Diabetes And Why You Should Consider Magnesium As Part Of Your Treatment Plan
Diabetes is a common health issue that affects 37 million people in the US alone! That's about 10% of the population or one in 10 people! Those numbers are staggering! Further, 90 to 95% of those are type 2 diabetes:
There are many complications that develop from diabetes that can make life extremely uncomfortable :
This is an incomplete list of complications from diabetes, and the long-term effects can be even worse, such as blindness, amputation of limbs, and death.
So as you can see, it is a good idea to do all you can never to get diabetes in the first place and if you do, do all you can to fight it. In that line of thinking, I am going to write about Magnesium as it relates to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).
We already know of many of the health benefits associated with optimal magnesium levels in humans, but fighting T2DM is often not mentioned as one of those benefits.
Magnesium is not often thought of in terms of T2DM, but it plays a very important role in helping to control the disease process.
In the following meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT's) it is shown that oral magnesium may be helpful in ameliorating perturbed glucose metabolism issues in people with diabetes or prediabetes and this is important in starting early to try and prevent or treat the disease to greatly lessen the chances of ever having the complications that are caused by diabetes:
Here is an important quote from the meta-analysis:
' Compared with placebo, Mg supplementation reduced fasting plasma glucose in people with diabetes. In people at high risk of diabetes, Mg supplementation significantly improved plasma glucose per se, and after a 2 h oral glucose tolerance test. Furthermore, Mg supplementation demonstrated an improvement in insulin sensitivity markers. '
Improving insulin sensitivity is important in T2DM, and the following study clearly illustrates that magnesium can do that:
Here is a relevant quote from the study :
'Higher Mg levels corresponded to a greater degree of sensitivity to insulin  and this explained the improvement in the glycemic control indicators after Mg supplementation. On the other hand, the improvement could be explained by different mechanisms, including the influence of Mg on insulin receptor activity through enhanced tyrosine kinase phosphorylation.'
The above study is very important because one of the early indications of T2DM is a loss of insulin sensitivity resulting in increased insulin production, which over time results in insulin resistance.
In the following study (July 2022), they reach an interesting conclusion regarding magnesium as it relates to T2DM :
Here is what the study concluded :
' Mg supplementation seems to have a protective effect on the development of T2DM, HT, and LDL-C > 130 mg/dL in post-bariatric patients. '
This study is important for anyone who has Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) because people with RA are also at increased risk for T2DM as outlined here:
This quote from the study says it all :
' Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an increased risk of diabetes mellitus incidence. This finding supports the notion that inflammatory pathways are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes. '
In line with the above study, the following study (July 2022) used 300 mg magnesium sulfate/day supplementation in people with RA to see how their insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), fasting blood sugar (FBS) and insulin levels were affected :
Here is a relevant quote from the study:
' Our data suggested that magnesium supplementation reduces FBS, insulin and HOMA-IR in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, magnesium supplements may be an alternative method for prevention of type 2 diabetes in RA patients. '
This last study is interesting because it discusses a major health issue that I feel many people do not consider, the use of household pesticides and how they can affect our health. In this study, they clearly mention that the use of household pesticides are a risk factor for diabetes, but further clarify that magnesium may ameliorate the risk brought on by household pesticides:
Here is a relevant quote from the study :
' Household pesticide exposure in the general population is associated with an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes. We report for the first time possible clinical relevance in that high magnesium intake may ameliorate the increased risk of type 2 diabetes from pesticide exposure. '
Although studies use varying degrees of dosing, just getting the recommended allowance per day, which is higher than some studies, should be sufficient :
Here is a relevant quote from the Harvard article :
' RDA: The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults 19-51+ years is 400-420 mg daily for men and 310-320 mg for women. Pregnancy requires about 350-360 mg daily and lactation, 310-320 mg. '
There are many supplements that can be helpful for diabetes, but some are lacking in studies to support such use, but magnesium has plenty of studies to support its use as an adjuvant treatment for T2DM.
Another supplement that has shown itself to be very useful in T2DM is Berberine. I wrote about it for Earth Clinic in case you want to read about it. Since Berberine and Magnesium have different methods of action, there is a good chance that they will have synergy together:
So given magnesium's very good safety profile compared to the multiple deleterious effects of T2DM and its multitude of health complications and serious consequences, magnesium seems like a very worthwhile addition to the anti-T2DM armamentarium. Add in the known positive health benefits of magnesium, and this seems like a great consideration in dealing with existing T2DM or prediabetes.
Lastly, I feel that choosing absorbable forms of magnesium would be a very good idea. A few absorbable forms would be magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride (oral form), and magnesium malate. There are other absorbable forms of magnesium, but these four are popular and proven. Of the four, I would say that magnesium glycinate is least likely to cause diarrhea.