Low Magnesium and Type 2 Diabetes


Longstreet, Heath, Panaretto, and Vink (2007) observed that native Australians are diagnosed with and die from Type 2 Diabetes in significant numbers.  They reported that clinical data has established a correlation between low magnesium intake and Type 2 Diabetes and between low magnesium levels, hypomagnesaemia, and complications from diabetes.  They examined associations between diabetes and magnesium in the diet and in the drinking water of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, in addition to several demographic factors.  They concluded that diets high in magnesium reduced the risk of diabetes by 33-34%.

Longstreet et al. (2007) found a significant correlation between reduced magnesium levels in drinking water and death due to diabetes, when adjusting the mortality figures for age.  They concluded that lower intake and replenishment of magnesium through the drinking water significantly increases the risk of hypomagnesaemia, which significantly increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and death from diabetes in the population they studied.  They noted the need for further research before generalizing their findings beyond the indigenous Australian population.

Longstreet et al. (2007) noted that drinking water typically supplies between 6% and 31% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.  Ferrandiz et al. (2004), cited by Longstreet et al. (2007), reported a correlation between increased water hardness and reduced chronic disease, including diabetes, but water softening and other water conditioning removes magnesium from the drinking water. Restoring magnesium to the drinking water or supplementation high in magnesium appear to be the alternatives available to adequately replenish the magnesium most commonly lost via perspiration.


Ferrandiz, J., Abellan, J.J., Gomez-Rubio, V., Lopez-Quilez, A., Sanmartin, P., Abellan, C. et al. (2004). Spatial analysis of the relationship between mortality from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and drinking water hardness. Environmental Health Perspectives, 112, 1037-1044.

Longstreet, D., Heath, D., Panaretto, K., Vink, R. (2007). Correlations suggest low magnesium  may lead to higher rates of type 2 diabetes in Indigenous Australians? Rural and Remote Health 7, 843