Magnesium and Diabetes
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in over 300 enzymatic processes within the body, including the regulation of blood sugar levels. It is an essential nutrient that is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and it helps to activate enzymes that are responsible for the synthesis and breakdown of glucose in the body.
Low levels of magnesium in the body have been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes, as well as poor blood sugar control in individuals with already diagnosed diabetes. In fact, several studies have shown that magnesium deficiency is more common in individuals with diabetes, and that increasing dietary intake of magnesium may help to improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of complications associated with the condition.
One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that individuals with higher dietary intake of magnesium had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that supplementing with magnesium improved blood sugar control in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
So, how exactly does magnesium affect blood sugar levels? First and foremost, it helps to regulate insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for transporting glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, where it can be used for energy. When cells are resistant to insulin, glucose remains in the bloodstream, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Magnesium helps to improve insulin sensitivity, making it easier for cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream, which can help to lower blood sugar levels.
Find out which magnesium is best absorbed here and read about why below:
Magnesium bisglycinate (or glycinate)
In addition to its effects on insulin sensitivity, magnesium also plays a role in the synthesis and breakdown of glucose. It activates enzymes that are responsible for the breakdown of glycogen (a form of glucose stored in the liver and muscles) into glucose, which can then be used for energy. At the same time, magnesium helps to inhibit the synthesis of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, such as amino acids and fatty acids. This helps to prevent excess glucose production and maintain stable blood sugar levels.
And while it's easy for us type 1 diabetics to get lost in the type 2 talk, the correlation between low magnesium and the development of diabetes is noticeable.
For managing symptoms, type 1s still need improved sensitivity. We still need to improve all the things diabetes threatens to effect. Things like heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
Extrapolating to a cure, which came first? Did getting diabetes lower my magnesium? Or did my low magnesium effect the function of my cells enough to disrupt how well they operated?
Any way you split it, it's something worth addressing.
Not all magneisum is created equal. Magnesium bisglycinate, magnesium malate, magnesium citrate, and magnesium oxide are all forms of magnesium supplements, but they differ in terms of their absorbability and bioavailability. The order of absorbability for these forms of magnesium is as follows:
Magnesium bisglycinate: Magnesium bisglycinate is a chelated form of magnesium, meaning it is bound to amino acids, which makes it highly absorbable and easy for the body to utilize. It is generally considered one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium, meaning it is easily absorbed and used by the body.
Magnesium malate: Magnesium malate is a form of magnesium that is bound to malic acid. It is generally considered to be well-absorbed by the body and may be beneficial for those with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Magnesium citrate: Magnesium citrate is a form of magnesium that is bound to citric acid. It is easily absorbed by the body and is commonly used to treat constipation due to its laxative effect.
Magnesium oxide: Magnesium oxide is a form of magnesium that is bound to oxygen. It is not as easily absorbed by the body as some of the other forms of magnesium, and it is often used as a laxative due to its ability to draw water into the intestine.
It's worth noting that the absorbability of these forms of magnesium can vary based on an individual's specific needs and circumstances, as well as their overall health and diet.
It's important to note that while increasing dietary intake of magnesium may have benefits for blood sugar control, it's not a replacement for other management strategies, such as following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking prescribed medications as directed.
In conclusion, magnesium plays a crucial role in the regulation of blood sugar levels and has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. Increasing dietary intake of magnesium will help to improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. I buy mine from Thorne or Fowler Fitness.