February 22


How Magnesium is Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

By Gabriela

February 22, 2022

Many have already been acquainted with the countless benefits which magnesium can offer, and that includes people with diabetes.

So it’s only logical that a lack of magnesium can lead to a large number of various diseases, among which:

  • Heart attacks and other heat-related illnesses;
  • Kidney stones;
  • Type II diabetes;
  • Hypertension;
  • Premenstrual syndrome;
  • High levels of bad LDL cholesterol;
  • Psychiatric disorders;
  • Alterations in one’s blood sugar.

And this list is just the tip of the iceberg, which only further stresses how important it is to maintain our daily intake of magnesium. As you may have noticed, low levels of magnesium can increase one’s risk of developing type II diabetes.

On the other hand, proper amounts can be beneficial for diabetics, and all one needs to do is look up the many studies conducted over the years on the connection between type II diabetes and magnesium.

Studies also suggest that unlike our ancestors (who consumed an average of 500 mg a day) we have come down to just 175 to 225 mg of magnesium on a daily basis.

Why such a big change? Well, in this modern world, there are many toxins that are hard to avoid since they are even in the soil in which we grow our food (which has been depleted of nutrients).

Not to mention our unhealthy modern diets which contain way too many packaged and processed foods.

Why Is Magnesium so Special?

Magnesium is actually an electrolyte. Would you believe it plays a role in over 300 cellular processes in your body? What a busy little mineral!

Half of our magnesium intake goes to our bones, and the other to our soft tissue and muscles.

Let us give you a list of some of the most crucial things magnesium is vital for:

  • Utilization of glucose;
  • Breakdown and synthesis of fatty acids;
  • ANY hormone reactions;
  • Helps prevent any clogging of arteries;
  • Regulates the health of our heart;
  • Metabolizes our energy;
  • Synthesis of protein;
  • Contraction of muscles;
  • Provides energy for our cells;
  • DNA synthesis;
  • Improves our cholesterol markers;
  • Responsible for the health of our bones;
  • And much, much more!

This means that everyone on this planet can benefit from more magnesium. But in the specific case of diabetics, magnesium also plays a role in the way our bodies use glucose and represents a co-factor linked with carb metabolism.

And yet, many individuals diagnosed with diabetes (particularly those whose glucose levels are uncontrolled) are lacking in proper magnesium dosage.

This makes sense when one considers that magnesium is regulated by glucose and insulin.

Sadly, a chronic magnesium deficiency is harder to detect than one would think. Going to the doctor may connect the symptoms with something else.

A blood test also does little good here, since most of your magnesium can be found in your cells and bones. Only about 0.3% can be found in your bloodstream.

One should be aware that a constant deficiency of this miraculous mineral can lead to less glucose uptake in one’s cells as well as increased insulin resistance. And no one wants that.

How Does Magnesium Aid Diabetics?

Other than the already mentioned role in carbohydrate metabolism, taking a magnesium supplement on a daily basis helps lower one’s blood glucose levels. But that’s far from all it does when it comes to combatting diabetes…

Prevents Vascular Complications and Improves Heart Health

For all of you who have had heart flutters (also called arrhythmia) at some point, magnesium is great for decreasing such occurrences. It turns out that over one-third of all patients with congestive heart failure also appears to be deficient in magnesium.

In fact, many cardiovascular diseases and abnormalities can stem from such a deficiency. Such as:

  • Dyslipidemia;
  • Atherosclerosis;
  • Angina;
  • Arrhythmia;
  • Acute myocardial infarction.

It’s also been connected to hypertension, which is one of the major risk factors for stroke and heart disease.

So, basic logic dictates that since a lack of magnesium can lead to such health problems, then an adequate intake shall help resolve them or even prevent them from occurring in the first place!

Boosts the Utilization of Vitamin D

What does magnesium in its role as a cofactor is it helps the vitamin D we consume bind to the transport protein. Therefore, if you lack magnesium, chances are you lack vitamin D as well since your body is having a hard time utilizing it properly.

And a deficiency in vitamin D has also often been linked to complications with one’s diabetes. It can even lead to gestational diabetes in some cases. So, enough magnesium is key for the proper intake of this vitamin. And it wouldn’t hurt to get some more sunshine too.

Can Greatly Reduce Inflammation

Were you aware that magnesium is the most anti-inflammatory nutrient out there? Well, it’s true! And when taking into consideration the fact that diabetes falls under the category of an inflammatory condition…

Not only does it help soothe any symptoms, but by reducing inflammation, magnesium can also help you lose weight!

Relieves Cramps, Pains, and Aches

Even for those who have not been diagnosed with diabetes, leg cramps, and aches can be common causes of complaints. But it can be even harder for those with diabetes who are constantly dehydrated.

This is because dehydration makes you lose more electrolytes and this ultimately leads to more aches, cramps, and pains.

Here’s where magnesium comes to the rescue. Other than taking it in supplement form as we discussed, you can also obtain some magnesium oil and rub it directly only in the affected area.

Improves One’s Insulin Resistance

This mineral is extremely important when it comes to one’s insulin receptors. It might even help the glucose move out of one’s blood and into their cell.

And since there are already plenty of studies out there that suggest that magnesium can improve insulin sensitivity, it is clear why it is an excellent thing to consume more of.

Likewise, if one lacks magnesium and happens to be diabetic, then this can lead to cognitive decline and diabetic neuropathy. If you happen to notice symptoms of either of these, then more magnesium certainly wouldn’t hurt. Don’t forget to also consult with your doctor.

Magnesium-Abundant Foods

There are plenty of real and healthy foods to choose from. For example, a handful of seeds, whether flax, hemp, chia, sesame, or pumpkin (or a combination of them all!) a day is a great natural source of magnesium.

Then there are also raw cashews and brazil nuts, coriander, dried basil, unsweetened cocoa, almond butter (or just raw almonds), and many others.

You can combine these ingredients or add them to your daily meals to make sure you are getting enough magnesium.

As we already mentioned previously, you can also choose to take magnesium in supplement form. The bioavailable kind is the best since they are the easiest for your body to absorb and put to good use.

And don’t be fooled by one of the most common supplements, magnesium oxide, just because it has the highest % of magnesium, it doesn’t make it safe for consumption.

Since it would be nearly impossible to choose from all the different types of magnesium supplements that the pharmaceutical market offers, one of your best bets would be to get one that is mixed with calcium, since the two minerals greatly complement each other.

Also, the best way to ensure you are not lacking in this powerful nutrient is to complement your high-magnesium diet with a supplement.

That way you’ll be getting it both through natural and not-so-natural means. The important thing is that you’ll have enough.

But Just How Much is Enough, You Ask?

Well, the average recommendation is between 240 and 480 mg. And yet there are those, like IJRMS, who say it should be much more, namely between 500-1000 mg per day.

Others like Everyday Health claim the ideal daily average dose should be around 700 mg.

Before you get overwhelmed and confused about which advice to follow, your best option would be to look at the packaging of the supplement you’ve bought and follow their guidelines.

One more thing, dear readers: always make sure to consult with your doctor if you are taking any prescribed medication such as antibiotics.

Even though this supplement is generally considered safe and contraindication-free, it’s always better to be on the safe side. Stay healthy and always get informed!

Source: Diabetes Meal Plans | Healthline | NCBI


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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