Magnesium in diet could lower diabetes risk

Tue, 28 Mar 2006
Many naturally occurring substances have been found to influence diabetes. Some foods are widely regarded as being better for people who have metabolic syndrome or are on the way to developing diabetes.

New research has revealed why some foods, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nuts can help to prevent the development of diabetes. The secret may be down to the mineral magnesium.

Study volunteers who ate diets rich in magnesium appeared to be well protected against metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, a condition that brings together a cluster of risk factors for diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases, is extremely prevalent in many areas of the world. The risk factors incorporated into metabolic syndrome include low ‘good’ cholesterol levels (HDL), higher blood pressure, higher fasting glucose (blood sugar) levels, more abdominal fat or obesity, and higher levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream.

Dietary sources of magnesium include many of the major fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. One expert involved in the study was reported as saying "These foods have long been recognized as being healthy foods that may protect people from disease. Magnesium could play an important role in this, but it is just one component of diet, and diet is just one component of a healthy lifestyle."

Recommended daily intake of magnesium is 400mgs for males, and 310mgs for females who are not pregnant. Foods are regarded as better than supplements. The results of the study are published in the American Heart Association journal, entitled Circulation.
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