Manganese is vital in the production of natural insulin and therefore important in the treatment of diabetes. It is found in citrus fruits, in the outer covering of nuts, grains and in the green leaves of edible plants.
The loss of magnesium in diabetic ketosis has been known for many years. About 37 percent of infants born to diabetic mothers have been found to be lacking in this mineral. It has also been found that children aged five to 18 years with well-controlled type-1 diabetes have lows serum magnesium values.
Magnesium also decreases the need for vitamin B6 and if it is increased in the diet, the amount of xanthurenic acid in the blood is reduced, even without vitamin B6 supplement. Moreover, magnesium is also necessary to active enzymes containing vitamin B6. Blood magnesium being particularly low in diabetic, it may be reasonably inferred that diabetes can result from a combined deficiency of vitamin B6 and magnesium. It may therefore, be advisable for any person with diabetes or a family history of the disease to take the at least 500 mg of magnesium and 10 mg of B6 daily.
Magnesium is widely distributed in foods. It forms part of the chlorophyll in green leaves. Other good sources of this mineral are nuts, Soya bean, alfalfa, apple, fig, lemon, peach, almond, whole grains, brown rice, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
According to Dr. Richard A. Anderson, at the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, whatever the blood sugar problem, chromium tends to normalize it. Dr. Anderson believes that increased prevalence of type-2 diabetes is partly due to a deficiency of chromium in the diet.
Chromium has been found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Columbia University scientists, in a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition established chromium’s benefits for type-2 diabetes. They confirmed that chromium enhances insulin production in the body. Some other researchers have also confirmed that chromium helps stabilize blood sugar and increases energy.
Studies have also revealed that chromium supplements control total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raise the good or HDL cholesterol. In some patients with impaired glucose tolerance, especially children with protein malnutrition, glucose tolerance showed improvement after they were given chromium supplements.
The recommended daily allowance of chromium is 50 to 100 micrograms. Some foods rich in chromium, besides broccoli, are whole grain cereals, nuts, mushrooms, rhubarb, Bengal gram, kidney beans, Soya beans, black gram, betel leaves, bottle gourd, corn oil, brewer’s yeast, pomegranate and pineapple.