Integrative Health Blog

The Magnesium and Diabetes Connection

Posted by NIHA Staff on Wed, May 14, 2014


Dr. Mercola posted an article, Low Magnesium May Play Key Role in Insulin Resistance and Diabetes about low magnesium and it’s role in insulin resistance and diabetes, two things that I have a great interest in and have posted  numerous blogs about.

He states that an estimated 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral!

There can be many reasons: nutrient depleted soil, nutrient deficient diets, intestinal problems, kidney problems, diabetes, age, certain medications.

My focus here will be on the relation to Type II diabetes. Dr. Mercola says “ the evidence is clear: if you want to optimize your metabolism and keep your risk for type 2 diabetes low, one of the things you need to do is consume adequate magnesium.”

How to Increase Your Magnesium Intake with Food

The easiest way to do that is to eat foods that are high in magnesium:

  • dark leafy green vegetables

  • sea vegetables like dulse,nori, wakame, kelp

  • unrefined sea salt

  • sunflower and pumpkin seeds

  • nut butters

  • almonds, cashews, brazil nuts

  • brewer’s yeast

  • wheat germ

  • cilantro, dandelion

  • unprocessed grains

In a recent 2013 study, according to Mercola, pre-diabetics with the highest magnesium intake, reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by 71%!!

If someone with pre-diabetes can reduce their risk for even greater problems, imagine what would happen it the general population took measures to increase their intake of magnesium - maybe we could avoid the diagnosis of pre-diabetes in the first place!

Insulin is a hormone that opens up the cell membrane to allow glucose to enter and provide that cell with energy. When the body is insulin resistant, in other words, insulin isn’t working properly, the pancreas makes more and more insulin to try and compensate for this which produces a whole host of other problems in the body.

One such problem is the urinary excretion of magnesium. High insulin and glucose levels make it hard for the body to hold on to magnesium, which contributes to magnesium deficiency, which can lead to elevated blood pressure and many other conditions.

I highly recommend Dr. Carolyn Dean’s book, The Magnesium Miracle, which goes in to great detail about how the body uses magnesium, signs and symptoms of deficiency, conditions which are related to deficiency and treatment, both nutritional and supplemental.

I encourage my clients to make food choices on the basis of how that food reacts in the body. Not only excluding certain foods, but also including ones that have the potential to optimize our health.



Topics: insulin resistance, magnesium, diabetes, blood sugar