In Brief

Magnesium Cuts Diabetes Risk

Only about half of Americans get the recommended daily amount in their diet
October 17, 2014


Getting enough magnesium in the diet may reduce the risk of diabetes, especially for those who already show signs of heading that way.

Adela Hruby, N10, MPH10, N13, while working under Nicola McKeown, a scientist in the Nutrition Epidemiology Program at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, found that healthy people with the highest magnesium intake were 37 percent less likely to develop high blood sugar or excess circulating insulin, common precursors to diabetes.

Illustration: Betsy Hayes/IngImage, iStockAmong people who already had those conditions, those who consumed the most magnesium were 32 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those consuming the least.

The second association held true even when researchers accounted for other healthful factors, such as fiber, that often go along with magnesium-rich foods.

The study, published in Diabetes Care, followed 2,582 participants in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort for seven years. The study subjects had an average age of 54.

Only half of Americans get the recommended daily amount of magnesium in their diet, which is 400 to 420 milligrams for adult men and 310 to 320 milligrams for adult women. You can find it in whole grains, vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds and dark chocolate.

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