Insulin Resistance and Serum Magnesium Concentrations among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Oct 3;3(11):nzz108. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzz108. eCollection 2019 Nov.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects ∼1 in 10 women worldwide. Hypomagnesemia may worsen insulin resistance (IR) due to the role magnesium (Mg) plays in glucose metabolism. This review explores the relation between serum Mg and IR among women with PCOS. A review of primary research focusing on both serum Mg and women with PCOS was conducted from 2011 to 2019. Studies reviewed included human subjects, written in the English language, and limited to community-dwelling women aged ≥18 y. A total of 7 articles were reviewed. The findings from 4 epidemiological analytic studies evaluating serum Mg status suggest there may be a relation between serum Mg concentrations and IR among women with PCOS. However, among the 3 experimental trials, Mg supplementation inconsistently impacted IR among women with PCOS. Women with PCOS are more likely to underconsume Mg-rich foods and have a greater likelihood of lower serum Mg concentrations. Although it remains unclear if dietary Mg and/or supplementation should be a nutritional strategy for all women with PCOS, current research indicates an association between adequate Mg status and improved IR. Further research evaluating dietary interventions and supplementation is warranted.

Keywords: diet; glycemic control; insulin resistance; polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); serum magnesium; supplementation.

Publication types

  • Review