Does magnesium deficiency cause insulin resistance?

by 20222 · September 11, 2011 at 1:50 PM

If I understand Dr. K's blog post below, that is what he is asserting:


It seems plausible, and of course as a T2, I'm very interested...

Any papers that support this? (Wow, Dr K. - you have your own tag!)

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1681 · August 22, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Here's a few relevant studies:

  • Mg in diabetic rats: better glucose control and less diabetes development.
  • Low Mg diets in healthy humans for 4 weeks: 25% reduced insulin sensitivity.
  • Mg in diabetics: increased insulin sensitivity. Specifically,
  • Mg over 16 weeks in diabetics: 22% HbA1c improvement.
  • Mg in insulin resistant people for 4 months: 43% reduced insulin resistance, 32% reduced fasting insulin, 39% reduced triglycerides.


4240 · August 22, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Here's my N equals 1 experiment. I restarted Natural Calm this week and as a Type 1 diabetic have had so much better utilization of my insulin.

19504 · August 22, 2011 at 2:38 PM

We know that by supplementing with magnesium, we improve insulin sensitivity because insulin requires magnesium for binding and for synthesis.

The Magnesium Factor Magnesium researchers, Mildred S. Seelig MD. MPH. Andrea Rosanoff, PhD.

77338 · September 11, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Just out:

Nine studies uncovered a significant protective effect for increased magnesium intake against the risk of diabetes. A 22 percent lower risk of diabetes was found for those whose intake was highest compared to those whose consumption of the mineral was lowest. Each 100 milligram per day increase in magnesium was associated with a 14 percent lower risk of developing the disease.

Further analysis revealed a more pronounced effect for the mineral among those whose body mass index was more than 25 kg/m2. "It is plausible that high magnesium intake may have greater effects on improving insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals who are prone to insulin resistance,"


1100 · August 22, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Dr. K's blogpost sent me to Carolyn Dean's book, The Miracle of Magnesium (2003). However, she is so full of conventional wisdom and so wrong, IMO, in key areas (no saturated fat, whole grains, etc.), that it makes it difficult for me to follow her advice on magnesium. She also says that magnesium needs to be taken on an empty stomach. I cannot find any other source that says this. What about the timing of taking magnesium supplement?

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19355 · August 22, 2011 at 1:31 PM

The Google scholar search revealed numerous articles supporting the role of adequate intracellular magnesium and functioning glucose metabolism/insulin sensitivity, however, I could not find any indication of the dose and type of magnesium used in the studies.

Does anybody have any resources pointing to these factors?

I'm currently supplementing my diet with 2 tsp of Natural Calm (350mg magnesium citrate) at night, and am wondering if this is sufficient.

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39204 · August 22, 2011 at 11:46 PM

My vote would be for a magnesium and vitamin C deficiency potentiating the effects of a heavy fructose load.

8777 · August 22, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Mg rocks! But did deficiency cause the condition or is it yet another symptom? Does IR cause obesity or the other way around? Any curious takers here?

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