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Health & Nutrition
Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD

Diabetes & Magnesium: The Essential Link

Magnesium, an essential mineral, and type 2 diabetes, a widespread health condition characterized by insulin resistance and high blood glucose, have a significant connection.

Adequate magnesium intake aids insulin's role in controlling blood sugar levels, potentially lowering diabetes risk. Supplements like Magnesium Bisglycinate can complement diet to ensure sufficient magnesium intake, contributing to better diabetes management and overall health.


Millions of people worldwide suffer from diabetes, making it a rising global health crisis.  In the US alone, there are about 38 million adults with diabetes, and this condition is ranked as the 7th leading cause of death.  (1)


In this article, we’ll be focusing on type 2 diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus) and the link between nature’s most mighty mineral: magnesium.




Magnesium deficiency and diabetes


Research has shown that it’s exceptionally common for individuals struggling with diabetes to be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can contribute to insulin resistance, making it harder and harder for blood glucose to be taken up by the cells, exacerbating the condition and increasing the risk of unfortunate complications. (2)

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes may even be higher with low magnesium intake, with numerous studies demonstrating a significant association between low magnesium intake and an increased risk of developing the condition. (3)

To learn more about the signs of magnesium deficiency, head on ever here.


The effect of magnesium on glucose levels and insulin resistance


The effect of magnesium on glucose levels and insulin resistance has been well-established. Magnesium is crucial for the proper functioning of insulin, as it helps insulin bind to its receptor and facilitates the transport of glucose into cells, which can then be used for energy production. 

For example, one study found that for every 100 mg increase in total magnesium intake, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreased by 15%. This association was observed even after accounting for other factors like age, body mass index, family history of diabetes, and lifestyle factors. (4)




Fasting blood glucose and magnesium


Fasting blood glucose levels are commonly used to diagnose and monitor diabetes. 

A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial found that 3 months of oral magnesium supplementation improves blood glucose control in those with diabetes. 

At the end of the study, researchers found that oral magnesium intake was associated with significantly lower fasting blood glucose levels and blood glucose levels after meals. (5)




Magnesium intake and diabetes


Given the important role of magnesium in glucose control and insulin secretion, it is essential for individuals with diabetes to ensure they’re getting enough magnesium every day.

The recommended daily amount of magnesium for adult men is around 400-420 mg, and for adult women, it is around 310-320 mg. (6)




Dietary sources of magnesium


The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recognizes the importance of magnesium in diabetes care and recommends that individuals with diabetes consume a diet rich in magnesium.

Unfortunately, the modern Western diet, which is often high in processed foods, tends to be low in magnesium. This is because the processing of foods often removes a significant portion of their magnesium content.

Another concern is that even whole foods may contain less magnesium than they used to due to depleted soil conditions. 

However, there are still some great sources to improve your dietary magnesium intake, which include:


  • Whole grains

  • Leafy green vegetables

  • Dark chocolate

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Avocado

  • Beans




Magnesium supplements


Since so many of us may struggle to meet our daily magnesium requirements through diet alone, magnesium supplements may be a helpful addition, especially when supporting healthy blood sugar levels. 

Magnesium supplements are available in various forms, such as magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, and magnesium bisglycinate… But which one is the best?

It can be a bit overwhelming, but the most important thing to consider is the bioavailability of magnesium, which refers to how well your body can absorb and utilize the form of magnesium. 

When it comes to choosing the most bioavailable magnesium, there’s really no competition! Magnesium Bisglycinate is significantly more absorbable than other forms of magnesium (learn more here)

Our top-selling magnesium supplement provides a highly absorbable form of elemental magnesium in the form of magnesium bisglycinate, which has been formulated using a patented chelation process. It's also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, making it a clean and natural choice for supporting your health. 

Plus, with its gentle effects on the digestive system, you won't have to worry about unpleasant side effects commonly associated with other magnesium supplements. Just one serving provides you with 118% of the recommended daily value.

While magnesium supplements can help to correct a deficiency, they should not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle as the primary means of diabetes care.

It is also important to consult a healthcare professional before beginning any supplement regimen, as they can provide guidance on the appropriate dosage and ensure there are no contraindications with existing medications or health conditions.




Additional benefits of magnesium


Since magnesium is required for over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body, this means that it affects many aspects of health from head to toe alongside its benefits on insulin sensitivity.

Some of the general benefits of magnesium include:


  • Maintaining healthy bones and teeth

  • Regulating muscle and nerve function

  • Supporting a healthy immune system

  • Promoting regularity

  • Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression

  • Supporting heart health




Final thoughts


The relationship between diabetes and magnesium is multifaceted and significant. Ensuring an adequate intake of magnesium may help to prevent and manage the condition, as well as reduce the risk of complications associated with high blood sugar levels. Research suggests that individuals with diabetes should strive to consume a diet rich in magnesium and, in some cases, may benefit from a high-quality magnesium supplement as part of their diabetes care regimen.



Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD
As a qualified Nutritional Therapist (BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD), Zaheera Swing has a deep passion for restoring balance and harmony to the body through the modalities of nutritional science, herbalism, and holistic lifestyle practices. Using the functional medicine model coupled with wisdom from ancient paradigms, she aims to provide insight into the underlying root causes of poor health and the holistic tools we can harness to enhance the well-being of mind, body, and spirit.
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