Magnesium is a mineral and is involved in over 300 enzymatic functions within our body including protein synthesis, blood pressure regulation, muscle and nerve function, energy production and blood glucose management. In its management of blood glucose levels, magnesium therefore can play a role in decreasing risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes and to further this can decrease the risk for cancers of the colon, breast, pancreas and liver.
Blood levels of glucose are elevated after we eat and it is the role of insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas, to push that glucose in to our cells. If glucose is consistently elevated, the pancreas is called upon to continually secrete insulin to try and move that glucose from our blood in to the cells. The result of this chronically elevated insulin level is that the receptors on our cells for insulin stop responding with the result that glucose does not get removed from our blood stream and blood glucose levels rise. This condition is better known as insulin resistance.
This study helps us to understand how magnesium influences insulin resistance demonstrating that magnesium is critical for our insulin receptors to function properly. The study also brings to light the fact that high insulin levels can cause an increase in the amount of urinary magnesium excreted from the kidneys. Thus someone with sub par magnesium levels can
“enter a vicious circle in which hypomagnesemia causes insulin resistance and insulin resistance reduces serum Mg(2+) concentrations
Getting the daily recommended amount of magnesium, 420mg per day for men and 320 mg per day for women is therefore very important for managing blood sugar and in turn for fighting disease. To ensure that you are achieving your recommended daily allowance of magnesium include foods high in magnesium such as spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, kefir, black beans, bananas and avocados in your diet daily.