Magnesium Intake in Relation to Systemic Inflammation, Insulin Resistance, and the Incidence of Diabetes

  1. Ka He, MD, ScD (kahe{at},2
  1. 1. Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  2. 2. Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  3. 3. Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Republic of Korea.
  4. 4. Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
  5. 5. Division of Prevention and Population Science, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  6. 6. Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Jikei University, Tokyo, Japan
  7. 7. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
  8. 8. Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway


Objective. To investigate the long-term associations of magnesium intake with incidence of diabetes, systemic inflammation and insulin resistance among young American adults.

Research design and methods. A total of 4,497 Americans, aged 18-30 years, who had no diabetes at baseline, were prospectively examined for incident diabetes based on quintiles of magnesium intake. We also investigated the associations between magnesium intake and inflammatory markers, i.e., high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and fibrinogen, and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).

Results. During 20-year follow-up, 330 incident diabetic cases were identified. Magnesium intake was inversely associated with incidence of diabetes after adjustment for potential confounders. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio of diabetes for participants in the highest quintile of magnesium intake was 0.53 (95% confidence interval, 0.32-0.86; Ptrend<0.01) compared with those in the lowest quintile. Consistently, magnesium intake was significantly inversely associated with hs-CRP, IL-6, fibrinogen, and HOMA-IR; and serum magnesium levels were inversely correlated with hs-CRP and HOMA-IR.

Conclusions. Magnesium intake was inversely longitudinally associated with incidence of diabetes in young American adults. This inverse association may be explained, at least in part, by the inverse correlations of magnesium intake with systemic inflammation and insulin resistance.


    • Received May 24, 2010.
    • Accepted August 26, 2010.

    This Article

    1. Diabetes Care
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