Life Extension Magazine®

Blood glucose meter sitting on top of blood glucose testing record sheet for magnesium trial

In The News: Magnesium And Glucose Metabolism

Magnesium can improve blood glucose metabolism; an anti-inflammatory diet may reduce dementia risk; modestly elevated A1c raises risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality; L-arginine helps improve erectile dysfunction.

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Magnesium Supplementation Can Improve Blood Glucose Metabolism

Magnesium supplementation may help improve blood glucose metabolism among people with diabetes and those who are at high risk of developing the disease, according to findings from a meta-analysis of clinical trials reported in Nutrients.*

Researchers analyzed 13 randomized trials that evaluated magnesium supplementation’s effects on glucose metabolism among diabetics. Twelve trials were additionally selected that evaluated magnesium among participants at high risk of developing the disease.

Compared to a placebo, supplementing with magnesium was associated with significantly lower fasting plasma glucose levels in trials that included diabetic participants.

In trials that included people at risk of diabetes, magnesium was significantly associated with lower fasting plasma glucose and improved insulin sensitivity.

Editor’s Note: Conditions that categorized participants as having a high risk of diabetes included being overweight or having prediabetes, metabolic syndrome or other disorders.

* Nutrients. 2021 Nov 15;13(11):4074.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet May Protect Against Dementia

The journal Neurology® reported an association between greater adherence to an anti-inflammatory diet and a lower risk of dementia.*

The study included 1,059 participants with an average age of 73 years who were free of dementia on enrollment. Dietary questionnaire responses provided information concerning food groups consumed during the previous month. Higher diet scores indicated a greater intake of proinflammatory foods and fewer servings of fruit, vegetables, beans, tea and coffee.

During the three-year follow-up, 6% of the participants developed dementia. The researchers determined that each one-point increase in dietary inflammatory score was associated with a 21% increase in dementia, and that participants in the highest third of dietary scores had a three times greater risk of dementia compared to participants whose scores were among the lowest third.

Editor’s Note: Participants with the lowest third of dietary scores, indicative of the least inflammatory diet, consumed a weekly average of 20 servings of fruit, 19 servings of vegetables, four servings of legumes and 11 servings of coffee or tea per week.

A pro-inflammatory inducing diet includes foods cooked at high temperature and excess consumption of omega-6 fats in relation to omega-3s.

Safe (low temperature) ways to cook foods include poaching, boiling, stewing, and steaming.

Dangerous (high temperature) cooking methods include frying, grilling, barbecuing, and roasting.

* Neurology. Dec 2021, 97 (24) e2381-e2391.

Modestly Elevated A1c Raises Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Elevated hemoglobin A1c levels, which are determined by a simple blood test, are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, according to a study published in Cardiovascular Diabetology.*

Researchers used data from six prospective population-based studies including 36,180 people with and without type II diabetes, with a median follow-up of 9.9 years.

The results found that individuals with A1c levels above 5.5% had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease incidence.

Those with an A1c above 5.7% had a higher risk of overall mortality.

Participants with an A1c above 5.8% had a higher risk of cardiovascular mortality.

Note that an A1c of 5.5% is the upper range of “normal” on blood test reports.

This study on modestly elevated A1c corroborates the benefits of optimizing one’s A1c. Health-conscious people should target their A1c below 5.0%-5.5%.

Editor’s Note: HbA1c levels are used to measure diabetes risk, but this study showed the correlation with cardiovascular risk as well.

*Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2021 Nov 15; 20(1):223.

L-Arginine Helps Improve Erectile Dysfunction

The Journal of Endocrinological Investigation published the findings of a recent trial confirming a benefit for supplementation with the amino acid L-arginine for men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction (ED).*

Fifty-one men received six grams of L-arginine per day for three months, and 47 men received a placebo. Questionnaires administered at the beginning and end of the study evaluated erectile function. Ultrasonographic examinations of the penis conducted at these times obtained measurements of penile cavernous arterial peak systolic flow velocity (PSV).

Men who received L-arginine had significant improvement in their questionnaire scores, while scores among the placebo group were unchanged. ED category improved among 74% of treated participants and 24% achieved scores indicating an absence of the condition.

Editor’s Note: The trial included men with vasculogenic ED, which occurs when arteries and/or veins that deliver blood to and from the penis malfunction.

* J Endocrinol Invest. 2022 Jan 1.