Domino effect of hypomagnesemia on the innate immunity of Crohn's disease patients

World J Diabetes. 2014 Aug 15;5(4):527-35. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v5.i4.527.


Digestive diseases play major role in development and complications of other disorders including diabetes. For example, Crohn's disease (CD) is an inflammatory bowel disease associated with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. The inflammation is a complex process that involves the activity of both innate and adaptive immune responses. CD lesions are primarily due to T cell response, however; innate immune response has a significant role in initiating its pathogenesis. Toll-like receptors and NOD-like receptors promote the activity of nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathway for cytokines production. This results in the production of high levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6. Moreover, intestinal inflammation of CD is related to increased activity of NMDA receptors and the release of substance P. Imbalanced magnesium homeostasis in CD is a frequent finding in CD, Diabetes and others. The loss of such a major mineral affects many physiological processes in the body including its role as an immunomodulator. This review aims to (1) describe the significance of hypomagnesemia in the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in CD; (2) demonstrate effects of magnesium on pathways like NF-κB; (3) address the role of hypomagnesemia in the activity of CD; and (4) examine possible future research to establish a standard magnesium supplementation strategy; helping patients with CD or other disorders to maintain a sustained remission.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; Diabetes; Hypomagnesemia; Inflammatory bowel disease; Mycobacterium paratuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Review