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High Magnesium Intake May Offset Risk of Developing Diabetes

Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting risk of developing diabetes among those at high risk….

In this study, Hurby et al examined 7-yr associations between magnesium intake and the incidence of prediabetes and/or insulin resistance, and progression from these states to type 2 diabetes. A total of 2,582 participants ages 26–81 years old at baseline were selected. Magnesium intake and risk of metabolic impairment, defined as impaired fasting glucose (≥5.6–<7.0 mmol/L), impaired glucose tolerance (2-hr postload glucose ≥7.8–<11.1 mmol/L), insulin resistance, or hyperinsulinemia (≥90th percentile of HOMA-IR or fasting insulin, respectively), was estimated among those with normal baseline status. The risk of incident diabetes was estimated among those with baseline metabolic impairment. In participants without incident diabetes, the authors examined magnesium intake in relation to 7-yr changes in fasting and postload glucose and insulin, insulin resistance, and insulin sensitivity.

After adjusting for age, sex, and energy intake, compared to those with the lowest magnesium intake, those with the highest intake had 37% lower risk of incident metabolic impairment. For those with baseline metabolic impairment, higher intake was associated with a 32% lower risk of incident diabetes. In the combined population, the risk in those with the highest intake was 53% compared to those with the lowest intake of magnesium. Adjusting for risk factors and dietary fiber attenuated associations in the baseline normal population, but did not substantially affect associations in the metabolically impaired.

Higher magnesium intake tended to associate with lower follow-up fasting glucose and IR, but not fasting insulin, postload values, or insulin sensitivity. As a result, the authors concluded that magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting risk of developing diabetes among those at high risk.

Practice Pearls:
  • Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting risk of developing diabetes among those at high risk.
  • Those with the highest intake had 37% lower risk of incident metabolic impairment.

Diabetes Care, October 2013