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The Insulin Magnesium Story

Magnesium is necessary for both the action of insulin and the manufacture of insulin.

Magnesium is a basic building block to life and is present in ionic form throughout the full landscape of human physiology. Without insulin though, magnesium doesn’t get transported from our blood into our cells where it is most needed. When Dr. Jerry Nadler of the Gonda Diabetes Center at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California, and his colleagues placed 16 healthy people on magnesium-deficient diets, their insulin became less effective at getting sugar from their blood into their cells, where it’s burned or stored as fuel. In other words, they became less insulin sensitive or what is called insulin resistant. And that’s the first step on the road to both diabetes and heart disease.

Insulin is a common denominator, a central figure in life as is magnesium. The task of insulin is to store excess nutritional resources.This system is an evolutionary development used to save energy and other nutritional necessities in times (or hours) of abundance in order to survive in times of hunger. Little do we appreciate that insulin is not just responsible for regulating sugar entry into the cells but also magnesium, one of the most important substances for life. It is interesting to note here that the kidneys are working at the opposite end physiologically dumping from the blood excess nutrients that the body does not need or cannot process in the moment.

Controlling the level of blood sugars is only one of the many functions of insulin.

Insulin plays a central role in storing magnesium but if our cells become resistant to insulin, or if we do not produce enough insulin, then we have a difficult time storing magnesium in the cells where it belongs. When insulin processing becomes problematic magnesium gets excreted through our urine instead and this is the basis of what is called magnesium wasting disease.

There is a strong relationship between magnesium and insulin action.Magnesium is important for the effectiveness of insulin. A reduction of magnesium in the cells strengthens insulin resistance. [1],[2]

Low serum and intracellular magnesium concentrations are associated with insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, and decreased insulin secretion. [3],[4],[5] Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity thus lowering insulin resistance. Magnesium and insulin need each other. Without magnesium, our pancreas won’t secrete enough insulin–or the insulin it secretes won’t be efficient enough–to control our blood sugar.

Magnesium in our cells helps the muscles to relax but if we can’t store magnesium because the cells are resistant then we lose magnesium which makes the blood vessels constrict, affects our energy levels, and causes an increase in blood pressure. We begin to understand the intimate connection between diabetes and heart disease when we look at the closed loop between declining magnesium levels and declining insulin efficiency.

Though it would be a long stretch of the longest giraffe’s neck to compare insulin with chlorophyll we are walking a trail at the very nuclear core of life. It’s the magnesium trail and we find to our surprise that it takes us into intimate contact with the very structure and foundation of life. The dedication of this chapter is to the beauty of magnesium, to its meaning in life, in health and in medicine.

We were talking about chlorophyll and now insulin and putting magnesium in-between. Walking further along is the DHEA magnesium story and the DNA magnesium story. And then there is the cholesterol magnesium story. Every part of life is in love with magnesium except allopathic medicine which just cannot accept it in all its light, flame and beauty. Thousands of years ago the Chinese named it the beautiful metal and they were seeing something pharmaceutical medicine does not want to see for there is little money to be made from something so common.

In a study from Taiwan, the risk of dying from diabetes was inversely proportional to the level of magnesium in the drinking water.[6]

Dr. Jerry L. Nadler

Dr. Jerry Nadler of the Gonda Diabetes Center at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California, and his colleagues placed 16 healthy people on magnesium-deficient diets, their insulin became less effective at getting sugar from their blood into their cells, where it’s burned or stored as fuel. In other words, they became less insulin sensitive.

Insulin regulates cholesterol levels. There is a direct connection between the level of cholesterol and the level of insulin.

Magnesium is necessary for both the action of insulin and the manufacture of insulin. Magnesium is a basic building block to life and is present in ionic form throughout the full landscape of human physiology. Without insulin though, magnesium doesn’t get transported from our blood into our cells where it is most needed.

Diabetes mellitus is associated with magnesium depletion, which in turn contributes to metabolic complications of diabetes including vascular disease and osteoporosis. Intracellular depletion is directly connected to the impaired ability of insulin to increase intracellular magnesium during insulin deficiency or insulin resistance. Magnesium deficiency per se has been reported to result in insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance and magnesium depletion result in a vicious cycle of worsening insulin resistance and decrease in intracellular Mg(2+) which limits the role of magnesium in vital cellular processes.[7] Magnesium is an important cofactor for enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism so anything threatening magnesium levels threatens overall metabolism. Large epidemiologic studies in adults indicate that lower dietary magnesium and lower serum magnesium are associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes.[8],[9]

Redistribution of magnesium into cells may cause lower magnesium levels in the serum. Insulin causes this effect.

Researchers at the Institute of Internal Medicine, University of Palermo wrote, “Intracellular magnesium concentration has also been shown to be effective in modulating insulin action (mainly oxidative glucose metabolism), offset calcium-related excitation-contraction coupling, and decrease smooth cell responsiveness to depolarizing stimuli. A poor intracellular Mg concentration, as found in noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and in hypertensive patients, may result in a defective tyrosine-kinase activity at the insulin receptor level and exaggerated intracellular calcium concentration.” [10]

The link between diabetes mellitus and magnesium deficiency is well known. A growing body of evidence suggests that magnesium plays a pivotal role in reducing cardiovascular risks and may be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes itself.

Dr. Jerry L. Nadler

Magnesium improves and helps correct insulin sensitivity, which is the fundamental defect that characterizes pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and even full blown diabetes and heart disease. An intracellular enzyme called tyrosine kinase requires magnesium to allow insulin to exert its blood-sugar-lowering effects. In several studies, daily oral magnesium supplementation substantially improved insulin sensitivity by 10% and reduced blood sugar by 37%.[11],[12] Magnesium also helps correct abnormal lipoprotein patterns. We would expect to find larger improvements in this increased insulin sensitivity if magnesium is supplemented in a correct way meaning through transdermal and oral methods combined using liquid magnesium chloride (magnesium oil) as compared to the very inefficient oral solid forms commonly used.

Improved insulin sensitivity from magnesium replacement can markedly reduce triglyceride levels.[13] Reduced triglyceride availability, in turn, reduces triglyceride-rich particles, such as very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and small low-density lipoprotein (small LDL), both of which are powerful contributors to heart disease. Magnesium supplementation can also raise levels of beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL).[14]

Insulin regulates intracellular magnesium levels via activation of Na+/Mg2+ exchange. Insulin’s effect on Na/Mg exchange may explain the low cellular magnesium levelsobserved in vivo under hyperinsulinemic conditions.[15]

Magnesium is a necessary element for all living organisms both animal and plant. Chlorophyll is structured around a magnesium atom, while in animals, magnesium is a key component of cells, bones, tissues and just about every physiological process you can think of. Magnesium is primarily an intracellular cation; roughly 1% of whole-body magnesium is found extracellularly, and the free intracellular fraction is the portion regulating enzyme pathways inside the cells. Life packs the magnesium jealously into the cells, every drop of it is precious.

Add the story of red blood cells and hemoglobin, which replace the chlorophyll molecule’s magnesium center with ion to function for O2 and CO2 transport, but retains magnesium in other crucial roles, and we are on the essential axis of life that allopathic medicine can address with intensive magnesium therapies.

Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity thus lowering insulin resistance. Magnesium and insulin need each other. Without magnesium, our pancreas won’t secrete enough insulin–or the insulin it secretes won’t be efficient enough–to control our blood sugar. Insulin is a hormone. And like many hormones, insulin is a protein. Insulin is secreted by groups of cells within the pancreas called islet cells. Insulin is much more important and has many more functions then we realize. It regulates:

lifespan – Lower insulin levels equate to a longer life.

blood sugar

blood lipids

excess nutrients (from glucose, carbs and calories) and converts them to fat

builds muscle

stores protein

magnesium levels in our body

calcium levels in the body

retains sodium levels

cell division

growth hormone

liver functions

sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone

cholesterol in the body

fat in our body

Magnesium is a cofactor for multiple enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism.[16] Adipocyte cells placed in low-magnesium media show reduction in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake.[17] Magnesium deficiency is associated with increased intracellular calcium levels, which may lead to insulin resistance. Low erythrocyte magnesium content increases membrane microviscosity, which may impair insulin interaction with its receptor.[18] Tyrosine kinase activity is decreased in muscle insulin receptors of rats fed a low-magnesium diet.[19] These findings indicate that magnesium deficiency directly affects insulin signaling.

When magnesium levels fall hypersecretion of adrenalin and insulin compensate. Their increased secretion help maintain the constancy of the levels in intracellular magnesium in the soft tissues. Plasma and intracellular magnesium concentrations are tightly regulated by insulin. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that insulin modulates the shift of magnesium from extracellular to intracellular space.

Dr. Ron Rosedale says that, “Insulin floating around in the blood causes plaque build-up. They didn’t know why, but we know that insulin causes endothelial proliferation. Every step of the way, insulin is causing cardiovascular disease. It fills the body with plaque, it constricts the arteries, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, it increases platelet adhesiveness and coaguability of the blood.”

[1] Paolisso G, Scheen A, D’Onofrio F, Lefebvre P: Magnesium and glucose homeostasis. Diabetologia 33:511–514, 1990[Medline]

[2] Nadler JL, Buchanan T, Natarajan R, Antonipillai I, Bergman R, Rude R: Magnesium deficiency produces insulin resistance and increased thromboxane synthesis. Hypertension 21:1024–1029, 1993

[3]Ma J, Folsom AR, Melnick SL, Eckfeldt JH, Sharrett AR, Nabulsi AA, Hutchinson RG, Metcalf PA: Associations of serum and dietary magnesium with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, insulin, and carotid wall thickness: the ARIC study. J Clin Epidemiol 48:927–940, 1985

[4] Rosolova H, Mayer O Jr, Reaven GM: Insulin-mediated glucose disposal is decreased in normal subjects with relatively low plasma magnesium concentrations. Metabolism 49:418–420, 2000[Medline]

[5] Resnick LM, Gupta RK, Gruenspan H, Alderman MH, Laragh JH: Hypertension and peripheral insulin resistance: possible mediating role of intracellular free magnesium. Am J Hypertens 3:373–379, 1990[Medline]

[6] http://www.mgwater.com/diabetes.shtml

[7] Magnesium transport induced ex vivo by a pharmacological dose of insulin is impaired in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Hua, H : Gonzales, J : Rude, R K Magnes-Res. 1995 Dec; 8(4): 359-66

[8] Lopez-Ridaura R, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Hu FB: Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care 27:134–140, 2004

[9] Kao WH, Folsom AR, Nieto FJ, Mo JP, Watson RL, Brancati FL: Serum and dietary magnesium and the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Arch Intern Med 159:2151, 1999

[10] Mol Aspects Med. 2003 Feb-Jun;24(1-3):39-52. Role of magnesium in insulin action, diabetes and cardio-metabolic syndrome X.Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ, Galioto A, Ferlisi A, Cani C, Malfa L, Pineo A, Busardo’ A, Paolisso G. Institute of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, University of Palermo, Via F Scaduto 6/C, Palermo, Italy. mabar@unipa.it

[11] Guerrero-Romero F, Tamez-Perez HE, Gonzalez-Gonzalez G et al. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance. A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes Metab. 2004 Jun;30(3):253-8.

[12] Rodriguez-Moran M and Guerrero-Romero F. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1147-52.

[13] Yokota K, Kato M, Lister F, et al. Clinical efficacy of magnesium supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):506S-9S.

[14] Rasmussen HS, Aurup P, Goldstein K, et al. Influence of magnesium substitution therapy on blood lipid composition in patients with ischemic heart disease. A double-blind, placebo controlled study. Arch Intern Med. 1989 May;149(5):1050-3.

[15] Am J Hypertens (2002) 15, 104A–104A; doi:S0895-7061(02)02558-X

P-207: Insulin regulates human erythrocyte Na+/Mg2+ exchange. Ana Ferreira1, Jose R. Romero1 and Alicia Rivera. Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

[16] Paolisso G, Scheen A, D’Onofrio F, Lefebvre P: Magnesium and glucose homeostasis. Diabetologia 33:511–514, 1990[Medline]

[17] Kandeel FR, Balon E, Scott S, Nadler JL: Magnesium deficiency and glucose metabolism in rat adipocytes. Metabolism 45:838–843, 1996[Medline]

[18] Tongyai S, Rayssiguier Y, Motta C, Gueux E, Maurois P, Heaton FW: Mechanism of increased erythrocyte membrane fluidity during magnesium deficiency in weanling rats. Am J Physiol 257:C270–C276, 1989

[19] Suarez A, Pulido N, Casla A, Casanova B, Arrieta FJ, Rovira A: Impaired tyrosine-kinase activity of C

 

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