Magnesium is kind of boring. So most people don't pay too much attention to it.
Magnesium can be important, however. I saw an interesting phenomenon recently. A type I diabetic patient of mine (that is, an adult who developed diabetes as a child), Mitch, was experiencing wide swings in blood sugar: low low's and very high high's (300-400 mg/dl). Mitch's magnesium was only marginally low at 2.0 mEq/L. (Ranges for normal magnesium blood levels are usually 1.3–2.1 mEq/L or 0.65–1.05 mmol/L.) Note that Mitch's blood levels fall within "normal." I do not agree with these "normal" ranges. I shoot for 2.1 to 2.4 mEq/L, which I think is the truly normal range.
In addition to eating plenty of raw nuts and green vegetables, Mitch began supplementing magnesium with magnesium citrate, 200 mg twice a day (our preferred supplement form). He reported that the wide swings in blood sugar were nearly eliminated.
Mitch's dramatic benefit is just a great illustration of how magnesium can help control blood sugar metabolism. A type I diabetic is more sensitive to the effects, but anyone with type II (adult) diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or just a slightly high blood sugar could benefit from magnesium supplementation.
There's a number of ways to accomplish getting sufficient magnesium in your daily regimen. Track Your Plaque members, Be sure to read:
Your water may be killing you at
Magnesium: Water to the rescue! at http://www.healthcare.gov/library/fl_03-010magnesium2.asp