The mineral required to beat diabetes

Volume 13    |   Issue 12

If you suffer from diabetes, it’s likely you have several nutritional deficiencies. Most people focus on chromium and zinc deficiencies, but new research has uncovered some of the many problems associated with another deficiency. This is a mineral deficiency – and it can have a profound impact on your ability to control your diabetes.

This deficiency appears in the vast majority of Americans. But this recent study, which appeared in the journal Diabetes, showed the dramatic connection between this deficiency and diabetes.

Scientists have known for some time that there was an association between magnesium deficiency, or hypomagnesemia, and type-2 diabetes. But they weren’t sure why they were related. All they knew was that patients with hypomagnesemia experienced more rapid progression of their diabetes and were at an increased risk of complications.

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Recent clinical studies have determined that magnesium-deficient diabetes patients are more insulin resistant. Conversely, supplementary magnesium improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. It turns out that magnesium is an important factor in the development of insulin resistance, while insulin activates magnesium excretion. This creates a vicious cycle. A magnesium deficiency leads to insulin resistance. That excess insulin in return increases the excretion of magnesium — causing the deficiency to worsen.

If you have type-2 diabetes, there's a good chance your magnesium levels aren't what they should be. And if you're prediabetic, ensuring your magnesium stays where it should be, may help you avoid developing insulin resistance.

Magnesium also benefits your bones, heart, and digestive health, so you should be sure you have sufficient levels even if you aren't worried about diabetes. I recommend taking magnesium to bowel tolerance. That means if your stool gets loose stop for one day and cut back accordingly.

One of the most common questions I get about magnesium is which form to use. The easiest types of magnesium to try are:

Magnesium citrate — Magnesium citrate is the most popular magnesium supplement, probably because it is inexpensive and easily absorbed. Since citric acid is a mild laxative, magnesium citrate functions as a constipation aid as well as a magnesium source. It is a great choice for individuals with rectal or colon problems, but is unsuitable for those with loose bowel movements.

Magnesium taurate — Magnesium taurate is the best choice of magnesium supplement for people with cardiovascular issues, since it is known to prevent arrhythmias and guard the heart from damage caused by heart attacks. Magnesium taurate is easily absorbed (magnesium and taurine stabilize cell membranes together), and it contains no laxative properties.

Magnesium malate — Magnesium malate is a fantastic choice for people suffering from fatigue. Malic acid — a natural fruit acid present in most cells in the body — is a vital component of enzymes that play a key role in ATP synthesis and energy production. Since the ionic bonds of magnesium and malic acid are easily broken, magnesium malate is also highly soluble. This is the one magnesium that will serve you better taken in the morning, as it will help in improving your energy.

Magnesium glycinate — Magnesium glycinate (magnesium bound with glycine, a non-essential amino acid) is one of the most bioavailable and absorbable forms of magnesium, and also the least likely to induce diarrhea. It is the safest option for correcting a long-term deficiency.

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