Magnesium and diabetes
Diabetes is a disease resulting in insufficient production and/or ineffective use of insulin. Insulin helps convert sugar and starches in food into energy to sustain life. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 is usually diagnosed in children or adolescents and results from the body's inability to make insulin, Type 2 (often referred to as adult-onset diabetes) is the most common form of diabetes and usually associated with an inability to use the insulin made by the pancreas.
Magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. It may influence the release and activity of insulin. Low blood levels of magnesium are often seen in people with type 2 diabetes. Hypomagnesemia may worsen insulin resistance, or may be a consequence of insulin resistance. Persons with insulin resistance do not use insulin effectively and require greater amounts of insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. The kidneys possibly lose their ability to retain magnesium during periods of severe hyperglycemia (significantly elevated blood sugars). The increased loss of magnesium in urine may result in lower blood levels of magnesium. In older adults, correcting magnesium depletion may improve insulin response and action.
There have been several clinical studies regarding the potential benefit of supplemental magnesium on helping to control type 2 diabetes. In one such study, 63 subjects with below normal serum magnesium levels received either 2.5mg of oral magnesium chloride daily or placebo. At the end of the 16 week study those who received the magnesium supplement had higher levels of magnesium and improved control of diabetes as suggested by lower hemoglobin A1C levels, than those who received a placebo.
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