Several recent studies suggest that a high intake of magnesium can cut your risk of developing diabetes in half!
Prediabetes (fasting glucose in the 100 – 125 mg/dL range) has been thought to progress almost invariably to diabetes without major lifestyle changes in diet, activity level and even sometime prescription drug intervention.
But is there a natural supplement that might actually help prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
Several studies answer with a resounding *YES*!
We know that magnesium and insulin are linked together — insulin helps transport magnesium into the cells for use in glucose metabolism… and in turn, magnesium is actually crucial for the enzymes to function correctly in glucose metabolism. So magnesium and insulin have a very intimate and co-dependent relationship to each other: you need insulin to bring magnesium into the cell, and you need magnesium to appropriately metabolize glucose, reducing insulin resistance.
Because of this relationship, it makes sense that magnesium deficiency can actually cause insulin resistance… requiring more and more insulin to metabolize glucose.
Low magnesium is a very common finding in diabetic patients… but could boosting magnesium help maintain ideal glucose control?
Could it even possibly prevent the progression of prediabetes to diabetes?
These studies say yes, that magnesium plays such an important role in preventing diabetes, supplementing with magnesium can even return prediabetic patients to totally normal, non-diabetic states:
- In a study (published in Diabetes Care Feb 2014) researchers followed over 2,500 patients for 7 years and found that patients with the highest magnesium intake (400 mg/day) had the lowest risk of developing diabetes — 53% lower risk than those with the lowest magnesium intake.
- In another study (published in Diabetes & Metabolism April 2015) researchers followed 116 prediabetic patients with clinically low magnesium (less than 1.8 mg/dL) and gave them either magnesium or placebo in a double blind study. After four months, patients who received the magnesium had improved fasting glucose and decreased insulin resistance… in fact, half of the prediabetic patients who received magnesium supplementation actually moved out of the prediabetic range, no longer were prediabetic and had normal glucose tolerance.
- Considering diabetics with low magnesium have an increased risk for diabetic injury such as retinal damage, kidney damage and non-healing ulcers, it makes sense for both diabetics, prediabetics, and those with a strong family history of diabetes to be certain they are having a magnesium intake of about 400 mg/day.
It’s estimated that only about half of Americans get enough magnesium through diet (foods high in magnesium include nuts, spinach, avocado and whole grains.)
Magnesium is so essential for hundreds of biological processes (300+ and counting!) everything from the electrical activity of our heartbeat to blood pressure to muscle function and nerve function, that it makes sense to look into supplementation if your magnesium levels are low.
My fav magnesium supplement is Concentrace Mineral Drops added to water throughout the day… this is the magnesium supplement I recommend most often in my private practice to my patients.
But beyond diabetes prevention, there are lots of other great reasons to consider supplementing with magnesium…
…the two most common reasons are for help with treating muscle tension and help with treating constipation.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, so I love recommending Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm drink to patients who have trouble relaxing at night, or who grind their teeth or suffer from restless leg syndrome. Simply put a scoop in hot water at night and drink it like a relaxing tea before bed. You will feel the tension melt away from your muscles, just as if you were soaking in a nice hot tub full of Epsom bath salts.
Epsom salts are magnesium salts and help to relax the muscles of the body, prevent soreness after working out or a long strenuous day, and help transition you into a relaxing night of sleep. So another great way to reap the benefits of magnesium is to look forward to a nightly soak with Epsom salts.
Although you don’t want to exceed 400 mg of magnesium a day, if you are constipated, you can reap the benefits of another side effect of magnesium supplementation: softer stools. Want more advice on how to treat constipation, including links to supplements and small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in your bowel habits?
Head over to my article on 10 Natural Ways To Get Constipation Relief for more support!
P.S. — two other, all natural, medically proven ways to slash your diabetes risk… beyond Magnesium supplementation?