HealthDay News — Higher magnesium intake may lower risk of incident diabetes, particularly among those at highest risk, study findings suggest.

Among 2,582 community dwelling adults, those with the highest magnesium intake had a 37% lower risk of incident metabolic impairment compared to those with the lowest magnesium intake (P trend=0.02), Adela Hruby, PhD, from Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues reported in Diabetes Care.

“Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting risk of developing diabetes among those at high risk,” the researchers wrote. 

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They assessed the risk of incident “metabolic impairment,” defined as impaired fasting glucose (≥5.6 to <7.0 mmol/L), impaired glucose tolerance (two-hour post-load glucose, ≥7.8 to <11.1 mmol/L), insulin resistance (IR) or hyperinsulinemia (≥90th percentile of homeostasis model assessment of IR or fasting insulin, respectively) based on magnesium intake in adults aged 24 to 81 years.

Among participants with baseline metabolic impairment, higher intake was associated with 32% lower risk of incident diabetes (P trend=0.05), and in the combined population, the risk for those with the highest intake risk reduction was 53% (P trend = 0.0004) of those with the lowest intake.

The association in the normal population was attenuated with adjustments for risk factors and dietary fiber, whereas the association was not substantially affected in the metabolically impaired.

Higher magnesium intake was linked to lower long-term changes in fasting glucose and IR, but no significant trends were observed in fasting insulin, post-load values or insulin sensitivity, the researchers found.


  1. Hubry A et al. Diabetes Care. 2013; doi:102337/dc13-1397.