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Keywords:

  • diabetes mellitus;
  • glycaemic control;
  • insulin resistance;
  • insulin sensitivity index;
  • magnesium;
  • metabolic syndrome;
  • randomized trial

The incidence of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome correlates with the availability of magnesium (Mg). We studied the effect of oral Mg supplementation on insulin sensitivity and other characteristics of the metabolic syndrome in normomagnesemic, overweight, insulin resistant, non-diabetic subjects. Subjects were tested for eligibility using oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and subsequently randomized to receive either Mg–aspartate–hydrochloride (n = 27) or placebo (n = 25) for 6 months. As trial endpoints, several indices of insulin sensitivity, plasma glucose, serum insulin, blood pressure and lipid profile were determined. Mg supplementation resulted in a significant improvement of fasting plasma glucose and some insulin sensitivity indices (ISIs) compared to placebo. Blood pressure and lipid profile did not show significant changes. The results provide significant evidence that oral Mg supplementation improves insulin sensitivity even in normomagnesemic, overweight, non-diabetic subjects emphasizing the need for an early optimization of Mg status to prevent insulin resistance and subsequently type 2 diabetes.