How genetics and magnesium influence type 2 diabetes in minority women

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the United States. The American Diabetes Association indicates more than 29 million people in the country have diabetes, and millions more are at-risk without knowing it. Minority groups are no exception; in fact, many minorities have a greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes when compared to non-Hispanic whites. Investigation into this health disparity has traditionally revealed that high rates of obesity related to poor diet and lack of physical exertion is one of the primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Certain ethnicities may have higher diabetes risk as a result; Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks have higher rates of obesity compared to other groups and therefore have higher rates of metabolic disease. SEE ALSO: Mexican-Americans have the highest diabetes risk among Hispanics New research suggests, however, that more factors may be at play when it comes to why some individuals are more prone to developing type 2 diabetes compared to others. According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, among minority postmenopausal women, genes that influence magnesium intake by the body can impact type 2 diabetes risk. Past studies have shown the benefit of a high magnesium diet in the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes. A number of studies have shown the more magnesium in a diet, the lower the diabetes risk, and experts explain it is the result of how magnesium helps regulate insulin secretion. “Our findings suggest a significant inverse association between magnesium intake and diabetes risk,” concluded research authors in a study published in Diabetes Care. “This study supports the dietary recommendation to increase consumption of major food sources of magnesium, such as whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.” Because magnesium appears to play an important role with insulin in the body, it makes sense that genes suppressing or facilitating magnesium usage would also impact diabetes risk. This theory was what senior author Simin Liu, professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at Brown University, and his team set out to explore. Looking at a large sampling of Hispanic and non-Hispanic black postmenopausal women (groups selected because they are typically understudied), Liu and his team found genetic variants specific to ethnicity absolutely impacted magnesium uptake and type two diabetes risk. According to a report from Futurity, the data showed small variances in the genetic code–even just a single letter variance–impacted magnesium intake. What’s more, specific mutations could be identified among the test populations. Hispanic women with high magnesium intake, those with the genetic variant “rs8028189? on the gene “NIPA2? had a 35 percent lower type 2 diabetes risk than women overall.  Non-Hispanic black women showed a 16 percent lower risk for each copy of the gene “CNNM1? they carried with the variant “rs6584273.” SEE ALSO: Survey reveals Hispanic thoughts on diabetes While the research shows an important link between magnesium, genetics and type 2 diabetes risk, it’s also one step closer toward highly personalized medical care. By understanding the genetic factors that influence specific ethnicities, doctors may one day be able to treat diseases in a more efficient manner.The post How genetics and magnesium influence type 2 diabetes in minority women appeared first on Voxxi.
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The genes that influence magnesium intake can impact type 2 diabetes risk. (Shutterstock)

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the United States. The American Diabetes Association indicates more than 29 million people in the country have diabetes, and millions more are at-risk without knowing it. Minority groups are no exception; in fact, many minorities have a greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes when compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Investigation into this health disparity has traditionally revealed that high rates of obesity related to poor diet and lack of physical exertion is one of the primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Certain ethnicities may have higher diabetes risk as a result; Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks have higher rates of obesity compared to other groups and therefore have higher rates of metabolic disease.

SEE ALSO: Mexican-Americans have the highest diabetes risk among Hispanics

New research suggests, however, that more factors may be at play when it comes to why some individuals are more prone to developing type 2 diabetes compared to others. According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, among minority postmenopausal women, genes that influence magnesium intake by the body can impact type 2 diabetes risk.

Past studies have shown the benefit of a high magnesium diet in the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes. A number of studies have shown the more magnesium in a diet, the lower the diabetes risk, and experts explain it is the result of how magnesium helps regulate insulin secretion.

“Our findings suggest a significant inverse association between magnesium intake and diabetes risk,” concluded research authors in a study published in Diabetes Care. “This study supports the dietary recommendation to increase consumption of major food sources of magnesium, such as whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.”

Because magnesium appears to play an important role with insulin in the body, it makes sense that genes suppressing or facilitating magnesium usage would also impact diabetes risk. This theory was what senior author Simin Liu, professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at Brown University, and his team set out to explore.

The genetic code is complex
Genetic variances among ethnicities can impact magnesium intake. (Shutterstock)

Looking at a large sampling of Hispanic and non-Hispanic black postmenopausal women (groups selected because they are typically understudied), Liu and his team found genetic variants specific to ethnicity absolutely impacted magnesium uptake and type two diabetes risk.

According to a report from Futurity, the data showed small variances in the genetic code–even just a single letter variance–impacted magnesium intake. What’s more, specific mutations could be identified among the test populations. Hispanic women with high magnesium intake, those with the genetic variant “rs8028189? on the gene “NIPA2? had a 35 percent lower type 2 diabetes risk than women overall.  Non-Hispanic black women showed a 16 percent lower risk for each copy of the gene “CNNM1? they carried with the variant “rs6584273.”

SEE ALSO: Survey reveals Hispanic thoughts on diabetes

While the research shows an important link between magnesium, genetics and type 2 diabetes risk, it’s also one step closer toward highly personalized medical care. By understanding the genetic factors that influence specific ethnicities, doctors may one day be able to treat diseases in a more efficient manner.

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The post How genetics and magnesium influence type 2 diabetes in minority women appeared first on Voxxi.