Magnesium & Insulin Resistance In Diabetes

The Insulin Magnesium Story
Without insulin though, magnesium doesn’t get transported from our blood into our cells where it is most needed. When Dr. Jerry Nadler of the Gonda Diabetes Center at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California, and his colleagues placed 16 healthy people on magnesium-deficient diets, their insulin became less effective at getting sugar from their blood into their cells, where it’s burned or stored as fuel. In other words, they became less insulin sensitive or what is called insulin resistant. And that’s the first step on the road to both diabetes and heart disease.

Insulin plays a central role in storing magnesium but if our cells become resistant to insulin, or if we do not produce enough insulin, then we have a difficult time storing magnesium in the cells where it belongs. When insulin processing becomes problematic magnesium gets excreted through our urine instead and this is the basis of what is called magnesium wasting disease.

There is a strong relationship between magnesium and insulin action.
Magnesium is important for the effectiveness of insulin. A reduction
of magnesium in the cells strengthens insulin resistance. [1],[2]

[5] Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity thus lowering insulin resistance. Magnesium and insulin need each other. Without magnesium, our pancreas won’t secrete enough insulin–or the insulin it secretes won’t be efficient enough–to control our blood sugar.

Magnesium in our cells helps the muscles to relax but if we can’t store magnesium because the cells are resistant then we lose magnesium which makes the blood vessels constrict, affects our energy levels, and causes an increase in blood pressure. We begin to understand the intimate connection between diabetes and heart disease when we look at the closed loop between declining magnesium levels and declining insulin efficiency.

In a study from Taiwan, the risk of dying
from diabetes was inversely proportional to
the level of magnesium in the drinking water.[6]
Dr. Jerry L. Nadler

Diabetes mellitus is associated with magnesium depletion, which in turn contributes to metabolic complications of diabetes including vascular disease and osteoporosis. Intracellular depletion is directly connected to the impaired ability of insulin to increase intracellular magnesium during insulin deficiency or insulin resistance. Magnesium deficiency per se has been reported to result in insulin resistance.

A poor intracellular Mg concentration, as found in noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and in hypertensive patients, may result in a defective tyrosine-kinase activity at the insulin receptor level and exaggerated intracellular calcium concentration.” [10]

The link between diabetes mellitus and magnesium deficiency
is well known. A growing body of evidence suggests that
magnesium plays a pivotal role in reducing cardiovascular
risks and may be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes itself.
Dr. Jerry L. Nadler

An intracellular enzyme called tyrosine kinase requires magnesium to allow insulin to exert its blood-sugar-lowering effects.
In several studies, daily oral magnesium supplementation substantially improved insulin sensitivity by 10% and reduced blood sugar by 37%.[11],[12] Magnesium also helps correct abnormal lipoprotein patterns.

Improved insulin sensitivity from magnesium replacement can markedly reduce triglyceride levels.[13] Reduced triglyceride availability, in turn, reduces triglyceride-rich particles, such as very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and small low-density lipoprotein (small LDL), both of which are powerful contributors to heart disease. Magnesium supplementation can also raise levels of beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL).[14]

Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity thus lowering insulin resistance. Magnesium and insulin need each other. Without magnesium, our pancreas won’t secrete enough insulin–or the insulin it secretes won’t be efficient enough–to control our blood sugar. Insulin is a hormone. And like many hormones, insulin is a protein.  Insulin is secreted by groups of cells within the pancreas called islet cells. Insulin is much more important and has many more functions then we realize. It regulates:

Magnesium is a cofactor for multiple enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism.[16] Adipocyte cells placed in low-magnesium media show reduction in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake.[17] Magnesium deficiency is associated with increased intracellular calcium levels, which may lead to insulin resistance. Low erythrocyte magnesium content increases membrane microviscosity, which may impair insulin interaction with its receptor.[18] Tyrosine kinase activity is decreased in muscle insulin receptors of rats fed a low-magnesium diet.[19] These findings indicate that magnesium deficiency directly affects insulin signaling.

Dr. Ron Rosedale says that, “Insulin floating around in the blood causes plaque build-up. They didn’t know why, but we know that insulin causes endothelial proliferation. Every step of the way, insulin is causing cardiovascular disease. It fills the body with plaque, it constricts the arteries, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, it increases platelet adhesiveness and coaguability of the blood.”

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