Is Magnesium Good For My Blood Sugar Levels If I Have Diabetes
Magnesium has many important functions in your body, including managing your blood sugar levels. Our nutritionist looks into whether those with diabetes should take magnesium.
Q: Is it true that magnesium is good for my blood sugar levels if I have diabetes?
Magnesium is a mineral that plays many important roles in your body, including managing your insulin and carbohydrate metabolism. Its involved in your bodys ability to secrete insulin and may help your cells use insulin more effectively .
Magnesium appears to help manage blood sugar levels among people with diabetes. Also, those who tend to consume less magnesium typically have poorer blood sugar regulation and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than people who consume higher amounts .
For example, one review of 26 studies including 1,168 people found that those with the highest regular intake of magnesium had a 22% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who regularly consumed the least magnesium .
Increasing magnesium intake through food or supplements may help people with diabetes improve their blood sugar regulation.
For example, a 12-week study in 54 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking 300 mg of magnesium daily significantly lowered fasting blood sugar levels, as well as post-meal blood sugar levels, compared with taking a placebo pill .
Sugar Magnesium And A Few Things Nice
Studies found that there are linkages between magnesium deficiencies and high glucose levels. Someone with a low magnesium level is more likely to have type-2 diabetes and vice-versa. The processing of sugar involves magnesium, so a lack of the mineral can lead to complications. Inversely, diabetes can also lead to magnesium deficiency as the kidneys flush excess magnesium out due to increased glucose levels.
Relieve Aches Pains And Cramps
A common complaint is getting leg cramps or aches and pains, we all get them even if were not diabetic, but since dehydration can also be an issue, you can lose more electrolytes and suffer even more cramps, aches or pains.
So a great little helper is magnesium.
You can also use magnesium oil for this kind of thing, rubbing it onto the area thats affected.
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Magnesium And Diabetes Prevention: The Research
Studies have strongly indicated that low levels of magnesium are associated with a high risk of type 2 diabetes. Conversely, people who consumed magnesium rich diets have a much reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
In a study conducted by the Harvard Department of Nutrition in 2003, close to 128,000 individuals were followed for 18 years. The aim was to study the connection between between magnesium consumption and diabetes risk. The authors of the study found that people who consumed more magnesium had a lesser risk of developing diabetes. They concluded that inadequate magnesium intake was one of the major causes of diabetes. Those who consumed the highest amounts of magnesium reduced their risk of blood sugar and metabolic problems by a whopping 71%!
A study was carried out in 2013, by researchers from Tufts University, Harvard Medical School and Framingham Heart Study. They found that higher magnesium intake slowed the progression of prediabetes into full-blown diabetes. At last count the Center for Disease Control estimated that 80 million Americans had prediabetes. Imagine how many folks could benefit by just getting enough magnesium!
A meta analysis of numerous studies established the connection between low magnesium and insulin resistance. This meta analysis looked at all research between 1966 and 2007, that correlated magnesium and diabetes. It found that high intake of magnesium improved the sensitivity of insulin and reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Patient And Public Involvement
No patients were involved in developing the research question or the outcome measures, and no patients were involved in planning the design or implementation of the study. Furthermore, no patients were asked to advise on the interpretation or write-up of the results. Since this study used aggregated data from previous publications, it is not easy to disseminate the results of the research to study participants directly.
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Magnesium And Diabetes: Leg Cramps As Secondary Symptom
Breastfeeding mothers, adolescents, sportsmen and women some people have a higher magnesium requirement. That also includes people with diabetes. They need to take particular care to ensure their magnesium supply is adequate. Thats because numerous studies of patients with type 2 diabetes have found depleted levels of magnesium in blood samples. Read this to find out about the relationship between magnesium and diabetes.
Almost 170000 People Studied
The larger of the two studies involved roughly 85,000 women and 42,000 men who completed dietary intake questionnaires every two to four years. The smaller study had a similar design and involved just under 40,000 women who were 45 or older. Both studies were conducted by researchers from Harvard University, and both are published in the January 2004 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.
In the larger study, the female subjects were followed for 18 years and the men for 12, during which time roughly 5,400 people developed type 2 diabetes. Even after taking into account diabetes risk factors such as age, weight, physical activity, smoking, and family history, those with the highest dietary levels of magnesium were found to have significantly lower risk for type 2 diabetes compared with those with the lowest magnesium levels.
The risk remained significant even after the researchers adjusted for other dietary variables associated with type 2 diabetes risk, such as fat fiber and glycemic load. The risk reduction was similar in the second study.
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How Do I Choose My Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium supplements have different properties based primarily on two things, namely, the substance used to stabilize the magnesium ions, and the size of the ions. The effect of each type of magnesium compound depends on how well it is absorbed by the body and its side effects. Small, pico-ionic sized particles are easily absorbed at cellular level. Some types of magnesium that are available as supplements are:
- Magnesium hydroxide It is not absorbed easily, but is quite effective as a laxative.
- Magnesium sulphate It is hard to ingest as it acts like a strong laxative, but is absorbed well by the skin. It is commonly known as Epsom salt.
- Magnesium malate It is effective in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- Magnesium citrate It is absorbed quickly by cells and is, sometimes, used as a laxative.
Should I Take Magnesium Supplements If I Have Type 2 Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, a blood test for magnesium is probably the best place to start. Even if these tests dont show that you have a magnesium deficiency, it may be worth discussing the role of magnesium with your healthcare provider.
Researchers have been studying the relationship between magnesium and diabetes. Some small trials have indicated that it might help improve blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. But these results have been conflicting.
We dont currently have enough data from good clinical trials to show that giving magnesium to most people with type 2 diabetes is a good idea. It may be that only people with clear magnesium deficiencies might benefit from this.
Because of the lack of definitive evidence, the American Diabetes Association does not currently recommend magnesium supplements to improve blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes.
In other words, they dont recommend magnesium for most people with type 2 diabetes. But this doesnt rule out magnesium for some people with diabetes who clearly need it.
Even though oral magnesium supplements are available over the counter, its not generally a great idea to take them without consulting with your healthcare professional, especially not for prolonged periods of time.
Taking too much magnesium might elevate amounts of magnesium in the blood . This may lead to additional symptoms like weakness, nausea, and confusion.
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Diabetes And Magnesium Deficiency
Diabetics have trouble keeping magnesium where it should be inside the body. Because they have high levels of sugar in their blood, the body tries to clear this out through excess urination. The magnesium gets washed off along with the excess sugar in the urine. This leads to lower levels of magnesium which can lead to a whole lot of other complications. So, it is important for diabetics to get more magnesium than a normal person needs.
Magnesium is found in a whole bunch of foods. So you can either get it from food or have it as a supplement, depending upon how much of it you need. If youve been diabetic for long and have blood sugar control problems, you likely need a magnesium supplement.
Magnesium deficiency can occur due to:
- A broken digestive system, which messes up the bodys ability to absorb magnesium e.g. Crohn`s disease, among others
- Damaged kidneys, which could cause excessive loss of magnesium in the urine
- Poorly controlled diabetes leading to loss of too much magnesium in the urine
- Alcoholism, which also causes low magnesium levels in the body
- Certain medications, such as diuretics , antibiotics and medications used to treat cancer. All of these could result in the deficiency of magnesium.
- Old age, leading to lower stomach acid production. This in turn could lead to lesser magnesium absorbed from food.
Prevention: Maintaining A Good Magnesium Supply Can Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes
But maintaining an adequate magnesium supply is not only important for people with diabetes. As studies have shown, people who take adequate amounts of magnesium are also at a lower risk of contracting diabetes.3
So, its important to ensure you always include foods that are rich in magnesium in your daily routine. If you have a higher magnesium requirement , magnesium products such as the Biolectra® magnesium range, can also help you supplement your daily supply.
2 Ehrlich et al.: Die Bedeutung von Magnesium für Insulinresistenz, metabolisches Syndrom und Diabetes mellitus Empfehlungen der Gesellschaft für Magnesium-Forschung e.V. Diabetologie 2014, 9: 96-100. URL: .
3 Mooren F.C., Magnesium and disturbances in carbohydrate metabolism Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 2015 doi : 10.1111 / dom. 12492
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Good Magnesium Supply For People With Diabetes: Sugar
So, an adequate supply of magnesium is important for people with diabetes. The German Nutrition Societys recommended daily intake for women aged 25 or over is 300 mg and 350 mg for men.2 The latest magnesium products available from pharmacies, such as the Biolectra® Magnesium range, come in various dosage forms to provide a magnesium supply to suit everyones needs.
The mineral is very well tolerated and can be combined with all diabetes medication there are no known interactions.
The Relationship Between Risk Of Diabetes And Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to insulin resistance, which is central to the development of type 2 diabetes, research shows. On the flip side, increasing your intake of magnesium has been shown to possibly lower your risk of developing the chronic disease. Research suggests consuming 100 milligrams of magnesium through eating foods rich in the mineral may decrease the risk of diabetes by 15 percent. Researchers noted more study would be needed before recommending a magnesium supplement to prevent diabetes.
Not as many studies have looked into the relationship between type 2 diabetes and magnesium once you have already been diagnosed, though one study published in August 2015 in the World Journal of Diabetes noted that people with the disease who are deficient in magnesium may be more likely to have complications, such as issues with heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , people with diabetes are about twice as likely to die of heart disease as people without diabetes.
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Improves Heart Health And May Prevent Vascular Complications
Have you ever had those heart flutters?
Theyre called arrhythmias, so having adequate intake of magnesium can help decrease these.
Magnesium deficiency has been found to occur in over one third of patients with congestive heart failure. Its associated with cardiovascular abnormalities such as acute myocardial infarction, arrhythmia , dislipidemia, angina, and athlerosclerosis. And its linked to hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
So if deficiency contributes to all those things, it only makes sense that adequate intake would help prevent them too.
Magnesium Supplements For Diabetics
According to the piece on About.com,Healthy adults who eat a varied diet do not generally need to take a magnesium supplement.
Dr. Dean strongly disagrees. She says that the Recommended Daily Allowance is 350 to 400 milligrams per day, but for best health, we may need roughly double this amount. She says the Standard American Diet provides very little magnesium. Soils depleted by factory farming may grow foods low in magnesium. Refined grains and processed foods have usually been stripped of most of their magnesium.
Dean isnt the only one recommending this mineral. Drs. Andrea Rosanoff, PhD, and Mildred Seelig, MD, authors of The Magnesium Factor, state, Mg has effects that parallel those of statins.
In the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, they wrote, Both statins and normal Mg levels prevent clotting, reduce inflammation and prevent plaques. But statins raise liver enzymes, can cause and have many other side effects, while Mg supplements tend to protect and have temporary diarrhea or mild GI distress as the only side effect.
The doctors point to studies showing that nations with low-magnesium/high-calcium diets the US, Finland, and the Netherlands, in particular have a lethal heart disease rate much higher than in nations with high-magnesium/low-calcium diets, such as Japan. Yet our medical system encourages statins and ignores magnesium.
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How To Include Magnesium In Your Diet
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily intake of magnesium for women is 320 to 360 mg, and 410 to 420 mg for men. In addition to taking magnesium supplements or using topical oil, magnesium can be found in seaweed, spinach, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, whole grains, wheat bran, avocado, cabbage, and cucumber, among other foods.
Talk with a doctor or nutritionist about getting more magnesium into your diet. Be sure to tell them what other medications you are on to avoid any drug interactions.
Groups At Risk For Magnesium Deficiency
People with diabetes
- When there is a large amount of glucose in the body, the kidney compensates by getting rid of the glucose through increasing urinary output. Magnesium is also lost through this increased urinary output, following the glucose . It has even been suggested that altered magnesium levels may promote the development of type 2 diabetes .
- It has been found that older adults have decreased intakes of magnesium compared to younger adults . The amount of magnesium absorbed in the intestine also decreases with age, while the amount excreted by the kidney increases.
People taking certain medications
- Certain medications including diuretics, antibiotics, and proton pump inhibitors may also have the potential to decrease the amount of magnesium in the body .
People with gastrointestinal issues
- Crohns disease, celiac disease, and individuals who have undergone resection or bypass of the small intestine may not be absorbing magnesium sufficiently .
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Nuun Rest: Rest And Recovery Drink Tablets
Just add one tablet to hot or cold water and begin to gently ease your active mind and body, one sip at a time, Nuun Rest says. Each tablet contains 300 mg of magnesium, and flavors include lemon chamomile and blackberry-raspberry.
Learn more about Nuun Rest: Rest and Recovery Drink Tablets, Magnesium Citrate on !
Read Six Supplements for Diabetes to learn more about adding supplements to your regimen.
Dietary Sources Of Magnesium
Magnesium supplements are not the only sources of Magnesium, but you can also increase your magnesium levels through your diet. Fortunately, several of these foods rich in Magnesium are also within the glycemic index considered healthy for diabetics, so you dont have to worry about eating unhealthily. Some of these dietary sources of Magnesium include:
1. Leafy greens, especially spinach and kale. Vegetables have always been considered excellent sources of nutrients, one of which is Magnesium, and they also have a low glycemic index.
2. Whole grains: foods like brown rice or wheat bread are also sources of Magnesium, and fortunately, they can be easily incorporated into your diet.
3. Sweet potatoes: several recipes make for delicious foods containing sweet potatoes, and now you dont only have to enjoy the tasty recipes, but your body also benefits from its high Magnesium and fibre content.
4. Almonds and cashew nuts: these are the best to snack on. With these nuts, you can snack your way into normal magnesium levels and better manage your condition.
Others include cereals, peanut butter, oatmeal, legumes and lentils, avocados, chicken breasts, and the likes.
What Is The Safe Daily Intake For Magnesium
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Magnesium Calcium Potassium And Diabetes
When it comes to minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, people with diabetes may get too much of a good thing. While these minerals benefit your body in some ways, in others they are related to diabetes. Learn how these well-known minerals may have an impact on diabetes and other related health issues.
Magnesium, calcium and potassium are all linked with cardiovascular health and proper management of body fluids. People with diabetes should be aware of the ideal intake levels of these essential minerals. Remember too much or too little of these good things can lead to other health complications.