Magnesium: Cut Your Risk of Diabetes

A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that people who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements (200 milligrams per 1,000 calories) were about half as likely to develop diabetes over the next 20 years as people who took in the least magnesium (100 milligrams per 1,000 calories). Large clinical trials testing the effects of magnesium on diabetes risk are needed to determine whether a causal relationship truly exists.

Researchers also found that as magnesium intake rose, levels of several markers of inflammation decreased, as did resistance to the effects of the key blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin. Higher blood levels of magnesium also were linked to a lower degree of insulin resistance.

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Expert Commentary by Carolyn Dean MD ND.

1.Magnesium plays a pivotal role in the secretion and function of insulin; without it, diabetes is inevitable. Measurable magnesium deficiency is common in diabetes and in many of its complications, including heart disease, eye damage, high blood pressure, and obesity. When the treatment of diabetes includes magnesium, these problems are prevented or minimized.

2. The proper diet for the prevention and treatment of diabetes includes frequent small meals of protein (fish—especially wild salmon, to avoid mercury—and free-range chicken and meat) and complex carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes, and vegetables), as well as the avoidance of simple sugars and white flour.

3. Stevia, from the leaves of a plant that grows in South America, is the best sweetener to use. You can find it in health food stores. Don’t use the sugar substitute aspartame, which can worsen blood sugar control and cause weight gain, headaches, nerve damage, and eye damage, because it is made partly from wood alcohol, which breaks down to formaldehyde.

4. Fiber from oat bran, flaxseed, and apples has a positive effect on keeping blood sugar balanced.

5. The connection between stress, obesity and diabetes cannot be overlooked. The stress chemical cortisol signals a metabolic shutdown that makes losing weight almost impossible. Magnesium can neutralize the effects of stress and is known as the anti-stress mineral.

6. Obesity, syndrome X, and diabetes are part of a continuum of illness that may progress to heart disease if not headed off by good diet, supplements, exercise, and stress reduction. They are not really separate diseases, as we may think, and underlying all this misery we find magnesium deficiency.

7. There has been a recent addition to our medical vocabulary—it’s diabesity, a recognition that if someone is about thirty pounds overweight for more than a decade, diabetes will likely occur.

8. People with syndrome X are obese, are on the road to diabetes with insulin resistance, and also have hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides.

9. Magnesium helps the body digest, absorb, and utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

10. Magnesium is necessary for insulin to open cell membranes for glucose.

11. Magnesium helps prevent obesity genes from expressing themselves.

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