Health Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate


magnesium glycinate 500mg

Magnesium is a mineral found in foods such as beans, seeds, and vegetables. It’s necessary for blood sugar control, nerve function, regulation of the body’s stress response, blood pressure maintenance, and many other essential processes.

Though it is possible to meet your magnesium needs through diet alone with a balanced diet, some people require supplemental magnesium to meet their daily needs and maintain optimal magnesium levels.

There are many forms of magnesium used in dietary supplements, including magnesium glycinate. Magnesium glycinate is a highly bioavailable (meaning that a large portion is able to enter your bloodstream and have an effect in your body) form of magnesium that can benefit health in several ways.

Here’s everything you need to know about magnesium glycinate supplements, including their potential health benefits, possible side effects, and how to use magnesium glycinate.

Could Promote Healthy Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure Levels 

Having low levels of magnesium can negatively impact your body’s ability to maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar, which could negatively impact overall health.

Studies show that taking in additional magnesium through dietary supplements may benefit those with high blood sugar and high blood pressure, including people with diabetes.

People with high blood sugar levels, such as those with diabetes, are more likely to develop low magnesium due to several factors, including losing magnesium through frequent urination and through consuming certain medications. Low magnesium levels are especially common in people with uncontrolled diabetes. A 2021 study that included 300 people with diabetes found that people with uncontrolled diabetes had significantly lower magnesium levels compared to people with good glycemic control. The study found that 65.8% of the study participants with a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) exceeding 7% had low magnesium levels compared to 50.8% in people with HbA1cs under 7%. HbA1c is a long-term marker of blood sugar control.1

Fortunately, taking a magnesium supplement, such as magnesium glycinate, could help improve blood sugar regulation and magnesium status in people with elevated blood sugar.

In a 2021 review of 25 studies, it was found that magnesium supplements significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes and in those at high risk for diabetes, including those with prediabetes, compared to placebo treatments.2

In addition to improving blood sugar control, magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate supplements, have been shown to be effective in reducing high blood pressure levels, which is common in people with diabetes. Maintaining optimal magnesium status is essential for healthy blood pressure as magnesium promotes the release of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that helps relax blood vessels and maintain blood pressure.3

A 2022 study that analyzed findings from 24 studies found that people with diabetes who took magnesium supplements had significant reductions in fasting blood sugar, HbA1c, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.3

May Reduce Stress and Improve Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms 

Magnesium plays an important role in your body’s stress response, and having low magnesium levels may trigger or worsen stress and anxiety symptoms. Studies have shown that taking magnesium supplements, such as magnesium glycinate, may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and help regulate stress.

Several studies have shown that magnesium supplements may help reduce stress levels in people with certain health conditions, such as fibromyalgia, as well as decrease stress related to surgical procedures.45

Findings from a 2017 review of 18 studies suggested that magnesium supplements could have a beneficial effect on subjective anxiety symptoms. However, the researchers noted that more high-quality studies are needed to fully understand how magnesium supplements, such as magnesium glycinate supplements, may benefit those with anxiety.6

Magnesium supplements may also help reduce depressive symptoms in some people. A 2022 study that included 60 people with major depressive disorders found that those who took 250 milligrams (mg) of magnesium along with an SSRI medication daily for six weeks reported reductions in depressive symptoms starting at the fourth week of treatment compared to participants receiving a placebo treatment along with an SSRI medication.7

Additionally, findings from older studies suggest that doses of magnesium glycinate ranging from 125 mg to 300 mg given multiple times per day may rapidly improve symptoms in people with major depression. However, more research is needed.8

May Improve Sleep 

If you have sleep issues, a magnesium glycinate supplement could be a helpful addition to your wellness routine. Magnesium binds to and increases the activity of receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter responsible for sleep regulation. This helps reduce excitability of the nervous system, which can help promote restful sleep.

Studies show that magnesium supplements, like magnesium glycinate, may help improve sleep quality in those with sleep disturbances.9

A 2021 study that included data on 3,964 people found that people with the highest dietary magnesium intake, including magnesium from food and supplements, were more likely to report better sleep quality and were also less likely to have short sleep duration.9

Additionally, some research shows that people who have lower blood levels of magnesium tend to have poorer sleep quality compared to people with optimal magnesium levels. Because magnesium plays an essential role in sleep, magnesium glycinate supplements could help you maintain your magnesium levels and help support restful sleep.10

How to Take Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate, can be taken with or without food and can be taken at any time of day or night. Some people take magnesium glycinate before bed to promote restful sleep.

Magnesium glycinate can be taken in single doses or multiple doses throughout the day.

Magnesium glycinate is available in capsule, liquid, and chewable form, so it’s important to choose the right type based on your needs.


Most magnesium glycinate supplements contain around 100 mg to 200 mg of magnesium glycinate per dose. However, some supplements contain larger amounts of magnesium and are more appropriate for people with increased magnesium requirements.

It’s recommended that adults take in between 310 mg and 420 mg of total magnesium per day, depending on age and sex. For children ages 4-13, the recommendation is 130 mg to 240 mg. For teens ages 14-18, the recommendation is 360 mg to 410 mg. These recommendations are for total dietary magnesium intake, including magnesium found naturally in food and magnesium from dietary supplements.11

The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), which is the maximum daily intake of a nutrient unlikely to cause harm, is currently set at 350 mg per day. The UL only applies to supplemental magnesium, which is why the UL is lower than the recommended magnesium intake for some age groups.11

Even though the UL for supplemental magnesium is set at 350 mg per day, studies show that doses higher than 350 mg are safe and effective for improving certain aspects of health, such as high blood pressure. That said, it’s safest to stick to recommended dosing recommendations and only take magnesium in doses higher than 350 mg if recommended and monitored by a healthcare provider.12

Is Magnesium Safe?

Magnesium supplements, such as magnesium glycinate, are considered safe when consumed in recommended doses. When used appropriately, magnesium glycinate supplements aren’t linked with significant side effects and are safe for most populations, including people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Magnesium glycinate supplements are also safe for kids and teens.11

That said, taking in too much magnesium from dietary supplements can lead to dangerous side effects, so it’s important to stick to recommended doses.

If you’re interested in taking magnesium it’s a good idea to discuss it with your healthcare provider before taking it to make sure that it’s necessary, specially if you take other medications or have other health concerns. If you think you may have low magnesium levels, your healthcare provider can test for it and recommend a specific dosage to treat your issue or magnesium deficiency.

Potential Drug Interactions

Magnesium glycinate supplements may reduce the absorption of or interact with some commonly prescribed medications.11

  • Antibiotics: Magnesium glycinate supplements may decrease the absorption of tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline and quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin. Antibiotics should be taken two hours before or at least four hours after taking a magnesium supplement.
  • Blood pressure-lowering medications: Magnesium glycinate has blood pressure-lowering effects, so people on blood pressure-lowering medications should check with their doctor before supplementing with magnesium glycinate, especially in high doses.
  • Osteoporosis medications: Magnesium supplements may decrease the absorption of bisphosphonate medications, such as the osteoporosis medication Fosamax. To ensure the best absorption, Fosamax should be taken at least two hours before or after taking a magnesium supplement.

Additionally, taking certain medications can deplete the body’s magnesium stores by increasing magnesium excretion through the urine. Medications such as diuretics, antidiabetic medications like metformin, and medications used to treat acid reflux, like Nexium, can increase magnesium excretion and increase the risk of developing magnesium deficiency.11

What to Look For

If you’re interested in purchasing a magnesium glycinate supplement, there are a few things to keep in mind. Whenever possible, it’s best to purchase magnesium supplements that have undergone third-party testing from independent laboratories. Some supplements are certified by organizations like UL, USP, and NSF International, which set strict standards for supplement quality and manufacturing safety.

It’s also important to consider the form, price, and dose of magnesium supplements.

Depending on your health needs, you may require larger doses of supplemental magnesium. Most magnesium glycinate supplements in capsule form contain between 100 mg to 150 mg of magnesium per capsule, so you might need to take several capsules to reach your desired daily dose. If you’re not sure how much magnesium you should be taking, ask a healthcare provider for advice.

Should You Take Magnesium Glycinate?

Though not everyone requires supplemental magnesium, many people benefit from taking magnesium supplements. Magnesium supplements can help people maintain optimal blood levels of magnesium and are helpful for people with certain medical conditions, such as high blood sugar and high blood pressure.

Magnesium glycinate is readily absorbed in the gut and is less likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects than more popular forms of magnesium, like magnesium oxide.13

However, because magnesium glycinate isn’t as common as other types of magnesium, such as magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide, there is a lack of studies investigating the health effects of magnesium glycinate specifically. That said, magnesium glycinate is one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium and has been shown to effectively increase blood levels of magnesium. For this reason, studies investigating the effects of magnesium supplements in general can be applied to magnesium glycinate supplements.

Can you Take Too Much Magnesium Glycinate?

While magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate, are considered safe and aren’t linked to serious side effects when used appropriately, it is possible to take in too much magnesium from dietary supplements.

Taking very high doses of magnesium could cause gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, stomach cramping, and diarrhea.

Even though it’s rare, taking in excessively high doses of supplemental magnesium could lead to magnesium toxicity, which can be fatal. Magnesium toxicity occurs when blood levels of magnesium exceed 1.74–2.61 mmol/L. Though most cases of magnesium toxicity are the result of intentional or accidental overdoses of magnesium-containing products like laxatives or antacids, it is possible to experience magnesium toxicity from taking an excessive amount of supplemental magnesium.11

Certain populations, such as people with kidney failure, young children, and older adults, are more susceptible to developing high blood levels of magnesium.

Because ingesting large doses of magnesium supplements can lead to dangerous side effects, it’s important to stick to dosing recommendations and avoid taking doses of magnesium glycinate higher than 350 mg per day unless specifically recommended by a healthcare provider.

Side Effects of Magnesium

Magnesium glycinate is less likely to cause side effects than other forms of magnesium, such as magnesium oxide

That said, taking high doses of any kind of magnesium can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as:11

If you experience gastrointestinal distress after supplementing with magnesium glycinate, you may need to reduce your dose. If you have questions regarding magnesium glycinate dosing, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

A Quick Review

Magnesium glycinate is an absorbable form of magnesium that may benefit health in several ways.

In addition to helping you maintain optimal blood levels of magnesium, magnesium glycinate supplements may help decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels, ease symptoms of anxiety, and improve sleep quality.

If you’re interested in taking a magnesium glycinate supplement, it’s best to choose a high-quality product from a trusted company and stick to safe dosing recommendations.

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