Thursday, January 20, 2011

Role of Magnesium in Blood Sugar Management

In a recent study (Guerrero-Romero. 2011) a group of scientists from the Research Group on Diabetes and Chronic Illnesses from Durango, Mexico, investigated the effect of oral supplementation with magnesium chloride (MgCl(2) ) on "the ability of beta-cells to compensate for variations in insulin sensitivity in [52; placebo + treatment] non-diabetic individual". Obviously, we hear it over and over that 'magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body', it is vital, etc., etc. - studies showing real life benefits from oral supplementation are however relatively scarce. Unfortunately, there is one caveat with this study, as well. Guerrero-Romero et al. deliberately selected only those subjects with "significant [magnesium levels ≤0·70 mM/L] hypomagnesaemia, i.e. low magnesium levels.
There were no serious adverse events or side effects because of MgCl(2) or placebo. At the beginning of the study, the AUC of the HMbCF was similar in both groups (AUC = 7·591 and 7·895 cm(2) ); at the end of follow-up, the curve of the MgCl(2) group showed a hyperbolic distribution (AUC = 18·855 cm(2) ), whereas in the placebo group, there were no changes (AUC = 7·631 cm(2) ).
So, while the above results are encouraging and back the notion that adequate magnesium intake is a necessary prerequisite for healthy blood sugar management, we do not know whether or not supplemental magnesium would render the pancreatic beta-cells of people with adequate magnesium levels even more effective - or in other words, if the common use of magnesium supplements among people with an already healthy diet is not simply a waste of monetary resources.