A higher magnesium intake is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online ahead of print in Diabetes Care.
Researchers led by Adela Hruby, PhD, MPH, of the Harvard School of Public Health observed 2,582 healthy, non-diabetic patients aged 26 to 81 years who had been enrolled in the 7-year Framingham Heart Study (FHS). Among them, 42% had been overweight and 21% obese. None of them had symptoms of diabetes.
They found that, after 7 years, patients with the highest intake of magnesium were associated with at least a 53% reduced risk of overall diabetes compared to those with the lowest intake.
Additionally, there was a 37% reduced risk of developing metabolic impairment with higher magnesium. Among those who already had metabolic impairment at baseline, higher intake was linked with a 32% reduced risk of new-onset diabetes.
“This is a strong study due to its large sample size, the length of study, and all of the measures of insulin sensitivity,” said Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, LDN, of the Department of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia. “They included those who did not have diabetes mellitus to establish if dietary intake can prevent diabetes mellitus over time.”
In a study involving more than 2,500 people, those with the highest magnesium intake had the lowest risk of developingtype 2 diabetes over a 7-year period, as reported online ahead of print in Diabetes Care. “There is a substantial body of literature linking low magnesium intake or low magnesium status (as measured in the blood) to greater risk of diabetes,” added lead author Adela Hruby, PhD, MPH, who was a graduate student at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition when she conducted this research, and is now a Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. “
In contrast to other micronutrients, relatively little attention is given to adequate magnesium as an important part of a healthy diet." she said. "In fact, we know from national surveys, as well as in our own research populations, that somewhere between 50% and 75% of Americans have inadequate magnesium intake. When compared to a similar mineral, like calcium, which many Americans get more than enough of, the low magnesium intake presents a striking contrast."