Magnesium helps heart muscles relax, reduces blood pressure, helps control homocysteine, promotes bone health, reduces risk of cognitive decline, plays a key role in DNA production, and helps maintain normal insulin levels.
Research from the University of North Carolina tracked 20 years of dietary and medical records for nearly 4,500 subjects who were not diabetic when they were recruited. Subjects with the highest magnesium intake (from both diet and supplements) cut their diabetes risk by half, compared to subjects with the lowest intake. In addition, insulin resistance and inflammation markers were lowest in the high intake group. High intake was calculated to be at least 200 mg per every 1,000 calories consumed.
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital collected data from more than 11,000 women over the age of 45. Subjects with highest magnesium intake had nearly 30 percent lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome (a set of symptoms that signal high risk of type 2 diabetes).
Northwestern University researchers followed 15 years of medical records for more than 4,600 healthy subjects. Highest intake of magnesium was linked with a significantly lower risk of metabolic syndrome.
Other studies found a significant association between high magnesium intake and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The sources of magnesium–diet or supplements combined with diet–were equally effective. On average, diabetes risk dropped by 15 percent for every 100 mg increase in magnesium intake.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to become magnesium deficient. High stress and menstruation can take their toll on magnesium levels, while a heavy intake of starches, alcohol, diuretics and some prescription drugs (such as antibiotics) can increase urinary excretion of magnesium.
If a blood test shows your magnesium level is low (a normal range is anywhere between .66 and 1.23 millimoles per liter), take 500 mg of magnesium per day, with the added note that magnesium gluconate and chelated magnesium are the preferred supplement forms.
Meanwhile, add leafy green vegetables, avocados, nuts, and whole grains to your daily diet an