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The relationship between magnesium and diabetes

Magnesium is a vital nutrient for the body’s health because it functions as a cofactor for over 300 enzymes and is involved in various processes, including synthesizing central nervous system neurotransmitters and producing and releasing cellular energy.

Magnesium also regulates major biological processes, such as muscle contraction, coagulation, heartbeat, and blood pressure. Some scientific research studies have emphasized the importance of magnesium in carbohydrate metabolism and the management of diabetic and pre-diabetic subjects.

The total body amount of magnesium (Mg2+) fluctuates between 20 and 28 g, with more than 99% contained in the intracellular space, primarily in bones (50–65%), where it, along with calcium and phosphorus, contributes to the formation of the skeleton, but also in muscles, soft tissues, and organs (34–39%), and less than 1–2% found in blood and extracellular fluids.

Green leafy vegetables, legumes, cereals, and bananas are foods high in magnesium.

A lack of this mineral causes an increase in muscle excitability, which causes cramps, headaches, physical and mental fatigue, irritability, and insomnia.

Magnesium absorption

Around 20–80% of dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestine, particularly in some parts of the duodenum and ileum, with only a small percentage absorbed in the large intestine. Absorption occurs via two different mechanisms. The passive mechanism depends on the concentration gradient established between the intestine and the blood circulation; this absorption type occurs by paracellular, via tight junctions between enterocytes.

The active mechanism, occurs via a transcellular pathway through specific transporters known as TRPM6/7 (transient receptor potential melastatin 6/7), which allow magnesium to flow from the apical to the basolateral side of the intestinal cell (enterocyte) and then into the bloodstream.

Only 30–40% of the total amount of magnesium incorporated into the diet is absorbed by the human body.

Magnesium and diabetes

Maintaining a stable magnesium concentration appears to be an essential requisite for carbohydrate metabolism. It is worth noting that some scientific research studies have found a strong correlation between magnesium deficiency in the blood (hypomagnesemia) and the presence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a chronic disease characterized by high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) due to a distorted amount or function of the hormone insulin.

Plasma magnesium levels are determined primarily by four processes: magnesium intake, intestinal absorption, renal excretion, and mineral redistribution within the body. Aside from dietary deficiencies that can lead to a magnesium deficiency, there is scientific proof that the mechanisms of transit and gastrointestinal absorption of the mineral are severely compromised in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Current evidence suggests that the state of hyperglycemia, which is distinctive of diabetic pathology, and the resulting osmotic diuresis, impacts the kidney’s capacity to reabsorb magnesium, which is otherwise removed with urine (hypermagnesuria).

A decrease in magnesium body levels has been linked to diabetes complications, such as retinopathy, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and lower limb ulcers.

Magnesium levels in diabetics must be monitored continuously because, in addition to the issues, these patients frequently receive drug therapies such as diuretics and gastroprotectors (proton pump inhibitors), the negative impacts of which cause a decrease in magnesium in the body.

As a result, following a healthy and balanced diet can assist diabetics with hypomagnesemia in restoring the proper level of magnesium in the body. If the diet fails, they may be able to recover this deficiency by trying to take specific food supplements.


The vital difference is that not all supplements on the market have the same kind of magnesium. Magnesium can be found in a variety of salts.

  • Organic (like pidulate magnesium)
  • Inorganic (like magnesium oxide)
  • Chelates (like magnesium bisglycinate)

Among these, magnesium oxide (MgO) has the highest elemental magnesium content, though its absorption by the body is extremely limited.

To solve this issue, PharmaNutra S.p.A. developed UltraMag, a dietary supplement based on magnesium oxide that employs the Sucrosomial® technology, in which the mineral is transmitted by the Sucrosoma, a matrix composed of phospholipids and sucrose esters of fatty acids (sucresters).

This novel structure allows magnesium to be absorbed in larger quantities by the human body without interfering with its traditional absorption route.

When a healthy and balanced diet is considered inadequate, UltraMag® consumption may be a feasible solution for restoring the right amount of magnesium in the body.

The magnesium oxide dosage in UltraMag® is 375 mg, corresponding to 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Therefore, taking one sachet per day, dissolved in a glass of water, is recommended at any time of day.

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