In a 2013 published study involving more than 2,500 people, those with the highest magnesium intake had the lowest risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a 7-year period, as reported in Diabetes Care.
“There is a substantial body of literature linking low magnesium intake or low magnesium status (as measured in the blood) to greater risk of diabetes,” added lead author Adela Hruby, PhD, MPH, who was a graduate student at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition when she conducted this research, and is now a Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.
“In contrast to other micronutrients, relatively little attention is given to adequate magnesium as an important part of a healthy diet.” she said. “In fact, we know from national surveys, as well as in our own research populations, that somewhere between 50% and 75% of Americans have inadequate magnesium intake. When compared to a similar mineral, like calcium, which many Americans get more than enough of, the low magnesium intake presents a striking contrast.”
Low magnesium levels were reported by approximately half of women and 75% of men in the study. After 7-years of follow-up, participants with the highest intake of magnesium had a 37% lower risk of developing metabolic impairment (P for trend =0.02). Among participants who already had metabolic impairment at baseline, higher intake of magnesium was linked to a 32% lower risk of new-onset diabetes (P=0.05).
The overall risk of diabetes was 53% lower among people with the highest magnesium intake compared to those with the lowest intake.
Hruby A, Meigs JB, O’Donnell CJ, Jacques PF, McKeown NM. Higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism, and progression from prediabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans. Diabetes Care. 2013 Oct 2.