Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in many enzymatic reactions (Kim, Xun, Liu, Loria, Yokota, Jacobs, He, 2010). It is vital to muscle contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism. New research informs us that Western diets are commonly low in magnesium, while oriental diets contain approximately twice the amount (Kim, Xun, Liu, Loria, Yokota, Jacobs, He, 2010). Researchers from the University of Carolina followed 4497 Americans aged 18 to 30 years, with no previous history of diabetes (Kim, Xun, Liu, Loria, Yokota, Jacobs, He, 2010). Participants were placed into ranked quintiles, according to magnesium intake, and followed for 20 years. At the conclusion of this study, partipants consuming magnesium supplementation, at a dosage of 69.4 +/-137.1 mg daily (5th quintile) , were only half as likely to develop diabetes compared to participants consuming magnesium supplementation at a dosage of 1.6 +/- 9.4 mg daily (1st quintile).
This study also evaluated the degree of inflammation and insulin resistance among participants. Inflammatory markers, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and fibrinogen, and insulin resistance, were used to assess the foregoing pathological parameters. The results of this study indicate that participants assigned to the 5th quintile reported higher serum magnesium, lower levels of inflammatory markers and less insulin resistance compared to other quintiles in the study (Kim, Xun, Liu, Loria, Yokota, Jacobs, He, 2010). Hence, supplementing the diet with magnesium, at a dosage of 69.4 +/-137.1 mg daily is one strategy shown to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Kim, D.J., Xun, P., Liu, K., Loria, C., Yokota, K., Jacobs, D.R., & He, K. 2010. Magnesium intake in relation to systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and the incidence of diabetes. Diabetes Care, 33, 2604-2610.