Magnesium Deficiency Associated with Stress, Systemic Inflammation, and Insulin Resistance in Diabetes Mellitus: a review

Document Type : Original Article


Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, Proteomics and Health, Djillali Liabes University of Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria


Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by the presence of chronic hyperglycemia due to lack of insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. It can be immune-mediated (type 1 diabetes) or result from a combination of insulin deficiency and insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes).
Hypomagnesemia has been reported with increased frequency in patients with type 2 diabetes. This electrolyte imbalance is often neglected and subcontracted. Magnesium (Mg2+) is an electrolyte of vital physiological importance in the body. It is the most abundant divalent intracellular cation in cells, the second ion after potassium, and the fourth most common cation in the human body. Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that participates in an astonishing array of biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve functions, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is also required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis.
An adult body contains approximately 25 g magnesium, with 50% to 60% present in the bones and the rest in soft tissues. Less than 1% of total magnesium is available in the blood serum. In plants, a magnesium ion is at the center of every molecule of chlorophyll, essential for creating energy from sunlight. Magnesium is an essential element for animals and plants, involved in hundreds of enzymatic reactions that affect virtually every aspect of life.
Magnesium deficiency (MgD) is associated with insulin resistance (IR), induces an inflammatory response is strongly associated with stress levels, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Several factors can negatively affect the balance of Mg2+ in the body and, in the long run, can result in MgD. These factors may be decreased intake of Mg2+ from food or drinking water, increased loss of Mg2+ by renal excretion, insufficient absorption of Mg2+ in the gut, and prolonged use of certain drugs causing hypomagnesemia.
Magnesium supplementation or increased consumption of magnesium-rich foods may be an important tool in the therapeutic management and prevention of type 2 diabetes. In this article, I reviewed the role played by magnesium in the pathogenesis of oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, and insulin resistance.