Effect of magnesium supplementation on insulin resistance in humans: A systematic review

Nutrition. 2017 Jun;38:54-60. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2017.01.009. Epub 2017 Feb 2.


Objectives: Recent studies have demonstrated that minerals play a role in glucose metabolism disorders in humans. Magnesium, in particular, is an extensively studied mineral that has been shown to function in the management of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance (IR) action. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of magnesium supplementation on IR in humans via systematic review of the available clinical trials.

Methods: This review was conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) recommendations. A survey was conducted to select clinical trials related to the effects of this mineral in insulin sensitivity using the following databases: PubMed, SciVerse Scopus, ScienceDirect, and SciVerse Cochrane.

Results: After the selection process, 12 articles were identified as eligible, representing different clinical conditions and being free of restriction with regard to sex, age, ethnicity, and differential dosing/shape of magnesium. The results of eight clinical trials showed that supplementation with magnesium influences serum fasting glucose concentrations, and five trials determined an effect on fasting insulin levels. The results of seven studies demonstrated that mineral supplementation reduced homeostasis model assessment for IR values.

Conclusions: The data of this systematic review provide evidence as to the benefits of magnesium supplementation in reducing IR in patients with hypomagnesemia presenting IR. However, new intervention studies are needed to elucidate the role of the nutrient in protection against this metabolic disorder, as well as the standardization of the type, dose, and time of magnesium supplementation.

Keywords: Glycemic control; Insulin resistance; Magnesium; Supplementation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Hypercalciuria / drug therapy*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Magnesium / therapeutic use*
  • Nephrocalcinosis / drug therapy*
  • Renal Tubular Transport, Inborn Errors / drug therapy*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Magnesium

Supplementary concepts

  • Hypomagnesemia primary