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An Important Mineral
Old 10-04-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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An Important Mineral

This article talks about the benefits of Magnesium, especially for diabetics:

T NATION | Magnificent Magnesium
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
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I'm still reading, but I am already having a problem with the author when he makes mistakes like this:
Quote:
That would take a diabetic with an HbA1c level of 8% (not good) down to 6.2% (very good) in only four months.
An A1C level of 8% is not, "not good" - it is diabetic. And a decrease to 6.2%, while an improvement, is not "very good" or even close to very good. Normal maxes out at either (depending on what source you use) at 5.7 or 6. Everything above the max normal and up to 6.4% is not good, and while pre-diabetic is more a risk-factor than a outright diagnosis, it ain't even close to being good. Diabetes starts at A1C levels above 6.4%.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:44 PM   #3
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After reading some of the papers referenced in the article, I think there's probably a legitimate case for magnesium being helpful in managing insulin resistance. However, I don't think an article from a guy with a bachelor's degree who is trying to sell "a high quality magnesium supplement like BIOTEST EliteproTM Minerals" is going to convice many, especially making statements like Leonidas pointed out. I'm type 2, and my A1c has never been above 5.9 since I was diagnosed. And I'm right at the top of normal, definitely not "very good". But still, I'll look into my magnesium levels and see if increasing it through natural methods would be a good idea.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas View Post
I'm still reading, but I am already having a problem with the author when he makes mistakes like this: An A1C level of 8% is not, "not good" - it is diabetic. And a decrease to 6.2%, while an improvement, is not "very good" or even close to very good. Normal maxes out at either (depending on what source you use) at 5.7 or 6. Everything above the max normal and up to 6.4% is not good, and while pre-diabetic is more a risk-factor than a outright diagnosis, it ain't even close to being good. Diabetes starts at A1C levels above 6.4%.
Sure, but any diabetic that improves their A1C by going from 8% to 6.2% in four months is very good in my book. Further, its appropriate to be skeptical over any article that pimps a particular product, he does indicate several foods that are good sources of magnesium and the natural approach is usually the best approach.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:18 AM   #5
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Can't speak to the benefits of magnesium for treating diabetes but have found it helpful for restless leg syndrome. I was having problems with RLS on long overseas flights. I added magnesium supplements to my daily vitamin intake and usually don't have the problem on flights and if I do the symptoms are not as severe.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:55 AM   #6
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I've been swallowing an ounce of gold every day for almost two years.

Today I feel like a million bucks ...

Seriously, I was diagnosed as a T2 over a decade ago (with an A1C of +8.0 at the time).

Through diet/exercise (no meds), I was able to lower it to 4.7 (lowest A1C ever) within a year, including dropping 50+ pounds.

Today (over a decade later), I'm stiil not on any diabetic control meds, but my A1C has risen to a bit over 6.0, as expected by my doctor over the long term.

I've taken a lot of "extras" over the years (such as cinnamon extract) to control my A1C, but found nothing that would really affect it. I'm suspicious of any such "simple answer" such as magnesium, since I'm sure if it was an answer to management of the condition, it would have been used in maintainance/control many years ago.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
I've taken a lot of "extras" over the years (such as cinnamon extract) to control my A1C, but found nothing that would really affect it. I'm suspicious of any such "simple answer" such as magnesium, since I'm sure if it was an answer to management of the condition, it would have been used in maintainance/control many years ago.
I'm not sure I accept that as a reason. In my personal experience I've had a number of successes managing physical problems with supplements that I had a fit getting accepted by my PCP. And she's fairly liberal that way. But so many of these supplements don't have the approval of the AMA or the ADA or whoever. And most doctors follow those recommendations, even when they fly in the face of general observations. For example, it was very hard to get her to accept me taking niacin, which improved my HDL by over 50%. And I know niacin can be hard on your liver, but my liver is in great shape and I think the tradeoff is worth it. And the ADA is still pushing whole grains as part of a diabetic diet, when it's clear that fast carbs in general are a major player in T2 diabetes. So I don't think that just because it's not part of the current controls right now negates it's possible value. Not that I'm defending the article, but I think it's worth doing some real study on using more respectable sources.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Sure, but any diabetic that improves their A1C by going from 8% to 6.2% in four months is very good in my book.
We don't disagree that the improvement is good. It just bothered me that he wrote it in such a way as to say that an A1C of 6.2 was okay, good, or very good, or anything other than, "better than 8, but indicative of a person who does not have good control over their blood glucose". At 6.2 one will still have an increased risk of neuropathy, retinopathy, etc., and sticking a label of "very good" on that is wrong and could mislead people who are seeking information about their illness.*

Lately, I've been reading about Real Food, LCHF and Paleo styles of eating, along with the sort-of associated fitness topics like cross-fit (practitioners seem to have the same concerns and run in the same circles), I noticed that diabetes is a recurring subject. Those folks are arguing on the other side of what seems to be a bifurcation in philosophy on T2 Diabetes management - lifestyle changes vs. drugs. Their argument seems to be that there are two sorts of T2 diabetics - those who make changes in what they eat and increase their level of exercise, and those who take whatever drugs are prescribed (in increasing amounts) without any significant modification of the behaviors that contribute to their illness.

Although I do have an opinion, I am not herein promoting one approach over the other. But, the former group's argument is that the latter group is doing themselves a disservice by solely seeking health in a drug.

If there is truth in their belief, then it seems to me that people need to approach this kind of self-serving article written by someone who stands to gain financially from the product he is promoting, with a good dose of healthy skepticism. The danger being that they could be sucked in by just another con man who is playing to make some dough off their ignorance and fear. Or they could be the victim of a well-intentioned person who is himself ignorant on the subject.

That said, I did notice that the foods that are natural sources of Magnesium are, for the most part, good healthy real food.

Whatever the case, I would think it might be a good idea for a T2 Diabetic to ask to get a measurement of their Magnesium levels on their next regular blood work.

*Edit to include: I know that most docs will tell their T2D patients that they are shooting for a 6.5-7 A1C indicated level of BG control with medication, and there are some arguments (with a disputed interpretation of one study) that lowering BG too much with medication can be harmful. I'm just saying that anything greater than 5.7 (or 6) is not normal and poses increased risks of complications.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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I think one of the challenges with being diabetic is that there is not one single plan for treating/maintaining that will work for everyone, and its a condition that often progresses in bad direction over time. That said, I do believe that a healthy diet and exercise routine is probably the most beneficial to the majority of diabetics vs meds/supps, however, some cannot do without the meds. For me, I remain open minded enough to test things like cinammon, alpha lipoic acid, and now like this article points out magnesium. Keeping my nutrition clean and healthy isn't easy, but fortunately, my A1Cs have been very steady since being diagnosed and I largely attribute that to exercise/losing weight/eating better. My last test was a 5.4, but I'd still like it to be lower.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:20 PM   #10
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I wonder how tested levels of magnesium (or other minerals) depend on what you ate recently?
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I wonder how tested levels of magnesium (or other minerals) depend on what you ate recently?
Good question Al. In other words, assuming one has an adequate store of such minerals, how quickly could they be depleted over time if not eating magnesium rich foods or if you have a deficiency re-gain the recommended level by eating such foods. My guess is it would vary depending on the mineral, but I do not know the specific answer for magnesium.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:13 AM   #12
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Or how much water you drank. If you live in an area with hard water, you may be amazed at the amounts of calcium and magnesium in your drinking water.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:18 AM   #13
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At the massage therapist a couple of days ago she was talking about supplements and said that Magnesium was the only one she took regularly. She claimed it promotes muscle relaxation as well as preventing cramps.
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