Magnesium & Other Trace Elements (1978, 1985) & Diabetic Retinopathy


Learn more about diabetic retinopathy.


Researchers have found that, in type I diabetes (insulin-dependent) the metabolism of several trace elements is different, leading researchers to conclude that these nutrients (or lack of them) might have specific functions in the development of the disease.

Magnesium deficiency is the most evident and also may heighten the risk of both ischemic heart disease and severe retinopathy.

Increased urinary loss of zinc is another common result of diabetes. Chromium increases tissue sensitivity to insulin and raises HDL cholesterol and the HDL:LDL ratio.

Selenium is critical to protecting the cell against oxidative damage by peroxides produced from lipid metabolism.

Researchers: T. Tuvemo, et al,
Published: The role of trace elements in juvenile diabetes mellitus, Pediatrician 1983-85


Researchers have been evaluating the blood chemistry of diabetic patients for many years, searching for associations between various deficiencies and the disease.

In this study researchers evaluated the levels of magnesium in the blood plasma in 71 early-onset diabetes patients who had been taking insulin shots daily to 10 to 20 years and who had developed diabetic retinopathy.

They found that patients with higher levels of magnesium had less severe cases of diabetic retinopathy compared to patients with low levels of magnesium. Their conclusion was that low magnesium levels are an added risk factor for diabetic retinopathy in diabetic patients.

Researchers: P. McNair, et al,
Published: Hypomagnesemia, a risk factor in diabetic retinopathy, Diabetes November, 1978.