By Jerry Shaw
Magnesium has positive effects in controlling and preventing diabetes. The essential mineral helps the body process and regulate cells, muscles, nerves and other areas of the body. Magnesium also helps other minerals in the body work effectively for a variety of functions.
A diabetic diet often features foods high in magnesium. They include vegetables, fruit, dairy products, nuts, seeds, fish and meat. Diabetics also benefit from magnesium supplements, but only when recommended by a doctor or dietitian working with a dietary plan that addresses the specific issues of each person.
Excess magnesium from supplements can cause such problems as nausea, low blood pressure, breathing difficulties, confusion and more serious effects. Supplements can also interact with medications, so a doctor’s care is crucial when getting the right amount of magnesium in the diet.
Here are five benefits of magnesium in the treatment or prevention of diabetes:
1. Blood sugar levels have a better chance of staying under control with proper amounts of magnesium in the body. Low magnesium levels can cause a two-sided attack on diabetics. Symptoms of the disease might include low levels of the mineral, and low amounts of magnesium in the body could worsen the effects of diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Low levels of magnesium can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. An inadequate supply of magnesium for a diabetic interferes with insulin resistance, which causes dangerous blood sugar fluctuations. Diabetics have benefited from magnesium supplements to control symptoms, Live Science notes.
2. Magnesium helps prevent heart problems diabetics may face. The American Diabetes Association states diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and heart attack. High cholesterol is a major cause of heart disease. Magnesium has been found to lower LDL cholesterol, which builds up in the bloodstream to damage the arteries and lead to heart disease. Magnesium also raises the level of HDL, the beneficial cholesterol that rids the bloodstream of excess cholesterol.
3. High blood pressure is another risk for diabetics. Magnesium has been used to lower blood pressure. Doctors use magnesium intravenously for pregnant women, who sometimes develop high blood pressure during pregnancy.
4. Research suggests that adults and overweight children can reduce the risk of developing diabetes with a diet rich in magnesium, according to WebMD.
5. Metabolic syndrome is a medical term used for people who have an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. Low magnesium levels dramatically increase the risk of developing the syndrome. High amounts of magnesium in the diet and magnesium supplements reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome for women and young adults, WebMD reports.