Magnesium is essential for managing blood pressure and other functions. People with a magnesium deficiency may benefit from magnesium glycinate, a supplement that increases magnesium levels.

Magnesium glycinate is also known as magnesium diglycinate and magnesium bisglycinate.

Magnesium is a vital nutrient for regulating many body processes, including muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. This mineral also supports the making of protein, bone, and DNA.

This article discusses magnesium glycinate in more detail, including the benefits, possible side effects, how much a person should take, and more.

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The body requires magnesium in large amounts. While the most efficient way to consume nutrients is in their natural form, supplements are available to help boost magnesium intake in people with low levels.

Magnesium glycinate can help improve these levels, which in turn can help the body regulate processes such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and muscle and nerve function.

Unlike other forms of magnesium, magnesium glycinate might not cause as many side effects, such as an upset stomach or loose stool. In a 2013 study, participants taking magnesium glycinate did not report any instances of diarrhea, but the study notes that diarrhea can be a possible side effect for some other types of magnesium.

It is important to note that taking magnesium supplements may be more beneficial for some people than others. For example, it is advisable for a person with kidney issues to contact a doctor before taking magnesium glycinate. Kidney problems can cause difficulties in excreting excess magnesium.

Learn more about magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium glycinate may be beneficial for people with magnesium deficiency.

While symptomatic magnesium deficiency due to not getting enough magnesium in the diet is uncommon, various health conditions and medications may cause an individual to experience low magnesium levels.

If a person has symptoms of magnesium deficiency, a doctor may order blood, saliva, or urine tests to help assess levels as accurately as possible.

It is best to wait for a final diagnosis of deficiency before taking supplements, as the symptoms commonly associated with low magnesium levels could be the cause of another health issue.

Learn more about low magnesium levels.

Other conditions

People with the following conditions might benefit from taking magnesium glycinate:

  • High blood pressure: Magnesium supplements can help with high blood pressure by decreasing blood pressure slightly.
  • Type 2 diabetes: Increasing the amount of magnesium in the diet might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Magnesium helps break down sugars and might decrease insulin resistance.
  • Osteoporosis: Magnesium plays a role in the development of healthy bones. People with higher levels of magnesium might have a higher bone mineral density. This is important in helping reduce the risk of bone fractures associated with osteoporosis.
  • Migraine headaches: People who experience migraine sometimes have low magnesium levels in their blood and tissues. Supplements may help reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
  • Depression: Serotonin is a “feel-good” chemical in the brain. Insufficient levels of magnesium seem to reduce serotonin levels. Magnesium may be helpful for treating mild to moderate depression in adults.
  • Insomnia: There is mixed evidence about using magnesium glycinate for sleep, and more research is necessary. Magnesium may help with sleep regulation and improve overall sleep quality, including addressing insomnia.

Most people can reach the recommended daily dosage through diet alone. Common foods that contain magnesium include:

  • legumes, nuts, and seeds
  • whole grains
  • spinach and other leafy vegetables
  • fortified breakfast cereals and other fortified foods
  • yogurt, milk, and other dairy products

If a person has low magnesium levels or magnesium deficiency, a doctor may recommend either increasing their dietary intake of magnesium or taking magnesium glycinate supplements. The supplements may be available from local pharmacies and health food stores.

It is best to contact a doctor for advice before taking magnesium glycinate.

Learn more about foods high in magnesium.

The amount of magnesium glycinate an individual should take can vary. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides information about recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for magnesium and tolerable upper intake levels for supplemental magnesium.


The RDA for magnesium in milligrams (mg) is as follows:

AgeRDA for malesRDA for females
Birth–6 months30 milligrams (mg)*30 mg*
7–12 months75 mg*75 mg*
1–3 years80 mg80 mg
4–8 years130 mg130 mg
9–13 years240 mg240 mg
14–18 years410 mg360 mg
19–30 years400 mg310 mg
31+ years420 mg320 mg

*adequate intake

A pregnant person may require 350–400 mg of magnesium, depending on their age. During lactation, individuals may need 310–360 mg of magnesium.

Tolerable upper intake levels

A tolerable upper intake level refers to the maximum amount of supplemental magnesium an individual can take without the risk of severe side effects. The NIH recommends the following:

1–3 years65 mg
4–8 years110 mg
9–18 years350 mg
19+ years350 mg

It is best to contact a doctor for advice before taking magnesium supplements or making any significant dietary changes.

Taking large or frequent doses of dietary magnesium supplements, including magnesium glycinate, can cause adverse effects, such as:

However, a 2013 study indicated that magnesium glycinate may be less likely to cause diarrhea than other types of magnesium supplements.

Magnesium toxicity, which can occur when a person takes very large doses of magnesium, can also cause side effects such as:

Magnesium glycinate and other supplements might also interfere or interact with certain medications, such as bisphosphonates and antibiotics.

A person’s doctor can advise on how much magnesium they should take and whether there is a risk of supplements interacting with any medication they currently take.

Learn more about taking too much magnesium.

Here are some common questions about magnesium glycinate.

What are the drawbacks of taking magnesium glycinate?

Taking magnesium supplements such as magnesium glycinate can cause side effects, including nausea and abdominal pain. In larger quantities, it can also cause diarrhea and more severe side effects, such as an irregular heartbeat, extreme hypotension, and cardiac arrest.

Is it OK to take magnesium glycinate every day?

Most people get enough magnesium from their diet, so they may not need to take magnesium glycinate supplements every day.

However, if an underlying health condition is causing low magnesium glycinate levels, a doctor may recommend taking magnesium glycinate supplements to restore magnesium levels. The doctor will advise how many days an individual may need to take them.

Most people get enough magnesium from their diet. However, a doctor may recommend taking magnesium glycinate supplements if they have low magnesium levels or magnesium deficiency. It may also be useful for helping treat conditions such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.

Magnesium supplements may cause side effects such as nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. However, magnesium glycinate may be less likely to cause diarrhea than other types.

It is best to contact a doctor for advice before taking magnesium glycinate supplements. They can advise on how much magnesium a person should aim for.