Magnesium May Help Prevent Diabetes

Worried about your risk of type II (adult onset) diabetes? If so, a magnesium-rich diet might protect you. Type II diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, the hormone that influences the way glucose is used.

Results of two recently published studies suggest that people whose diets are highest in magnesium are at lower risk for diabetes. One study included 85,000 female nurses and more than 42,000 male health professionals. The other study included more than 39,000 women who had no history of diabetes, heart disease or cancer. In the first study, those whose diets were highest in dietary magnesium (found in nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables) were least likely to develop type II diabetes. Most of the participants got their magnesium from food; only 5 percent took supplements. In the second study, magnesium seemed to protect only women whose body mass index was 25 or higher, indicating that they were overweight or obese. Results of both studies were published in the January, 2004 issue of Diabetes Care.

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