T2D and Magnesium Intake: Risk of Incident Diabetes Examined

Foods high in magneisum
Foods high in magneisum
Higher magnesium intake was linked to a 15% lower risk for type 2 diabetes.

A lower risk for acquiring type 2 diabetes may be associated with a higher intake of magnesium, according to a study by Diabetes Care.

Researchers retrospectively reviewed a total of 202,694 participants from 3 large prospective cohorts: Nurses’ Health Study (n=69,176), Nurses’ Health Study 2 (n=91,471), and the Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study (n=42,096).  Multivariate hazard ratios (HRs) of magnesium intake and incident diabetes were calculated in this study to determine whether “higher magnesium intake was associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in the context of a poor-carbohydrate-quality diet characterized by low cereal fiber or high glycemic index or glycemic load.”

Study results demonstrated a 15% lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes in patients with the highest levels of magnesium intake compared with patients with the lowest intake (pooled multivariate hazard ratio [HR] in quintile 5 vs 1: 0.85 [95% CI, 0.80-0.91], P <.0001).  Further, participants with high glycemic index or low cereal fiber, compared with participants with low glycemic index or high cereal fiber, were found to have a lower risk for type 2 diabetes (P <.001 for both). 

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Researchers concluded that a “higher magnesium intake is associated with [a] lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes, especially in the context of lower-carbohydrate-quality diets.” Therefore, clinicians should encourage women and men to take the recommended dietary allowance of 320 mg and 420 mg/day, respectively, and eat a low-carbohydrate-quality diet to aid in the prevention of developing type 2 diabetes.


Hruby A, Guasch-Ferré M, Bhupathiraju SN, et al. Magnesium intake, quality of carbohydrates, and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three U.S. cohorts [published online October 4, 2017].  Diabetes Care. doi:10.2337/dc17-1143