy people, the level of blood glucose rises after eating, and the pancreas naturally releases insulin to prevent these levels from becoming too high. The study found that those patients who had the highest blood glucose levels after fasting for eight hours were those with the lowest levels of magnesium in the blood, and the highest levels of magnesium being excreted from the body through urine.
The patients with the highest blood magnesium levels were also typically the ones with the lowest blood glucose levels both after fasting and after eating. This suggests that increasing the intake and absorption of magnesium could play a key role in battling diabetes.
Dr. Carolyn Dean is a qualified medical professional and naturopath who has been extolling the benefits of magnesium for many years. She has written several blog posts, articles and books on the link between lowered levels of magnesium and prevalence of diabetes. You can find some of the top statistics for diabetes prevalence in the US in the embedded infographic.
The Pivotal Role of Magnesium
It has long been known by both medical professionals and nutritionists that magnesium plays a key role in multiple essential bodily functions. We need magnesium for at least 300 biochemical reactions, including adjusting the levels of blood glucose, maintaining normal function of the muscles and nervous system, keeping bones healthy and strong, maintaining a steady heartbeat, and supporting a healthy immune system. Dr. Carolyn Dean wrote and published The Magnesium Miracle, which provides and in-depth look at this essential mineral, including how to use it to help prevent or treat diabetes.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Levels of Magnesium
Dr. Dean suggests several tips for patients with diabetes or for those that may be at risk and wish to prevent developing it. These include adding several small meals of protein into a daily diet, such as small portions of wild salmon or free-range chicken, with complex carbohydrates such as legumes and whole grains.
She further suggests avoiding refined carbohydrates such as white flour, and white sugar. The sweetener aspartame is often added to sugar-free alternatives; Dr. Dean recommends avoiding this sweetener as it can worsen control of blood sugar. She also suggests taking a daily magnesium supplement based on powdered magnesium citrate that can be easily absorbed.
There is an introduction to magnesium citrate in the short video attachment.
A study which was published in 1999 showed that magnesium may help in prolonging life, as demonstrated by the fact that individuals who had reached a century of age tended to have far higher body magnesium levels than other elderly people.
This was reinforced by a second study, published in 2012, which identified magnesium as potentially the most important factor in managing and preventing diabetes. This study also suggested that an increased intake of magnesium could help prolong life. Measurable deficiencies in magnesium are common not only in diabetes but also many of the associated complications of the condition, including high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Increasing magnesium intake has been shown to minimize or prevent many of these issues.
You can learn more about diabetes and pre-diabetes in the PDF attachment to this post.