To reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people may need to boost their consumption of magnesium-rich foods. In a 20-year cohort study of almost 5,000 adults, researchers found that those who consumed the most magnesium in their diets were least likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That highest intake was approximately 200 mg of the mineral for every 1,000 calories in the diet.
Whole grains are good sources of magnesium, and so are nuts. That might explain why some past studies have found that people who eat plenty of whole grains are at lower risk of the disease. People getting more magnesium in their diets had lower levels of inflammatory markers and lower insulin resistance. Although this study does not establish cause and effect, it suggests that magnesium may have benefits that are not yet fully appreciated.
[Diabetes Care, online, Aug. 31, 2010]