Magnesium has many important functions in your body, including managing your blood sugar levels. Our nutritionist looks into whether those with diabetes should take magnesium.
Q: Is it true that magnesium is good for my blood sugar levels if I have diabetes?
Magnesium is a mineral that plays many important roles in your body, including managing your insulin and carbohydrate metabolism. It’s involved in your body’s ability to secrete insulin and may help your cells use insulin more effectively (
Magnesium appears to help manage blood sugar levels among people with diabetes. Also, those who tend to consume less magnesium typically have poorer blood sugar regulation and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than people who consume higher amounts (
For example, one review of 26 studies including 1,168 people found that those with the highest regular intake of magnesium had a 22% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who regularly consumed the least magnesium (
Increasing magnesium intake through food or supplements may help people with diabetes improve their blood sugar regulation.
For example, a 12-week study in 54 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking 300 mg of magnesium daily significantly lowered fasting blood sugar levels, as well as post-meal blood sugar levels, compared with taking a placebo pill (
Similarly, in one review of 18 studies, 12 of them including people either with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes found that taking 250–450 mg of magnesium daily for 6–24 weeks helped significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels, compared with placebo groups (
In general, studies have found that taking 250–350 mg of magnesium daily appears to benefit people with diabetes. It’s best to take magnesium with food to improve absorption (
However, if you have type 2 diabetes, it’s important to notify your healthcare provider before taking magnesium. This is because magnesium may increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, as it may have an additive effect when combined with medication.