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Diabetes Health Center

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Magnesium Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Magnesium-Rich Foods Appear to Be Protective Regardless of Weight, Activity Level

Eat Your Vegetables continued...

In fact, it is estimated that well more than 50% of people in the U.S. get the recommended daily allowance of the mineral of between 300 and 400 mg, although this varies with sex and age. The average magnesium intake over the entire follow-up was 290 mg/day in women but ranged from 79-1,110 mg/day; in men, the average intake was 349 mg/day but ranged from 102-1,593 mg/day.

Researchers from the larger study concluded that people who are not magnesium deficient probably won't derive as much benefit from adding more of the mineral to their diet as people who are deficient. But they added that for those in the latter category, eating a magnesium-rich diet should help reduce their diabetes risk regardless of their other risk factors for the disease.

Magnesium-rich foods include the following:



Magnesium (mg)

100% Bran Cereal (e.g. All Bran)

1/2 cup


Shredded wheat

2 biscuits


Spinach, chopped

1/2 cup cooked



1 ounce (2 almonds)


Oat bran

1/2 cup dry


"Our (study) suggests that higher magnesium consumption is likely beneficial for all groups, regardless of [whether they are overweight], physical activity levels, and hypertension status," researcher Ruy Lopez-Ridaura, MD, and colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health write.

More Study Needed

In an editorial published with the two studies, Nadler called for more research to confirm the magnesium-diabetes link. He wrote that the epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the U.S. makes the identification of cost-effective strategies to prevent the disease a top priority.

In the meantime, he says, most people could benefit from adding more magnesium-rich foods to their diets.

"These are foods that people should be eating anyway for a variety of health reasons," he tells WebMD.

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