Although higher dietary intakes of magnesium (Mg) seem to correspond to lower diabetes incidence, research concerning Mg supplementation in people with or at risk of diabetes is limited. Thus, we aimed to investigate the effect of oral Mg supplementation on glucose and insulin-sensitivity parameters in participants with diabetes or at high risk of diabetes compared with placebo. A literature search in PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Clinicaltrials.gov without language restriction, was undertaken. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effect of oral Mg supplementation vs placebo in patients with diabetes or at high risk of diabetes. Standardized mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used for summarizing outcomes with at least two studies; other outcomes were summarized descriptively. Eighteen RCTs (12 in people with diabetes and 6 in people at high risk of diabetes) were included. Compared with placebo (n=334), Mg treatment (n=336) reduced fasting plasma glucose (studies=9; SMD=−0.40; 95% CI: −0.80 to −0.00; I2=77%) in people with diabetes. In conditions in people at high risk of diabetes (Mg: 226; placebo=227 participants), Mg supplementation significantly improved plasma glucose levels after a 2 h oral glucose tolerance test (three studies; SMD=−0.35; 95% CI: −0.62 to −0.07; I2=0%) and demonstrated trend level reductions in HOMA-IR (homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance; five studies; SMD=−0.57; 95% CI: −1.17 to 0.03; I2=88%). Mg supplementation appears to have a beneficial role and improves glucose parameters in people with diabetes and also improves insulin-sensitivity parameters in those at high risk of diabetes.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $41.58 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Swaminathan R . Magnesium metabolism and its disorders. Clin Biochem Rev 2003; 24: 47–66.
Del Gobbo LC, Imamura F, Wu JHY, de Oliveira Otto MC, Chiuve SE, Mozaffarian D . Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2013; 98: 160–173.
Mizushima S, Cappuccio FP, Nichols R, Elliott P . Dietary magnesium intake and blood pressure: a qualitative overview of the observational studies. J Hum Hypertens 1998; 12: 447–453.
Sarrafzadegan N, Khosravi-Boroujeni H, Lotfizadeh M, Pourmogaddas A, Salehi-Abargouei A . Magnesium status and the metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition 2016; 32: 409–417.
Barbagallo M . Role of magnesium in insulin action, diabetes and cardio-metabolic syndrome X. Mol Aspects Med 2003; 24: 39–52.
Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ . Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World J Diabetes 2015; 6: 1152–1157.
Günther T . The biochemical function of Mg2+ in insulin secretion, insulin signal transduction and insulin resistance. Magnes Res 2010; 23: 5–18.
Chaudhary DP, Sharma R, Bansal DD . Implications of magnesium deficiency in type 2 diabetes: a review. Biol Trace Elem Res 2010; 134: 119–129.
Dong J-Y, Xun P, He K, Qin L-Q . Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Diabetes Care 2011; 34: 2116–2122.
Volpe SL . Magnesium in disease prevention and overall health. Adv Nutr 2013; 4: 378S–383S.
Song Y, He K, Levitan EB, Manson JE, Liu S . Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized double-blind controlled trials. Diabet Med 2006; 23: 1050–1056.
Liberati A, Altman DG, Tetzlaff J, Mulrow C, Gøtzsche PC, Ioannidis JPA et al. The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. PLoS Med 2009; 6: e1000100.
Jadad AR, Moore RA, Carroll D, Jenkinson C, Reynolds DJ, Gavaghan DJ et al. Assessing the quality of reports of randomized clinical trials: is blinding necessary? Control Clin Trials 1996; 17: 1–12.
American Diabetes Association. Classification and diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetes Care 2014; 38: S8–S16.
Jadad AR . The merits of measuring the quality of clinical trials: is it becoming a Byzantine discussion? Transpl Int 2009; 22: 1028.
DerSimonian R, Laird N . Meta-analysis in clinical trials. Control Clin Trials 1986; 7: 177–188.
Egger M, Davey Smith G, Schneider M, Minder C . Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test. BMJ 1997; 315: 629–634.
Begg CB, Mazumdar M . Operating characteristics of a rank correlation test for publication bias. Biometrics 1994; 50: 1088–1101.
Duval S, Tweedie R . Trim and fill: a simple funnel-plot-based method of testing and adjusting for publication bias in meta-analysis. Biometrics 2000; 56: 455–463.
Asemi Z, Karamali M, Jamilian M, Foroozanfard F, Bahmani F, Heidarzadeh Z et al. Magnesium supplementation affects metabolic status and pregnancy outcomes in gestational diabetes : a randomized, double-blind. Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 102: 222–229.
de Lordes Lima M, Cruz T, Pousada JC, Rodrigues LE, Barbosa K, Canguçu V . The effect of magnesium supplementation in increasing doses on the control of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 1998; 21: 682–686.
de Valk HW, Verkaaik R, van Rijn HJ, Geerdink RA, Struyvenberg A . Oral magnesium supplementation in insulin-requiring Type 2 diabetic patients. Diabet Med 1998; 15: 503–507.
Paolisso G, Scheen A, Cozzolino D, Di Maro G, Varricchio M, D’Onofrio F et al. Changes in glucose turnover parameters and improvement of glucose oxidation after 4-week magnesium administration in elderly noninsulin-dependent (type II) diabetic patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1994; 78: 1510–1514.
Rodriguez-Moran M, Guerrero-Romero F . Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects. Diabetes Care 2003; 26: 1147–1152.
Solati M, Ouspid E, Hosseini S, Soltani N, Keshavarz M, Dehghani M . Oral magnesium supplementation in type II diabetic patients. Med J Islam Repub Iran 2014; 28: 67.
Eibl NL, Kopp HP, Nowak HR, Schnack CJ, Hopmeier PG, Schernthaner G . Hypomagnesemia in type II diabetes: effect of a 3-month replacement therapy. Diabetes Care 1995; 18: 188–192.
Corica F, Allegra A, Di Benedetto A, Giacobbe MS, Romano G, Cucinotta D et al. Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Magnes Res 1994; 7: 43–47.
Gullestad L, Jacobsen T, Dolva LO . Effect of magnesium treatment on glycemic control and metabolic parameters in NIDDM patients. Diabetes Care 1994; 17: 460–461.
Hägg E, Carlberg BC, Hillörn VS, Villumsen J . Magnesium therapy in type 1 diabetes. A double blind study concerning the effects on kidney function and serum lipid levels. Magnes Res 1999; 12: 123–130.
Navarrete-Cortes A, Ble-Castillo JL, Guerrero-Romero F, Cordova-Uscanga R, Juárez-Rojop IE, Aguilar-Mariscal H et al. No effect of magnesium supplementation on metabolic control and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients with normomagnesemia. Magnes Res 2014; 27: 48–56.
Purvis JR, Cummings DM, Landsman P, Carroll R, Barakat H, Bray J et al. Effect of oral magnesium supplementation on selected cardiovascular risk factors in non-insulin-dependent diabetics. Arch Fam Med 1994; 3: 503–508.
Chacko SA, Sul J, Song Y, Li X, Leblanc J, You Y et al. Magnesium supplementation, metabolic and inflammatory markers, and global genomic and proteomic profiling : a randomized, double-blind, controlled, crossover trial in overweight individuals. Am J Clin Nutr 2011; 93: 463–473.
Lima de Souza E Silva M de L, Cruz T, Rodrigues LE, Ladeia AM, Bomfim O, Olivieri L et al. Magnesium replacement does not improve insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome: a 12-week randomized double-blind study. J Clin Med Res 2014; 6: 456–462.
Guerrero-Romero F, Simental-Mendía LE, Hernández-Ronquillo G, Rodriguez-Morán M . Oral magnesium supplementation improves glycaemic status in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesaemia: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes Metab 2015; 41: 202–207.
Lee S, Park HK, Son SP, Lee CW, Kim IJ, Kim HJ . Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and blood pressure in normo-magnesemic nondiabetic overweight Korean adults. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2009; 19: 781–788.
Mooren F, Kruger K, Volker K, Golf S, Wadepuhl M, Kraus A . Oral magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance in non-diabetic subjects – a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Diabetes Obes Metab 2011; 13: 281–284.
Simental-Mendía LE, Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F . Oral magnesium supplementation decreases C-reactive protein levels in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesemia: a clinical randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Arch Med Res 2014; 45: 325–330.
Paolisso G, Sgambato S, Pizza G, Passariello N, Varricchio M, D’Onofrio F . Improved insulin response and action by chronic magnesium administration in aged NIDDM subjects. Diabetes Care 1989; 12: 265–269.
Eriksson J, Kohvakka A . Magnesium and ascorbic acid supplementation in diabetes mellitus. Ann Nutr Metab 1995; 39: 217–223.
Mather HM, Nisbet JA, Burton GH, Poston GJ, Bland JM, Bailey PA et al. Hypomagnesaemia in diabetes. Clin Chim Acta 1979; 95: 235–242.
Sjögren A, Florén CH, Nilsson A . Magnesium, potassium and zinc deficiency in subjects with type II diabetes mellitus. Acta Medica Scand 1988; 224: 461–466.
Kao WH, Folsom AR, Nieto FJ, Mo JP, Watson RL, Brancati FL . Serum and dietary magnesium and the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Arch Intern Med 1999; 159: 2151–2159.
Veronese N, Berton L, Carraro S, Bolzetta F, De Rui M, Perissinotto E et al. Effect of oral magnesium supplementation on physical performance in healthy elderly women involved in a weekly exercise program: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 100: 974–981.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on European Journal of Clinical Nutrition website
About this article
Cite this article
Veronese, N., Watutantrige-Fernando, S., Luchini, C. et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism in people with or at risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr 70, 1354–1359 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2016.154
Serum magnesium and the incidence of coronary artery disease over a median 27 years of follow-up in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study and a meta-analysis
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2020)
Association of magnesium consumption with type 2 diabetes and glucose metabolism: A systematic review and pooled study with trial sequential analysis
Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews (2020)
Oral Magnesium Supplementation Improved Lipid Profile but Increased Insulin Resistance in Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy: a Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial
Biological Trace Element Research (2020)
Nutrition & Diabetes (2020)
The Association between Serum and Dietary Magnesium with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Iranian Adults with Metabolic Syndrome
Translational Metabolic Syndrome Research (2020)