Effect of increased magnesium intake on plasma cholesterol, triglyceride and oxidative stress in alloxan-diabetic rats

Afr J Med Med Sci. 2007 Jun;36(2):155-61.


Cardiovascular disorders are the primary causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Agents that improve lipid profile and reduce oxidative stress have been shown to reduce the ensuing risk factors. In the present study, we investigated whether increased magnesium intake could improve hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia, and reduce oxidative stress in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into non-diabetic (ND), diabetic (DM) and diabetic fed on a high magnesium diet (DM-Mg) groups. Plasma concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were used as markers of oxidative stress. Plasma levels of ascorbic acid, magnesium and calcium were also determined. Diabetes was induced by injecting alloxan (100 mg/kg B.W). The fasting blood glucose levels were significantly lower in the DM-Mg rats than in the DM rats. Plasma total cholesterol, triglyceride, TBARS levels were significantly higher while plasma HDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio, ascorbic acid levels were significantly lowered in DM rats compared with the ND rats. Increased intake of magnesium significantly abrogated these alterations. There were no significant differences in the plasma levels of magnesium and calcium between the DM and ND groups. However, plasma levels of magnesium but not calcium were significantly elevated in DM-Mg rats when compared with other groups. In conclusion, these results suggest that diet rich in magnesium could exert cardioprotective effect through reduced plasma total cholesterol, triglyceride, oxidative stress and ameliorated HDL-cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio as well as increased plasma ascorbic acid and magnesium in diabetic rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / chemically induced*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Magnesium / metabolism
  • Magnesium / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / pharmacology
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Magnesium
  • Ascorbic Acid