With the US facing an obesity epidemic more attention has turned to preventative care along with controlled diets. In many cases diabetes goes hand in hand with obesity, as the bodys cells become more resistant to insulin. Diabetes is one of the most preventable diseases in existence, and new research shows that certain nutrients can have highly protective effects against it; in this case, magnesium. A meta analysis of 13 studies including over 500,000 participants that was conducted jointly by researchers at the University of North Carolina and Soochow University in China found significant effects that the mineral has in decreasing the risk of diabetes.
Out of the 13 studies, 9 of them showed significant protection for those with higher magnesium intake versus the risk of developing diabetes. In fact, a 22% decrease in risk was discovered in those with the highest intake as opposed to those with the lowest consumption. For every increase of 100 milligrams per day there was a 14% lower risk of diabetes. Whats more interesting is that in people with higher body mass indexes the effect was even more pronounced. Generally speaking those with higher body mass and those who are overweight are at greater risk for developing diabetes, and it seems plausible from this research that magnesium might very well increase sensitivity to insulin in those who are more likely to resist it.
Also of note from this collaboration is the possibility that magnesium deficiency itself could potentially be to blame for higher diabetes risk. The researchers suggest that enzymes that control the signaling and secretion of insulin could be affected directly by magnesium deficiency. This can lead to muscle and fat cells having less sensitivity to insulin. They also suggest that proper supplementation of magnesium could likely help diabetics control glucose better, and also help maintain healthy insulin sensitive in those without diabetes.
The large scale trials that are usually used to establish a direct link between things like this have not yet been carried out, but continually emerging studies like this one are likely to speed up the process of getting those trials moving. Until then, the evidence that has been unearthed so far is compelling enough to suggest that among all the other things that magnesium deficiency has been linked to, it certainly cant do any harm to begin or increase its supplementation for a better, longer life.
American Diabetes Association