Type 2 diabetes is frequently associated with both extracellular and intracellular magnesium (Mg) deficits. A chronic latent Mg deficit or an overt clinical hypomagnesemia is common in patients with type 2 diabetes, especially in those with poorly controlled glycemic profiles. 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, postreceptorial impairment in insulin action and worsening of insulin resistance in diabetic patients. A low Mg intake and an increased Mg urinary loss appear the most important mechanisms that may favor Mg depletion in patients with type 2 diabetes. Low dietary Mg intake has been related to the development of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Benefits of Mg supplementation on metabolic profiles in diabetic patients 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. The aim of this review is to revise current evidence on the mechanisms of Mg deficiency in diabetes and on the possible role of Mg supplementation in the prevention and management of the disease.
Keywords: Aging; Endothelium; Hypertension; Inflammation; Insulin resistance; Magnesium; Metabolic syndrome; Type 2 diabetes.