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Higher Magnesium Intake May Reduce Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Arlington VA, 19 December 2003

New data from the Nurses' Health Study and Harvard School of Public Health suggest that a higher intake of magnesium may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is one of the fastest growing health epidemics in America. The study was published this week in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition[1].

Research has shown that low magnesium intake may impair insulin sensitivity, or function. Consuming adequate levels of magnesium helps insulin function properly in the body, which may prevent type 2 diabetes. The study's authors said, "Because lower fasting insulin concentrations generally reflect greater insulin sensitivity, these findings provide a mechanism through which higher dietary magnesium may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus."

Increased levels of blood magnesium also help inhibit clogging of the arteries and thereby reduce heart disease risk.

However, less than half of American adults consume recommended levels of magnesium[2].

It is possible to reach the Daily Value for magnesium—400 milligrams per day—by eating a variety of whole foods, including legumes such as peanuts, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. One ounce of peanuts and two tablespoons of peanut butter provide 13% and 14% of the Daily Value, respectively[3]. Processing affects the amount of magnesium in foods, so slightly processed or unprocessed foods are the best choices—another reason peanuts and commercial peanut butter are good sources of magnesium and many other beneficial nutrients important for health.

The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization that supports nutrition research and develops educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles.


[1] Fung TT, Manson JE, Solomon CG, et al. "The association between magnesium intake and fasting insulin concentration in healthy middle- aged women." Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2003;22:533- 538.

[2] Ford ES, Mokdad AH. "Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of US adults." Journal of Nutrition. 2003;133:2879-2882.

[3] USDA Database for Standard Reference, Release 16, July 2003.


The Peanut Institute (www.peanut-institute.org).end-of-story


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