, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 77–79 | Cite as

Hypomagnesaemia in Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus is not corrected by improvement of long-term metabolic control

  • Ch. Schnack
  • I. Bauer
  • P. Pregant
  • P. Hopmeier
  • G. Schernthaner


Low levels of magnesium have frequently been reported in diabetes mellitus especially in poorly controlled Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients. Furthermore hypomagnesaemia might contribute to insulin resistance in Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. As the influence of improved metabolic control on plasma magnesium levels is unknown in Type 2 diabetic patients we studied magnesium plasma levels in 50 patients 1) before, 2) one and 3) three months after the initiation of insulin therapy or intensified treatment with oral hypoglycaemic agents. Magnesium plasma levels were measured by a colorimetric method and were significantly reduced in diabetic patients compared to healthy control subjects (0.79±0.01 mmol/l vs 0.88±0.01 mmol/l; p<0.0001). Metabolic control was significantly improved as documented by reduced HbA1C levels in both insulin-treated patients or the patients on oral hypoglycaemic agents (p<0.003). However, plasma magnesium levels remained unchanged during the follow-up in the insulin-treated group (1∶0.79±0.02 mmol/l; 2∶0.81±0.02 mmol/l; 3∶0.79±0.01 mmol/l) as well as in the patients on oral hypoglycaemic agents (1∶0.79±0.03 mmol/l; 2∶0.78±0.02 mmol/ l; 3∶0.84±0.04 mmol/l). This study shows that even marked improvement of glycaemic control does not correct hypomagnesaemia in Type 2 diabetes. We conclude that hypomagnesaemia might be related to the insulin-resistant state and that possible beneficial effect of chronic magnesium administration should be evaluated in these patients.

Key words

Diabetes mellitus Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes insulin resistance magnesium electrolytes 


  1. 1.
    Mather HM, Nisbet JA, Burton GH et al. (1979) Hypomagnesaemia in diabetes. Clin Chim Acta 95: 235–242Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    McNair P, Christensen MS, Christiansen C, Modshod S, Transbol IB (1982) Renal hypomagnesaemia in human diabetes mellitus: its relation to glucose homeostasis. Eur J Clin Invest 12: 81–85Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ponder SW, Brouhard BH, Travis LB (1990) Hyperphosphaturia and hypermagnesuria in children with IDDM. Diab Care 13: 437–441Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sjögren A, Floren CH, Nilsson A (1988) Magnesium potassium and zinc deficiency in subjects with type I and type II diabetes. Acta Med Scand 224: 461–465Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Paolisso G, Sgambato S, Giugliano D et al. (1988) Impaired insulin-induced erythrocyte magnesium accumulation is correlated to impaired insulin-mediated glucose disposal in Type-2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic patients. Diabetologia 31: 910–915Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Paolisso G, Passariello N, Pizza G et al. (1989) Dietary magnesium supplements improve B-cell response to glucose and arginine in elderly non-insulin dependent diabetic subjects. Acta Endocrinol 121: 16–20Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Paolisso G, Sgambato S, Pizza G, Passariello N, Varricchio M, D'Onofrio F (1989) Improved insulin response and action by chronic magnesium administration in aged NIDDM subjects. Diab Care 12: 265–269Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Prager R, Schernthaner G, Kostner G, Mühlhauser I, Meisinger V (1982) Hypomagnesiämie bei Diabetes mellitus. Korrelationsanalysen mit Stoffwechselkontrollgrad, Lipidstatus und Thrombozytenfunktion. Akt Endokrin Stoffw 3: 140–143Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Paolisso G, Passariello N, Sgambato S et al. (1987) Impaired insulin-mediated erythrocyte magnesium accumulation in essential hypertension. Clin Sci 73: 535–539Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fink RI, Kolterman OG, Griffin J, Olefsky JM (1983) Mechanisms of insulin resistance in aging. J Clin Invest 71: 1523–1535Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rowe JW, Minaker KL, Pallotta JA, Flier JS (1983) Characteristics of the insulin resistance of aging. J Clin Invest 71: 1581–1587Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ferrannini E, Buzzigoli G, Bonadonna R et al. (1987) Insulin resistance in essential hypertension. N Engl J Med 317: 350–357Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Paolisso G, Sacchettino A, Sgambato S, Gentile S, Varicchio M, D'Onofrio F (1988) Impaired insulin-mediated erythrocyte magnesium accumulation in the elderly. Diab Nutr Metab 1: 215–219Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Seelig MS, Heggtveit HA (1974) Magnesium interrelationship in ischemic heart disease: a review. Am J Clin Nutr 27: 59–79Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mather HM, Levin GE, Nisbet JA (1982) Hypomagnesaemia and ischemic heart disease in diabetes. Diab Care 5: 452–463Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Paolisso G, Scheen A, D'Onofrio F, Lefèbvre P (1990) Magnesium and glucose homeostasis. Diabetologia 33: 511–514Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ch. Schnack
    • 1
  • I. Bauer
    • 1
  • P. Pregant
    • 1
  • P. Hopmeier
    • 2
  • G. Schernthaner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine IRudolfstiftung HospitalViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Clinical ChemistryRudolfstiftung HospitalViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations