People suffering from type II diabetes have an increased risk of magnesium deficiency. With this metabolic disease, magnesium is increasingly excreted through the kidneys. Muscle cramps can often be the consequence.
Magnesium and diabetes
Type II diabetics in particular should make sure they have a sufficient magnesium intake because in numerous studies on patients with type II diabetes, a decreased magnesium level was found in the blood. Read more about the relationship between magnesium and diabetes here.
Magnesium and diabetes: Levels are often too low
Magnesium and diabetes – the most important facts
- A sufficient supply of magnesium can increase the response of the cells to insulin
- But: type II diabetics often show decreased magnesium levels in the blood
- Reasons: increased loss of magnesium through the urine, avoidance of carbohydrate-rich foods with a high magnesium content
- Therefore, the following applies: diabetics should consume sufficient magnesium and be aware of the signs that might indicate insufficient levels
In numerous investigations, a reduced level of magnesium in the blood has been found in type II diabetics. The increased excretion of magnesium through the kidneys, which occurs as a consequence of elevated blood glucose levels, is particularly important here, as this is the main reason for insufficient levels of the mineral.
Additionally, diabetics often avoid carbohydrate-rich foods such as grains and pulses, and these have a high magnesium content.
Many are not aware that magnesium is especially important for diabetics.
Why magnesium is so important for diabetics
To understand the essential role of magnesium for diabetics, it is important to know a little about diabetes. We have brought together the important information here:
With type II diabetes, the body’s own regulation system for blood glucose levels is disturbed. Normally, the metabolic hormone insulin, produced in the pancreas, makes sure everything is running smoothly: it carries out the distribution, processing, and storage of glucose in the body. With type II diabetes, blood glucose is no longer optimally absorbed by the body’s cells. Apart from an insulin deficiency (insufficient production of insulin in the pancreas), the reason is insulin resistance: the body cells respond less to insulin – and so the glucose cannot be “transported out” of the blood as required. This results in a permanently elevated blood glucose level, which over time can cause damage to blood vessels, organs, and nerves (diabetes complications).
Magnesium comes into play with the “insulin resistance.” Magnesium supports the absorption of glucose from the blood into the cells – if the mineral is lacking then this can promote insulin resistance. A sufficient magnesium supply can therefore increase the insulin sensitivity of the cells and so play a very central role for diabetics.
A sufficient magnesium supply is important
When it comes to diabetes, sufficient levels of magnesium are therefore fundamentally important! The amount recommended by the German Nutrition Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung, DGE) is 300 mg per day for women aged 25 and above, and 350 mg per day for men. Modern magnesium products from the pharmacy, such as Biolectra® Magnesium, available in different pharmaceutical forms, allow a magnesium intake that meets your individual requirements.
The American Diabetes Association even recommends that at-risk diabetics check their magnesium levels: if the test results show a deficit, the patient should take more magnesium in consultation with their doctor. This very well-tolerated mineral can be combined with all diabetes medicinal products and also with insulin – no interactions are known of as yet.
Also important: diabetics should generally be on the lookout for possible signs of magnesium deficiency such as, for example, leg cramps or twitching of the eyelids and visit a doctor at an early stage to clarify the cause of any possible symptoms.
Prevention: An adequate magnesium supply can reduce the risk of diabetes
People who maintain a balanced magnesium metabolism have a lower risk of developing diabetes or insulin resistance.1,2,4,5 This effect can also be supported by a change in lifestyle.3
1) Mooren FC et al., Oral magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance in non-diabetic subjects – a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, Diabetes Obes Metab. 2011; 13:281-4.
2) Guerrero-Romero F et al., Hypomagnesaemia and risk for metabolic glucose disorders: a 10-year follow-up study, Eur J Clin Invest. 2008; 38:389-96.
3) Hadjistavri LS et al., Beneficial effects of oral magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and serum lipid profile, Med Sci Monit. 2010; 16: CR 307-12.
4) Guerrero-Romero F et al., Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance. A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial, Diabetes Metab. 2004; 30:253-8.
5) Kao WH et al., Serum and dietary magnesium and the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, Arch Intern Med. 1999; 159: 2151-9.