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Magnesium Linked to Improved Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance occurs when cells no longer respond efficiently to insulin, resulting in glucose not being cleared from the bloodstream effectively, increasing the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. A recent study has found that consuming more magnesium was associated with improved insulin resistance in non-diabetics who have metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is the group of risk factors that contribute to coronary artery disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes. These risk factors include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels and high cholesterol.

Participants in the study included 234 people with Metabolic syndrome. At the beginning of the study, all of the participants told the researchers what they had eaten over the past 24 hours. The same process was repeated at six and 12 months. The researchers also took blood samples and estimated insulin resistance using the homeostasis model (HOMA-IR).

The researchers found that low dietary magnesium intake was statistically significantly associated with increased markers of insulin resistance. They also found that people who met the recommended daily allowance of magnesium had a 63% lower chance of increased insulin resistance.

Fewer than 30% of the participants actually met the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. In general, 70 to 80% of the US population does not meet the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.

Researchers from Yangzhou University in China and the University of Massachusetts Medical School conducted the study. It was published on September 27, 2013, in Nutrients.

Magnesium is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Previous studies have found that higher intakes of magnesium may reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.

Eating more magnesium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains, nuts and milk is one way to increase your magnesium intake. Taking a supplement is also a good option.

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