Whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, and beans. All are linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and all are rich in magnesium.
What’s more, people who get more magnesium from food have lower insulin levels and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
“Magnesium looks promising,” says JoAnn Manson, director of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “And it’s one of the few minerals that have been tested in randomized trials.”
For example, when German researchers randomly assigned 32 overweight people with insulin resistance to take either magnesium (365 milligrams a day) or a placebo for six months, fasting blood sugar dropped and insulin sensitivity improved in the magnesium takers. (Note: more than 350 mg of magnesium from a supplement may cause diarrhea and stomach cramps.)
“The smaller randomized trials suggest benefits for glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity,” says Manson. “It’s possible that taking a magnesium supplement could reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, but larger randomized trials are needed to prove it.”
Sources: Diabetes Care 34: 2116, 2011; Diab. Obes. Metab. 13: 281, 2011.
Other relevant links:
- The magnesium in leafy greens may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. See: Diabetes and Diet: Greens May Prevent Diabetes
- Lose weight to prevent type 2 diabetes. See: Diabetes and Diet: How to Prevent Pre-Diabetes from Becoming Full-Blown Diabetes
- Can walking to work reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes? See: Exercise for Health: Walk to Work