Is Magnesium Good for Diabetics?

The Role of Magnesium in Glucose Metabolism

Magnesium's role in the body to support health blood sugar levels has been extensively studied and proven.  In this 2017 study, a team of researchers focused on magnesium supplementation while watching glucose and insulin-sensitivity parameters in test subjects.

The study used 12 people that have diabetes and six people who were high-risk. Magnesium supplementation reduced the fasting plasma glucose in those with diabetes and those who were high-risk. Magnesium also demonstrated level reductions in insulin resistance.

At the end of the study, it was concluded that “Mg supplementation appears to have a beneficial role and improves glucose parameters in people with diabetes and also improves insulin-sensitivity parameters in those at high risk of diabetes.”

This is one of many studies demonstrating the magnesium benefits for supporting healthy blood sugar levels. Even the American Diabetes Association posted a study of 63 subjects that have type 2 diabetes. This research showed that those taking the magnesium supplement presented lower insulin-resistance numbers and better fasting glucose levels than the control subjects. It was concluded that “oral supplementation with MgCl2 solution restores serum magnesium levels, improving insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic patients with decreased serum magnesium levels.”

Which Magnesium is Best?

When looking at different magnesium supplements and diabetes, evaluate the various forms available. Magnesium types include:

  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium chloride

Magnesium supplements aren’t all created equally. Some work better for various ailments than others because of the absorption rates. In fact, a few varieties work best as liquids, allowing for faster absorption into the body. The NIH states that magnesium chloride has a high absorption rate, especially when compared with magnesium sulfate or oxide.

More research is needed to significantly prove the benefit of magnesium chloride and insulin production. Still, we have seen many people control blood sugar with a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and taking high-quality magnesium supplements. The key is finding a liquid formula that absorbs quickly and doesn’t cause further digestive issues.

Dietary Recommendations

If you are suffering from a magnesium deficiency as a result of diabetes, you may find that increasing your magnesium level through diet and supplementation helps you to feel your best. The NIH recommends that most adults get between 350 and 400 mg of magnesium daily.

You may be able to achieve this through your diet by adding magnesium-rich foods, including:

  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Peanut butter
  • Enriched breakfast cereals
  • Whole grains
  • Chicken breast
  • Oatmeal
  • Avocados
  • Ground beef
  • Broccoli
  • Yogurt

Some tap water and bottled water sources also provide magnesium, but this varies based on location and filtration processes. While it’s helpful to look at magnesium deficiency symptoms to determine your risk, the only real way to know if you are lacking this nutrient is through a blood test. The most common signs include muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea and a loss of appetite.

If you believe you are magnesium deficient and have trouble getting the recommended amount through your diet, a supplement might be your best option.

Side Effects and Risks

Answering the question, is magnesium good for glucose metabolism isn’t a simple yes or no. Whether you’re diabetic or not, it’s essential to only take the amount of magnesium you need. Otherwise, you might face some side effects and various risks. For some people, taking magnesium can lead to a laxative effect. This reaction is minimized when taking liquid magnesium with a high absorption rate.

For people who can’t tolerate taking oral supplements, it’s often better to choose a topical cream instead. When you start any new lotion, you want to test it on the skin in a small area first to ensure you won’t suffer from skin irritation.

If you take an excessive amount of magnesium, you could end up with toxicity problems. Symptoms of magnesium toxicity include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Cardiac arrest

If you suffer from kidney ailments, you have a higher risk of magnesium toxicity due to the kidneys’ inability to remove the excessive magnesium from the body. If you are unsure whether you should be taking a magnesium supplement, speak with your healthcare professional before starting a new regimen.

Your doctor has a better understanding of the conditions you are battling as well as the current medications you are taking, so their guidance could be invaluable in not only answering the question of whether or not magnesium is good for diabetics, but whether or not magnesium is right for you.