Researchers involved in the Rotterdam Study—a prospective population-based cohort study that has been ongoing since 1990 at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam—recently explored the relationship between serum magnesium levels and prediabetes. If low serum magnesium is due to T2D, then it would be unlikely to find such an association in prediabetes as blood glucose levels in those patients are not high enough to result in increased urinary excretion of magnesium.
Yet, after following more than 7000 Rotterdam Study participants over a median of nearly 6 years, the researchers found that low serum magnesium levels were associated with an increased risk of prediabetes, with comparable risk estimates to that of T2D.2 Further, they found that common genetic variation in magnesium-regulating genes (including genes that regulate magnesium reabsorption and transport) influenced diabetes risk, and this risk was mediated through alterations in serum magnesium levels. “Both findings support a potential causal role of magnesium in the development of T2D,” the study authors concluded.
Gommers LM, Hoenderop JG, Bindels RJ, de Baaij JH. Hypomagnesemia in Type 2 Diabetes: A Vicious Circle? Diabetes 2016;65:3-13.
Kieboom BC, Ligthart S, Dehghan A, et al. Serum magnesium and the risk of prediabetes: a population-based cohort study. Diabetologia 2017.
Narayan KM, Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, Sorensen SW, Williamson DF. Lifetime risk for diabetes mellitus in the United States. JAMA 2003;290:1884-90.