Magnesium supplementation helps to normalize hypertension, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes complications.
Magnesium and Diabetes
Magnesium deficiency has been known to associate with hypertension, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia (A disorder of lipoprotein metabolism, including lipoprotein overproduction or deficiency), increased platelet aggregation (The clumping together of platelets in the blood), cardiovascular disease, diabetes complications and pregnancy complications.
Magnesium deficiencies are more common among diabetes; a decreased magnesium level is due to increased magnesium losses through frequent urination in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Low dietary intake of magnesium may be associated with higher incidences of type 2 diabetes in some studies, but not all.
Magnesium mechanism of action
The mineral magnesium is essential for all energy depended systems such as glycolysis, oxidative energy metabolism, normal bone metabolism, neuromuscular activity, electrolyte balance and biosynthetic reactions. The Kidney primarily regulates magnesium homeostasis.
The magnesium mechanisms by which it affects insulin resistance, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases are unknown. However, the magnesium use helps normal metabolism, cellular transport systems, intracellular signaling systems, electrolyte homeostasis, platelet aggregation, vascular smooth muscle tone and contractility, and phosphorylation and dephosphorylation reactions.
Magnesium plays an important role in
- Regulating the neuromuscular activity of the heart maintains normal heart rhythm.
- Proper calcium & Vitamin C metabolism
- Convert’s blood sugar into energy
- Activation of enzymes for proper metabolism of protein and carbohydrates for energy production
- Important for the metabolism of phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, B-complex vitamins, and vitamins C and E
- It is necessary in the production of sex hormones testosterone and progesterone. The small intestine absorbs magnesium and vitamin D, need for proper utilization of the magnesium. Magnesium is essential for bone growth, body temperature, normal heartbeat, nerve transmission, and arterial health. Magnesium is vital for DNA and RNA production. It helps in prevention of stroke.
Benefits of Magnesium supplements
- Glycemic control – studies show an inverse relationship between plasma magnesium levels, and glycemic control indices have been noted in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Insulin sensitivity - diet low in magnesium is associated with increased insulin levels, and clinical magnesium deficiency is strongly associated with insulin resistance. Conversely, magnesium supplementation has a mild positive effect on insulin sensitivity. Supplementation trials have primarily focused on the type 2 diabetes.
- Hypertension - observational studies indicate an inverse relationship between magnesium levels and hypertension in people with and without diabetes. Clinical trials have produced inconsistent results.
- Cardiovascular disease – low level of magnesium is associated with dyslipidemias, atherosclerosis, acute myocardial infarction, and cardiovascular disease. Most trials in type 2 diabetes has shown a little effect of supplementation on lipid levels, although mild improvement with type 1 diabetes.
- Complications – some research suggests that subjects with common microvascular complications, retinopathy, and neuropathy of diabetes have lower serum-magnesium levels than the subjects without complications. In type 2 diabetic people with micro- and macro-albuminuria were associated with low magnesium levels than with normo-albuminuria.
Recommended dose of Magnesium
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 400 mg/day for men, 310 mg/day for women. The Tolerable upper intake level (UL) is 350 mg/day as supplemental magnesium. Daily intake from food and water is not included in the UL.
Health risks of too much Magnesium
Hypermagnesemia may occur with renal insufficiency that impairs magnesium clearance. Supplement intakes greater than 500 mg/day of elemental magnesium may cause diarrhea.
Magnesium is relatively nontoxic in people with normal renal function. Chronic supplementation or use of magnesium containing medications such as laxatives and antacids can lead to hypermagnesemia in people with impaired renal function. Hypermagnesemia can result in hypotension, headaches, nausea, altered cardiac function, central nervous system disorders, and death.
Medication that may interact with Magnesium supplements
Magnesium supplements that may interact with antibiotics (quinolone, tetracycline, monocycline and nitrofurantoin) and minimize its effects, blood-pressure medication (calcium-channel blockers) and increase its side effects, increases the absorption of diabetic medications (glipizide and glyburide), medication for under active thyroid (Levothroxine) and reduces its effect.
Natural sources of Magnesium
Natural sources of magnesium are:
- Legumes - Soybeans, moth beans, peanut, cowpeas, hyacinth beans, soybeans, cocoa, peanuts, and lima beans
- Nuts and seeds - Almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cottonseed, peas, and wild rice
- Cereal grain - wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ, whole grains, millet, barley, oats, and yellow corn
- Dark leafy vegetables - nettle
- Fruits - peaches, figs, lemons, and grapefruit
- Sea food - Irish moss, and kelp
- Fish, meat, etc. - perch, cod, carp, flounder, shrimp, mackerel, herring, halibut, bluefish, shellfish, snails, swordfish, and meat
- Medicinal herbs – licorice, and garlic
- Others - brewer's yeast, tofu, and blackstrap molasses
Chemical form of Magnesium
Oral supplements are available in numerous forms; they are Dolomite, magnesium amino acid chelate, magnesium ascorbate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium oxide.