Objective: Although hypomagnesemia reduces insulin sensitivity, benefits of magnesium supplementation to non-diabetic insulin resistant subjects has not been established. Our purpose was to determine whether oral magnesium supplementation with magnesium chloride (MgCl2) 2.5 g daily modify insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects.
Material and methods: This study was a 3 months randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Apparently healthy subjects were eligible to participate if they had insulin resistance (HOMA-IR index equal or greater than 3.0) and hypomagnesemia (Serum magnesium levels equal or lower than 0.74 mmol/l). Subjects were randomized to receive either, MgCl2 2.5 g daily or placebo by 3-months.
Results: At baseline there were not significant anthropometric or laboratory differences between both groups. At ending of the study, magnesium-supplemented subjects significantly increased their serum magnesium levels (0.61 +/- 0.08 to 0.81 +/- 0.08 mmol/l, p<0.0001) and reduced HOMA-IR index (4.6 +/- 2.8 to 2.6 +/- 1.1, p<0.0001), whereas control subjects did not (0.62 +/- 0.08 to 0.61 +/- 0.08 mmol/l, p=0.063 and 5.2 +/- 1.9 to 5.3 +/- 2.9, p=0.087).
Conclusions: Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in hypomagnesemic non-diabetic subjects. Clinical implications of this finding have to be established.