In 2012 the American Diabetes Association estimated that about 86 million Americans age 20 or older had prediabetes, which was an increase of seven million in just two years. Prediabetes is a condition of insulin resistance with elevated fasting blood glucose and/or elevated glucose tolerance, but neither are high enough to diagnose diabetes. The goal with these patients is to prevent further increases in plasma glucose levels and, in fact, reverse the trend towards diabetes.
This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial randomized 116 adults ages 30 to 65 years of age. The trial demonstrated that in individuals who had low serum magnesium levels and who were prediabetic, magnesium supplementation significantly reduced fasting, post-load glucose, insulin resistance and triglyceride levels. The magnesium group received 30mL of liquid magnesium chloride, which contained an equivalent of 382 mg of magnesium, daily for a period of four months.
Magnesium is an essential cofactor in the various processes involved in glucose metabolism. Magnesium deficiency has long been associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. This study confirms that when low magnesium levels are corrected in high-risk individuals, glucose levels improve. Given the growing number of people with prediabetes, this relatively inexpensive and well-tolerated supplement can make a big impact on the health of these patients who have low magnesium levels.
Guerrero-Romero F, et al. Oral magnesium supplementation improves glycaemic status in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesaemia: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes & Metabolism. 2015;41:202-207.