How much magnesium should I take if I have diabetes?

Janis Jibrin, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
If your blood tests show that you are low or deficient, supplementation is warranted. But don't supplement until you find out. Taking too much magnesium causes diarrhea and can harm the bowels. In fact, the Institute of Medicine recommends that people take no more than 350 mg from supplements. (That's just from supplements; it's okay if your daily magnesium intake is higher than 350 mg if you're getting it from foods.) However, if blood tests reveal you're low in magnesium, a dose higher than 350 mg may be necessary and safe. That's for your doctor to decide.

What you should be doing is eating magnesium-rich foods -- and so should your family members who may be at increased risk of developing diabetes and pre-diabetes. A number of studies show that people who eat a magnesium-rich diet have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A University of Virginia study showed that obese children who weren't getting enough magnesium in their diets had low blood levels of the mineral and tended to be more insulin-resistant.
The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

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The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Bob Greene has helped millions of Americans become fit and healthy with his life-changing Best Life plan. Now, for the first time, Oprah's trusted expert on diet and fitness teams up with a leading...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.