Consider magnesium glycinate supplements if you have a condition that affects your magnesium levels, like diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Alcohol and medication use can affect your levels, too.

Research has found magnesium deficiencies to be present in approximately 50 percent of people in the United States.

However, symptoms of low dietary intake are rarely seen because the kidneys limit its excretion.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is dependent on age and gender, but a healthy range is between 310 and 420 mg/day for most people.

Through diet and supplements, magnesium may help lower blood pressure and reduce stroke, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes risks, improve bone health, and prevent migraines.

One supplement that’s used to help boost magnesium levels in those with a deficiency is magnesium glycinate. It’s usually well tolerated and easily absorbed by your body.

Many types of magnesium supplements are available on the market. Out of all of these, magnesium oxide is the most affordable. However, magnesium oxide is poorly absorbed by the digestive system, and is most commonly used to relieve heartburn or constipation.

Magnesium glycinate is formed by combining elemental magnesium with the amino acid glycine. This form of magnesium is highly bioavailable, meaning the magnesium is easily absorbed through the small intestine.

Magnesium glycinate has been shown to have a variety of benefits, including helping to:

Certain conditions or risks can improve with magnesium supplementation, including:

Many people in the United States consume less magnesium than they should.

The RDA for magnesium for people between ages 19 and 30 years is:

  • 310 mg for females
  • 400 mg for males

For people ages 31 years and older, the RDA is:

  • 320 mg for females
  • 420 mg for males

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include:

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • vomiting
  • tingling, muscle cramps, and muscle contractions
  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • seizures

Common reasons for magnesium inadequacy can include:

  • alcohol use
  • chronic diarrhea
  • excessive urination from diabetes that’s not well managed
  • malabsorption from Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease
  • malnutrition
  • some medications

In some cases, a healthcare provider may recommend supplementation for those who have low magnesium absorption.

Magnesium glycinate supplements are widely available in pill or powder form, and like other supplements, they’re best taken with food to help reduce stomach upset.

If you’re taking medications, speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. They can advise you on possible interactions between your medication and your magnesium supplement.

In general, excessive magnesium levels aren’t typical in healthy people because the kidneys usually eliminate the excess.

If you want to monitor your magnesium intake while taking supplements, you can keep track of the magnesium content of various foods that you eat.

Some key symptoms of excess magnesium include:

  • hypotension, or low blood pressure
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • facial flushing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • muscle weakness
  • cardiac arrest in severe cases

Magnesium is found in various foods.

The best sources of magnesium are unprocessed foods such as:

  • dark green, leafy vegetables, such as Swiss chard and spinach
  • nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin, chia, and sesame seeds
  • seaweed
  • beans and lentils
  • whole, unrefined grains
  • fruits, such as bananas, dried figs, and blackberries
  • fish, especially halibut

When possible, opt for foods grown in healthy soils that are local and organic, if possible. These soils contain the highest concentration of nutrients and minerals.

Produce is often grown in soils that doesn’t contain important nutrients. As a result, some fresh produce may lack minerals, including magnesium (3).

Although magnesium supplementation is generally considered safe for healthy adults, consult with your doctor before starting magnesium supplementation.

They can help determine the appropriate daily dose for your needs.

Here are some precautions to follow when considering taking supplements:

  • When choosing a supplement, always check the amount of elemental magnesium present. This information is usually found on the information label.
  • Buy supplements from a respected source. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t review supplements for safety or efficacy (4).
  • Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any heart or kidney problems.
  • If you’re taking antibiotics or other medications, ask your healthcare provider how they’ll interact with magnesium and whether absorption of either the magnesium or the medications will be affected.

Magnesium is an important mineral that helps your body function properly, especially as it pertains to your muscular system, bones, and nervous system.

You can get most of your recommended amount of magnesium from your daily diet by including a variety of green leafy vegetables, beans and lentils, and seeds and nuts as often as possible.

If you can’t get enough magnesium from diet alone, talk with your healthcare provider about supplementation with magnesium glycinate.

It can be a gentle and efficient way of introducing additional magnesium into your body.