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Study associates higher magnesium intake with better diabetes-related outcomes

Life Extension Update

Tuesday, April 14, 2015. A study reported on October 15, 2014 in the Journal of Human Nutrition & Food Science concludes an association between higher magnesium intake and improved diabetes outcomes and metabolic syndrome risk.

Yanni Papanikolaou and colleagues analyzed data from 14,338 men and women aged 20 and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001-2010. Estimated average requirement (EAR, the average daily nutrient intake level estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life stage and gender group) values were used to categorize the subjects' magnesium intake as adequate or inadequate. Participants were assessed for the presence of diabetes or other associated factors, including diagnosed diabetes or diabetes medications having been prescribed, elevated glucose, glycohemoglobin or insulin levels; insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity, being overweight, increased waist circumference, hypertension, abnormal lipid levels, elevated triglycerides, or high levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.

As magnesium intake increased, insulin, body mass index, waist circumference and systolic blood pressure fell. Among those having adequate magnesium intake from food combined with supplements, the risk of elevated glycohemoglobin, metabolic syndrome, overweight or obesity, increased waist circumference, elevated systolic blood pressure, reduced high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and elevated C-reactive protein were lower in comparison with the inadequate group.

"Our current observational findings demonstrate several beneficial relationships between dietary magnesium intake and diabetes-related outcome measurements in U.S. adults 20 years of age and older," the authors conclude. "Importantly, dietary intake of magnesium from foods or from food plus supplements was associated with a decreased risk for metabolic syndrome, obesity or overweight, elevated blood pressure, and reduced HDL-cholesterol, with lower odds ratios identified with dietary intake of magnesium from foods and dietary supplements for elevated glycohemoglobin, elevated waist circumference and elevated C-reactive protein. As magnesium has been identified as a shortfall nutrient by the 2010 DGAC report, and Americans continue to struggle with meeting nutrient and food group recommendations, dietary magnesium supplementation coupled with appropriate food choices offer an evidence-based option to meet authoritative recommendations and potentially reduce the risk of diabetes and diabetes-related outcomes."


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