May 18, 2007/The West Australian (Perth) -- Having plenty of magnesium, a mineral commonly found in nuts and grainy foods, can cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost a quarter, according to German researchers.

Nutritional experts from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke examined a range of food and specific vitamins and minerals to see which ones were linked to a reduced risk of diabetes.

Cereal-based fibre and magnesium came out on top, with a high-fiber diet reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by 33%, while magnesium cut the risk by 23%.

Writing in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, they said previous studies had suggested that fibre might increase the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body and reduce blood sugar spikes after eating. HOwever, the benefits of magnesium on diabetes risk were less clear.

Their study of 25,000 men and women who were followed up for an average of seven years found that those who ate plenty of fiber from cereal, bread and other grain products or consumed high amounts of magnesium were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who ate the least amounts. HOwever, there was no evidence that the fiber from fruit and vegetables lowered the risk.

The number of people with type 2 diabetes worldwide is expected to increase from 171 million in 2000 to 370 million by 2030.

From the May 23, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash