Fend Off Diabetes with Magnesium

study recently published in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that what you eat can help protect you from developing diabetes.  Specifically, the research found the more magnesium you consume, the less likely you may be to develop the disease.  Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in glucose (sugar) metabolism, a process which is compromised in people with diabetes.

The researchers followed a group of 4,497 young non-diabetic Americans, aged 18 to 30, over the course of 20 years.  After 20 years, 330 subjects had developed diabetes.

The participants were categorized into five groups based on their magnesium intake. After adjusting for age, gender, smoking, family history, waist circumference, and other variables, those in the group with the highest magnesium intake were found to have a 47 percent lower diabetes incidence than those in the group with the lowest intake level. This group also used magnesium supplements more than other groups.

Additionally, the researchers found that magnesium levels in the blood were inversely related to markers of inflammation as well as insulin resistance, and that this finding may partially explain the link between magnesium intake and diabetes. The study was not able to distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 slots online diabetes, but most were cases of Type 2 diabetes.

One limitation of the study is the possibility that the lower diabetes rates could very well be a reflection of a well-balanced diet of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and nuts – all of which are good sources of magnesium – and not a direct result of the magnesium alone. Most Americans tend to consume only about two-thirds to three quarters of the recommended daily intake of magnesium.

The research team pointed out that although more studies are essential to determine an actual cause-and-effect relationship between magnesium and diabetes risk, as well as to clarify the possible role of magnesium in diabetes prevention. This study does suggest a benefit of magnesium-rich foods and supplements in diabetes prevention and related markers of inflammation and insulin resistance.

As a precaution, the Institute of Medicine recommends that magnesium intakes from supplements should not exceed the daily tolerable upper limit of 350 mg for adults, as amounts greater than this can lead to diarrhea and other adverse effects.

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