Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Magnesium and Diabetes

I believe that adult onset diabetes is the illness that will bankrupt medicare and possibly the U.S. government. Over 50% of U.S. adults are obese and over two-thirds are overweight. What is the price we are paying for this obesity epidemic? Diabetes.

Adult onset or Type II diabetes is a preventable illness. Nearly all of the time, adult onset diabetes is caused by poor lifestyle choices such as eating too many refined carbohydrates that are full of refined sugar, salt and oils. Each day in my practice, I am constantly amazed by the number of diabetic patients that I see in my office.

The conventional approach to treating adult onset diabetes is a disaster. None of the oral medications treat the underlying causes of the illness. Furthermore, the worst thing that can be prescribed for a type II diabetic is insulin. These patients are not getting adult onset diabetes from lack of insulin; oftentimes they have too much insulin. Insulin promotes inflammation, weight gain and hunger.

A holistic approach that emphasizes dietary changes—eating whole foods free of refined products while avoiding refined carbohydrates is a must. Drinking adequate amounts of water should be part of any holistic plan. Finally, correcting hormonal and nutritional imbalances can dramatically affect the course of the illness. I see the positive results of a holistic treatment regimen occur daily in my practice.

Part of the nutritional side of the plan has to include looking at magnesium levels. Magnesium is a mineral that is woefully deficient in our diet and our food supply. Magnesium is a key ingredient in over 300 enzymes including the powerful antioxidant glutathione peroxidase.

A recent study found that with every 100mg increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type II diabetes decreased by 15%. (Ohiroa, T. Am. J of Epidemiology. 16 April, 2009. Published online ahead of print).

I have been checking red blood cell magnesium levels on every new patient for over 15 years. Over 60% of patients are significantly low in magnesium and another 25% are marginally low. Astounding numbers.

Magnesium is inexpensive. I would recommend anyone to supplement with magnesium. Average doses are from 100-400mg/day. Side effects of magnesium are usually limited to loose stools. If you get looses stools, lower the dose. For those with very low magnesium levels, I recommend doing magnesium IV’s to enhance absorption. Finally, taking the B-vitamin PABA with magnesium will aid in its absorption. Paba doses range from 100-200mg/day. PABA can be found at (a company I founded).


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