Magnesium intake is related to improved insulin homeostasis in the framingham offspring cohort

J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Dec;25(6):486-92. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2006.10719563.


Objective: Higher dietary intake of magnesium may protect against development of type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to examine the association between dietary magnesium intake and metabolic risk factors for diabetes.

Methods: We examined cross-sectional associations between magnesium intake and fasting glucose and insulin, 2-hour post-challenge plasma glucose and insulin, and insulin resistance assessed by the homeostasis model (HOMA-IR) in 1223 men and 1485 women without diabetes from the Framingham Offspring cohort. Magnesium intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire and magnesium intake was categorized into quintile categories. Geometric mean insulin, glucose, 2-hour post challenge plasma glucose and insulin concentrations and HOMA-IR were estimated across quintile categories of magnesium intake using Generalized Linear Models.

Results: After adjustment for potential confounding factors, magnesium intake was inversely associated with fasting insulin (mean: 29.9 vs 26.7 microU/mL in the lowest vs highest quintiles of magnesium intake; P trend <0.001), post-glucose challenge plasma insulin (86.4 vs 72 microU/mL; P trend <0.001), and HOMA-IR (7.0 vs 6.2; P trend <0.001). No significant association was found between magnesium intake and fasting glucose or 2-hour post challenge glucose.

Conclusions: Improved insulin sensitivity may be one mechanism by which higher dietary magnesium intake may reduce the risk of developing type 2 DM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Odds Ratio
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Magnesium