Could This Mineral Deficiency Give You Diabetes?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/17/2024

While magnesium is one of the most important minerals you need to consume for your body to function, it is not often discussed in basic health communities.

Learn about magnesium, what it does in the body, and how a deficiency can effect you.

The Role of Magnesium in the Body

Magnesium, a mineral of great importance, has many biochemical roles to play in our bodies. From muscle function to energy creation and protein formation, it plays many important roles in the body.

Understanding Magnesium's Role in Biochemical Reactions

This underrated element is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions. But what steals the show is magnesium’s essential part in glucose metabolism. Without enough magnesium, your insulin can't perform as well, leading to worse blood sugar control.

Magnesium and Muscle Function

Have you ever had a leg cramp that makes you jump out of bed? That could be due to low levels of magnesium. It works with calcium for smooth muscle contraction and relaxation, including those muscles lining our arteries.

So don’t skimp on this super-mineral if you want to keep things running smoothly.

Vitamin K deficiency, Doctor writing on transparent screen

The Connection Between Magnesium Deficiency and Diabetes

Did you know there's a hidden link between magnesium deficiency and diabetes? It might seem strange, but let me explain. When your body doesn't get enough magnesium, it can lead to insulin resistance.

How Magnesium Deficiency Worsens Insulin Resistance

You see, insulin needs magnesium to function correctly. But when levels are low, the hormone struggles to do its job of regulating blood sugar. This results in high glucose levels—a key characteristic of diabetes.

The Effect of Magnesium Supplementation on Insulin Resistance

All is not lost, though. Supplementing with magnesium can improve insulin resistance. Some studies suggest that proper intake may even prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.

Magnesium is essential for your health, but how much do you really need each day? For men, the recommended daily intake (RDI) of magnesium stands at 400-420mg.

On the other hand, women should aim to get about 310-320mg per day. These values may vary depending on age and lifestyle factors.

But why does this matter? Getting enough magnesium plays a crucial role in managing conditions like diabetes by helping with glucose metabolism. Plus, it helps keep your muscles functioning properly.

So next time you plan meals or pick out supplements, don't forget about this vital mineral.

Foods Rich in Magnesium

Boosting your magnesium intake isn't just suitable for diabetes management; it's a tasty adventure, too. From leafy greens to crunchy nuts, the options are diverse and delicious.

Spinach, cooked from fresh or frozen, packs a hefty punch of magnesium. No need to worry if spinach isn't your cup of tea; plenty more options for getting magnesium. You've got lots more choices.

Snack on some almonds or cashews - they're loaded with this essential mineral. Dark chocolate is also rich in magnesium.

Halibut has one of the highest levels of magnesium among fish if you prefer to consume seafood.

Factors Contributing to Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency can sneak up on you; the culprits are often right under our noses. Let's explore some common causes.

Dietary Habits Leading to Magnesium Deficiency

Our food choices play a crucial role in maintaining healthy magnesium levels. Unfortunately, insufficient magnesium-rich foods like green leafy vegetables or whole grains can lead to deficiency.

Excessive intake of refined carbs and sugars is another factor that reduces your body's ability to absorb this vital mineral.

Impact of Lifestyle Choices on Magnesium Levels

Certain lifestyle habits also influence your body’s magnesium status. Regular caffeine consumption or alcohol use can lower your magnesium levels significantly.

Furthermore, specific medications such as thiazide diuretics used for blood pressure control may cause depletion, too.

Magnesium Deficiency and Blood Pressure

Surprisingly, it's true that magnesium levels and blood pressure are linked. Low magnesium can lead to higher blood pressure. This is because magnesium helps relax the smooth muscles in your arteries, allowing for better blood flow.

Blood flows freely if your arteries are able to relax. If we're not getting enough magnesium from our diet or supplements, our arteries might stay squeezed, preventing efficient blood flow. So, make sure to keep those hoses relaxed with sufficient magnesium.

Overcoming Insulin Resistance with Magnesium

Magnesium plays a crucial role in managing insulin resistance. But how exactly does it help?

Magnesium-rich foods

Magnesium Supplementation for Better Insulin Resistance

Taking magnesium supplements can be an effective way to combat insulin resistance. The study revealed that taking magnesium supplements can assist the body in utilizing insulin more proficiently and managing blood sugar levels.

This study showed that people who took magnesium supplements had improved their insulin sensitivity.

Boosting Magnesium Absorption through Diet

Eating foods rich in magnesium is another practical approach. Leafy greens such as spinach, nuts like almonds, and legumes including black beans are all excellent sources of magnesium.

A diet filled with these foods increases your magnesium intake and contributes to better overall health.

​Magnesium and Vitamins Absorption

Magnesium plays a crucial role in supporting the absorption of various vitamins, including vitamin D, within the body. This mineral is essential for the activation of vitamin D in its active form, which, in turn, facilitates the absorption of calcium in the gut.

Without adequate magnesium levels, the effectiveness of vitamin D absorption can be compromised.

Therefore, understanding what helps vitamin D absorption involves recognizing the interplay between magnesium and vitamin D, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a balanced intake of both nutrients for overall bone health and other vital bodily functions.


While magnesium might not always steal the spotlight in discussions about essential nutrients, its role in the body is undeniable. From supporting muscle function to aiding in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, magnesium is involved in numerous vital biochemical reactions.

Understanding the importance of magnesium and its impact on various aspects of health, including its connection to insulin resistance and blood pressure regulation, highlights the need to prioritize its intake.

Incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet and considering supplementation when necessary can help maintain optimal magnesium levels and support overall well-being.

Supporting Data

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan