Supplement with magnesium if you have diabetes — it helps reduce inflammation in your body

People with diabetes may benefit from taking magnesium. A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements found that supplementing with magnesium can prevent anemia and reduce inflammation in people with diabetes.

Researchers at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria came to this conclusion after analyzing the effect of oral magnesium administration on some markers of anemia and inflammation in diabetic mice. Magnesium has been known to improve glucose utilization in diabetes, but data on its effects on anemia and inflammatory markers in diabetes is limited.

For the study, the team induced diabetes in mice by giving them a single dose of alloxan. Then, they gave the mice 0.2 milliliters (ml) of distilled water, 100 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) body weight of magnesium, 250 mg/kg body weight of magnesium, or 1 international unit (IU) per kg of insulin. All treatments were given every day for two weeks.

After the treatment, the researchers gathered blood samples from each mice to measure anemic and inflammatory markers. The results revealed that the treatment of alloxan-induced diabetic mice with magnesium improved their anemic state. In addition, treatment with magnesium improved hematologic and metabolic inflammatory markers.

With these results, the researchers concluded that treatment with magnesium may prevent anemia and fight inflammation in diabetics.

More on the relationship between diabetes and magnesium

People with diabetes tend to have low levels of magnesium, according to Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics based in Torrance, California. This is because their bodies tend to eliminate large amounts of magnesium in the urine, together with excess sugars. This is especially alarming for the elderly and those who are on diuretics. Absorption of magnesium from food decreases as people age because stomach acid production also decreases.

Magnesium is a mineral that is responsible for almost 300 biochemical or enzymatic reactions in the body. Protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, and blood pressure and glucose control are all important for people who are managing diabetes. However, these functions are negatively affected when magnesium levels are low.

Magnesium deficiency has also been associated with insulin resistance, a major factor in the onset of Type 2 diabetes. This means that increasing your intake of magnesium can help lower the risk of the development of diabetes. (Related: The importance of magnesium in the prevention and treatment of Type 2 diabetes.)

Nausea, weakness, and loss of appetite are the early signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency. When magnesium levels further drop, the symptoms become more serious and could cause other complications, such as muscle contractions and tremors, cramps, rapid heartbeat, and numbness. Cognitive problems such as confusion and poor memory may also occur.

Getting magnesium from food

The National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests that women between the ages of 19 and 30 should take 310 mg of magnesium each day, while men of the same age range should take 400 mg of magnesium per day. Women older than 30 years old should try to consume 320 of magnesium every day, while men of the same age group should take 420 mg of magnesium per day. To increase the levels of magnesium in your body, add these magnesium-rich foods to your diabetes meal plan:

  • Almonds and cashews
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Seeds, such as flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lentils and beans
  • Whole grains

Read more news stories and studies on improving the health of diabetics by going to

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