The effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose and insulin sensitivity parameters Original paper

This meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials found that magnesium supplementation reduced fasting plasma glucose in people with diabetes and at high risk of diabetes.

This Study Summary was published on January 4, 2022.

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Background

Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral that acts as a cofactor in over 600 enzymatic reactions, including all of the ones involved in the production of ATP.[1] In western countries, the average magnesium intake is often inadequate,[2] and magnesium deficits have been associated with numerous diseases. For instance, magnesium intake is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D).[3] Have similar findings been reported in randomized controlled trials?

The study

This meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials investigated the effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose and insulin sensitivity parameters in 1,677 participants with diabetes or at high risk of diabetes. Thirteen studies included people with diabetes (11 of which focused on T2D), and 12 studies included people with conditions that put them at high risk of diabetes (e.g., 5 studies included people with overweight or obesity).

The outcomes assessed were fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, plasma glucose after the 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), fasting insulin levels, insulin levels after the 2-hour OGTT, and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).

The results

In participants with diabetes, magnesium supplementation reduced fasting plasma glucose compared to placebo (small effect size) but had no effect on HbA1c, fasting insulin, or HOMA-IR.

In participants at high risk of diabetes, magnesium supplementation reduced fasting plasma glucose (small effect size) and HOMA-IR (small effect size) and improved plasma glucose levels after the 2-hour OGTT (small effect size). However, there was no effect on HbA1c or fasting insulin levels.

At follow-up, the difference in serum magnesium between the treatment and placebo groups was significantly correlated with improvements in fasting plasma glucose and HOMA-IR in participants at high risk of diabetes.

Note

There was substantial heterogeneity (>60%) in most of the analyses, which reduces confidence in the findings.

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This Study Summary was published on January 4, 2022.