Magnesium Deficiency, Diabetes and Insulin Connection

It is believed that magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) can be both a consequence and a cause of diabetic complications. Diabetes is the most common metabolic disorder associated with hypomagnesemia; having 25% to 39% occurrence.

In a normal healthy individual, eating minimal unprocessed carbohydrates, insulin actually supports the uptake of magnesium (Mg) into the cells. But in the typical American diet, high in carbohydrates and processed foods, the opposite occurs.

The principal use of insulin in the body is to move excess glucose out of the bloodstream because too high of levels can be life threatening. When carbohydrates are consumed, they are quickly turned into glucose. The pancreas produces insulin to promptly remove it from the bloodstream and into cells for energy. But if the cells’ receptors become insulin resistant (precursor to diabetes) from the constant barrage of insulin, day in and day out, glucose is then turned into stored fat (triglycerides). If the cells are ignoring the insulin then as a consequence, magnesium isn’t permitted into the cell.

High levels of insulin also increase magnesium depletion through urination as do lipid-lowering drug treatments for type-2 diabetics

Magnesium is primarily an intracellular mineral, which means it has to be moved from the blood serum into the cells to be able to do it’s job. The typical blood test doesn‘t give an accurate picture because it only tests serum levels. A better choice would be an intracellular test called MG RBC or the newer “Blood Ionized Mg Test”

Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the body and the second most common intracellular mineral. It also plays a role in every enzymatic energy exchange in the body, and therefore it is essential that our diet offers adequate amounts. 95% of Mg is leached out of food due to refining, processing and heating, also known as, the American diet which leads right back to the beginning of this article.

Even the American Diabetes Association (ADA) acknowledges the connection between hypomagnesemia and diabetes. Furthermore, there are many studies that suggest supplementing with Mg may lower risk of diabetic complications or becoming insulin resistant in the first place.

Additional information about

The bottom line is what you eat determines how much insulin you need. If you eat foods lower in carbohydrates then your body needs very little insulin. This results in your cells' receptors becoming more sensitive to insulin and therefore you need less insulin to move the glucose into the cells to be used as energy.

Too much insulin causes your cells' receptors to become insulin resistant, slowing the uptake of glucose to be used as energy and not allowing magnesium into the cells. If glucose isn't used as energy then it ends up being stored as triglycerides.


  1. I am considering taking a supplement of magnesium, anything you recommend??

  2. Hi Karend1, It's difficult to take enough magnesium just in an oral supplement form due to its laxative effect. Because of this I combine an oral supplement with the use of a transdermal magnesium spray:

    Transdermal magnesium is absorbed into the bloodstream within 20 minutes whereas a table takes approximately 12 hours.

    Cheers & Good Healthy,

  3. To purchase transdermal magnesium, go here: