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When you’re insulin resistant, that is, you’ve got metabolic syndrome, pretty much every chemical in the body is NOT QUITE RIGHT. Some are up. Some are down. Few are actually at physiologically NORMAL levels.
Traditionally the focus is on the big guns.
- And cholesterol
In this series, we take a look at some of the other players.
Who they are, what they’re up to and how they’re part of the state of insulin resistance.
In this post, we feature magnesium.
People who are insulin resistant, have decreased magnesium levels in their body, but the decrease is often hidden i.e. it is a latent deficiency.
When serum levels of magnesium are checked, the levels may be, a little on the low side of normal.
But they’re, more often than not, in the NORMAL range.
Normal is 0.76 – 1.15 mM.
So, the assumption is, THERE’S nothing to worry about. But, the problem is, serum levels are tightly regulated.
This means, the body MAKES sure, the magnesium levels are in the normal range. To do this, it takes magnesium out of cells and sticks it into the circulation. Yah !
Now the official magnesium supplier is bone, but it can come from other cells too.
The trouble is, the magnesium is deliberately taken OUT OF THE CELLS. This leaves CELLS, potentially short. And this matters, because the place where it gets down to business, is INSIDE cells.
So what does magnesium DO inside cells ?
Magnesium is an inside trader
It plays a structural role, is involved in electrolyte transport and balance, but it’s biggest claim to fame, around 600 different enzymes, use it as a co-factor or activator. It is especially important for enzymes involved in energy metabolism.
We’re not just talking about the enzymes that MAKE energy, but the enzymes that USE energy too.
You see, ATP, the “energy” currency, needs magnesium to function properly. It turns out, it needs, the little positivity, provided by magnesium to push through and make chemistry happen.
Among the chemistry magnesium makes happen………
It turns, insulin production, both ON and OFF.
In the beta cells of the pancreas….
And it works hand in hand, with insulin to make sure cells respond appropriately to insulin signalling.
So, magnesium shortages, have the potential to impact, among other things, carbohydrate metabolism.
And as a rule, more magnesium, makes for better glycemic control.
Numerous studies have shown “fixing” magnesium issues, decreases fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, in people who are running low (hypomagnesemia).
So why is it low ?
As usual, we can blame insulin, but it is complicated. Magnesium levels are primarily regulated by the kidney – so, it is the kidney makes the call, as to how much you pee out and how much you keep, but the kidney does this, with a little help from insulin.
The way the kidney works, is it starts with a big DUMP, it pretty much chucks anything small out, at the glomerulus and then……… it picks and chooses, what to take back. Magnesium is a firm favourite, so 90 % of it is reabsorbed early on, but around 10 % is left to the end (distal convoluted tubule).
It is this 10 % that is influenced by the presence of insulin……………..
And insulin, pushes for it to NOT be reabsorbed, by the TRPMs, number 6 and number 7. It’s less work for him. Remember, he is in charge of putting away the groceries and magnesium IS A GROCERY.
And just like sugar……………….. IT MUST BE PUT AWAY.
Only a tiny fraction, 0.3 % of it, is permitted to circulate.
Of course, if you’re not actually, consuming magnesium, there is also going to be less circulating. Studies suggest the average person needs 2.36 mg/kg, to maintain their magnesium balance.
But, if you’re NOT average, and odds are, you’re not, if you have insulin resistance, you are going to need more, because you’re losing more.
Sources of magnesium
In the past, getting this amount of magnesium was pretty easy, because it’s found in lots of foods, as well as, in water. But, it’s becoming more challenging to get, these days.
- It’s one of the nutrients lost, by food processing ( up to 85 % depletion).
- And, water technologies, such as reverse osmosis and desalinization, remove this magnesium, which can contribute 15-25 % of your daily magnesium requirements.
PLUS there are a few other modern magnesium stealers, that can further compromise the situation.
Here is a list of known magnesium stealers
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Oral contraceptives
- Calcium supplements
The vicious cycle
If you’re insulin resistant, more is pee-ed out, because insulin levels are high. And odds are, less is coming in, thanks to modern living. The less coming in, then compromises your ability to handle carbohydrates, so more is pee-ed out.
To stop the vicious cycle, you should work at restoring the balance.
Improving your status
First things first……… stop the wasting, as much as you can. Work on getting the body chemistry sorted, lower sugar levels and lower insulin, will help you keep more of the magnesium IN.
If you need some help, download our free Willpower Report, it will introduce you to the CANDY FLOSS system and the 10 weapons, you can use to rein in insulin.
The second thing, makes sure you’re getting enough, to begin with.
A magnesium rich diet
Opt for less processed food. And consume foods and beverages, rich in magnesium.
Lucky for use, Mother Nature has colour coded foods, that are good sources of magnesium…….. all you need to do, is look for things that are green. The cholorophyll molecule, which is what makes GREENS green, has a magnesium atom, slap bang in the centre. Legumes, seeds and nuts are also good sources . In terms of beverages, mineral waters and wine, are delicious options.
Alternatively, consider taking a magnesium supplement, there are lots of options.
The organic bound magnesium salts, are often preferred, because more of it is taken up.
How much is taken up, by your body, depends on your magnesium status, as well as what else is around. What isn’t taken up, is pooped out, unfortunately, if there is too much, “hanging” around, less water is reabsorbed, so your stool can be a little loose. So be careful ! More is not always better.
Magnesium is just one of hundreds of chemicals in the body that are amiss, if you’re suffering from metabolic syndrome. Click here, t0 visit the “Ups and Downs of insulin resistance” page, to learn more about some of the other players.
Effects of Mg deficiency on mechanisms of insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes: Focusing on the processes of insulin secretion and signalling. Int. J. Mol. Sci. (2019) 20 : (6). pii: E1351. Krasimir Kostov
Effect of Mg supplementation on insulin resistance in humans: A systematic review. Nutrition (2017) 38:54–60. Jennifer Beatriz Silva Morais, Juliana Soares Severo, Georgia Rosa Reis de Alencar, Ana Raquel Soares de Oliveira, Kyria Jayanne Cl?maco Cruz, Dilina do Nascimento Marreiro, Betania de Jesus e Silva de Almendra Freitas, Cec?lia Maria Resende de Carvalho, Maria do Carmo de Carvalho e Martins, Karoline de Macedo Goncalves Frota.
The high heart health value of drinking-water Mg. Medical Hypotheses (2013) 81:1063–1065. Andrea Rosanoff
Effect of Acute Hyperinsulinemia on Mg Homeostasis in Humans. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. (2017) 33(2). Li Hao Richie Xu and Naim M. Maalouf
Magnesium in man : Implications for health and disease. Physiol Rev (2015) 95: 1–46. Jeroen H. F. de Baaij, Joost G. J. Hoenderop, and René J. M. Bindels
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