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Does Magnesium Lower the Risk of Diabetes?

magnesiumDo you take magnesium supplements, or eat enough food high in magnesium? A recent study has shown that enough magnesium in the diet could help to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure) and high blood sugar… And even reduce the risk of diabetes!

Foods rich in magnesium:

  • Bananas (in moderation)
  • Dark chocolate (in moderation)
  • Raw spinach (in abundance)
  • Brown rice (in moderation)
  • Almonds (unroasted, unsalted)

Here’s more about the study, courtesy of Diabecinn.


A recent study has revealed that sufficient magnesium intake may help prevent the onset of pre-diabetes conditions such as hypertension and high blood sugar and possibly help avoid the disease itself.

The study was conducted by Tufts University in Massachusetts, US, on 2582 participants over seven years and found 37% who had a high intake of magnesium had less risk of developing diabetes, while 32% who already had the precursor conditions were less likely to develop diabetes.

Magnesium contributes to the body’s overall health including the maintenance of bones and teeth, normal muscle function, normal psychological function, tissue formation and a host of other functions, according to the SA Medicines Control Council’s health supplement guidelines endorsed by the Department of Health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 75% of US citizens are magnesium deficient and in SA the average magnesium intake is almost 40% below the recommended daily allowance.

Pharmacist, Giulia Criscuolo recommends the following to help stabilise blood sugar levels:

  1. Eat low GI foods. They help release energy slowly and help one feel fuller, longer.
  2. Eat breakfast and smaller, healthy meals more frequently to help stabilise blood sugar levels.
  3. Get at least eight hours sleep a night as sleep deprivation may impact negatively on blood sugar and insulin levels.
  4. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates as they cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
  5. Reduce intake of stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol as they also cause a spike in blood sugar.
  6. Exercise. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  7. Increase your magnesium and cinnamon intake: Foods like spinach, nuts, leafy greens, avocados and fish, are high in magnesium. Try nutritional food supplement Diabecinn Extra which contains a water-based cinnamon extract (ZN112), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, E, selenium, zinc and magnesium which may help lower the risk of diabetes. It assists non-insulin-dependent diabetics reduce high blood sugar levels by up to 29%. Available at Dis-Chem, Clicks and all major pharmacies.
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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.