Many studies have shown that magnesium levels are lower in patients who already have diabetes compared to the general population. Recent findings of a meta-analysis (published in the Journal of Internal Medicine) demonstrate a significant inverse association between magnesium intake and type 2 diabetes risk.
What is a meta-analysis? It’s when researchers analyze results from separate but related studies.
In this case, researchers retrieved studies published in various languages by systematically searching MEDLINE from 1966 to February 2007 and manually examined each study’s independent findings. In short, the study supports the dietary recommendation to increase consumption of major food sources of magnesium, such as whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.
Magnesium – An Important Nutrient
Magnesium is an important component of many unprocessed foods, but it is largely lost during the processing of some foods. According to WebMD, eating a magnesium-rich diet may also help reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome (a collection of risk factors leading to heart disease, stroke and diabetes).
Dr Katherine Tucker, director of Dietary Assessment and Epidemiology Research program, says magnesium increases the ability of the body to make use of the hormone insulin, which helps keep blood sugar from rising too high. Diabetes accompanied by weight loss is another significant strategy for improving blood sugar control and improved metabolic syndrome symptoms.
Sources of Magnesium
Did you snack on some pumpkin seeds this Halloween? A quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds provides nearly half of the daily value for magnesium. Almonds, cashews, avocados, and whole grains are also a good source of magnesium. The Agricultural Research Service lists other excellent sources of magnesium: barley, buckwheat flour, low-fat vanilla yogurt, trail mix, halibut steaks, garbanzo beans, lima beans, soybeans, and spinach.
Look for Thursday’s healthy recipe post which will feature a magnificent magnesium-rich dish. As the wise Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”