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Magnesium May Help Prevent Diabetes

Consuming more magnesium through your diet, or through supplements, may help prevent diabetes according to a study published in the September 2010 issue of Diabetes Care.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recruited 4,497 men and women between 18 and 30 years of age for the study.

None of the participants had diabetes at the start of the study but after a 20 year follow-up period 330 of the participants were diagnosed.

The researchers found that people with the highest magnesium intake (200 mg for every 1000 calories) were almost 50% less likely to develop diabetes compared to those with the lowest intakes (100 mg per 1000 calories.)

The researchers also found a reduction in numerous markers of inflammation and insulin resistance as magnesium intakes increased.

The researchers noted that these findings may explain why whole grains, which are high in magnesium, have been linked to reductions in diabetes risk. More large scale studies are still needed, however, in order to conclusively verify that relationship.

Beyond diabetes benefits magnesium also plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. For this reason, it is no surprising that magnesium has also been linked to a number of other benefits including helping with bone development and reducing the risks of stroke and abnormal blood pressure.

Unfortunately, most American adults do not get the recommended daily value for magnesium, which is 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men.

A supplement is a great way to get your daily magnesium but there are also many dietary sources of magnesium such as green leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts and milk.

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