Type 2 diabetes is characterized by cellular and extracellular Mg depletion. Epidemiologic studies showed a high prevalence of hypomagnesaemia and lower intracellular Mg concentrations in diabetic subjects. Insulin and glucose are important regulators of Mg metabolism. Intracellular Mg plays a key role in regulating insulin action, insulin-mediated-glucose uptake and vascular tone. Reduced intracellular Mg concentrations result in a defective tyrosine-kinase activity, post-receptorial impairment in insulin action, and worsening of insulin resistance in diabetic patients. Mg deficit has been proposed as a possible underlying common mechanism of the "insulin resistance" of different metabolic conditions. Low dietary Mg intake is also related to the development of type 2 diabetes. Benefits of Mg supplementation on metabolic profile in diabetic subjects have been found in most, but not all clinical studies, and larger prospective studies are needed to support the potential role of dietary Mg supplementation as a possible public health strategy in diabetes risk.