Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Magnesium is an alkaline earth metal and is the second most abundant cation in the human body. Magnesium plays important roles in the structure and the function of the human body; it is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions in the body. Magnesium has been implicated in the prevention and treatment of many diseases including diabetes. Magnesium depletion is commonly associated with both insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent diabetes. A significant number, (between 25% and 39%) of diabetics have been shown to have decreased serum levels of magnesium. There are many possible reasons and mechanisms for this. Diabetics experience increased losses of urinary magnesium due to glucosuria and osmotic diuresis. Magnesium depletion has also been shown to increase insulin resistance in diabetic individuals. More research is needed to determine what type, how much, and which at-risk groups would benefit from magnesium supplementation.



Faculty Mentor

Marie K. Walsh

Departmental Honors Advisor

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt