Magnesium is an essential nutrient for the human body because it is required for many of the critical processes that have to be carried out including maintaining the health of your brain, health, and muscles. Deficiency of magnesium is very common these days, and nearly 50 percent of people in the United States are known to be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium supplements, such as magnesium glycinate are known to help deal with the symptoms of magnesium deficiency such as migraine, anxiety, chronic pain, and many others. Let us take a closer look at the health benefits of magnesium glycinate.
Importance of Magnesium
A very critical nutrient for the human body, magnesium plays an essential role in many of the vital processes that help maintain our health, including processes in the brain, heart, and your muscles. Research carried out by the Center for Magnesium Education & Research in the United States and published in Nutrition Reviews found that magnesium deficiencies are present in over 50 percent of the population in the US alone.1
The recommended daily dose of magnesium, though, varies from person to person and also depends on many factors, including:
- Overall health
Any physiological conditions such as breastfeeding and pregnancy
If you suffer from magnesium deficiency, then research by the American Physiology Society has shown that magnesium supplements such as magnesium glycinate may help deal with:2
Magnesium glycinate is one of the most common supplements being used today to manage magnesium deficiency. This supplement is composed of magnesium bound to glycine, and it is known for having excellent absorption levels, meaning that your body is able to utilize most of it once it has been ingested.
The fact is that the majority of people in not just the United States, but worldwide, have a far lower intake of magnesium than they should. The American Physiological Society recommends that men should be getting around 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, while women should be getting 320 mg of magnesium every day.2
Here are some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency:
- Loss of appetite
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Muscle cramps and tingling sensation
- Muscle contractions
- Damage to nerve cells – this can lead to depression
If you notice any of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time, then it is always better to have a complete checkup done. It is important to know that magnesium deficiency can also lead to deficiencies in other minerals since all minerals in the body work together to keep the body healthy.
Most doctors recommend taking magnesium glycinate supplements in cases of magnesium deficiency since this particular supplement also helps treat many other health conditions.
It is important to note that measuring magnesium levels in the bloodstream can sometimes give misleading results since magnesium is present within the bones or cells, instead of being in the bloodstream.
This is why doctors tend to generally measure serum magnesium levels in your saliva, blood, or urine, in order to assess the levels of magnesium as accurately as possible.
It is advisable to wait for the final diagnosis of magnesium deficiency before you start taking the supplements. This is also because the symptoms you might be associating with low magnesium levels might be caused by another underlying health condition.
Magnesium Glycinate Health Benefits
There are many different health benefits associated with magnesium glycinate. Some of the major ones include:
- Magnesium glycinate has a calming effect on the brain because of the glycine present in the supplement.
- It helps relieve anxiety and also promotes better sleep.
- Magnesium glycinate helps maintain your bone density, thus keeping your bones strong.
The magnesium glycinate supplement controls blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes and is also known to lower the overall risk of developing diabetes in people who don’t have diabetes but are at risk of developing the condition.
- It reduces abnormal heart rhythms.
- It decreases and gives relief from the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Magnesium glycinate has a gentle and beneficial effect on the body, which is why it is frequently used for the treatment of a variety of health conditions.
A research study published in the Journal of Pain and Relief found that magnesium glycinate can be used to treat many medical conditions, including:3
- Chronic pain
- Overall flexibility of muscles
- The overall quality of life in general
There are also many conditions or certain risk factors that can be improved by taking magnesium glycinate supplements. These include:
Fibromyalgia – A study carried out by the University of Barcelona (Spain) in 2012 and published in Rheumatology International found that out of all nutrients and dietary aspects, magnesium supplementation was the one that helps the most in patients with fibromyalgia.4
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A 2011 study done by the University of Tromsø in Norway and published in the BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine journal found that using magnesium supplements proved to be effective in treating the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.5
Type 2 Diabetes – The Second Military Medical University in China found that magnesium helps break down sugars, decreasing insulin resistance and helping prevent type 2 diabetes.8 Consuming high levels of magnesium in your diet can also help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Another study done in 2007 by the National Institute of Environmental Medicine in Sweden, found that magnesium can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.9 People with diabetes are well aware that lowering your blood sugar levels is not an easy task. However, magnesium may prove useful in doing so. This research study showed that dietary magnesium intake, through natural dietary sources, helped reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is believed that magnesium helps break down the sugar, which in turn helps decrease insulin resistance.
Osteoporosis – Magnesium is known to play an essential role in the development of healthy and strong bones. People with higher levels of magnesium have been found to have a higher bone mineral density as well. This helps reduce the risk of bone fractures as well as osteoporosis.10
Depression – If you suffer from magnesium deficiency, then it is likely that you have reduced levels of serotonin, which is the body’s ‘feel-good- hormone in the brain. Research by the University of Vermont in the US has shown that lower levels of magnesium lead to reduced serotonin levels in the body.11 Taking antidepressants have shown to increase the levels of brain magnesium.
Migraine headaches – Research carried out by the New York Headache Center found that supplements of magnesium can help people who experience frequent migraine headaches.12 It is known that people who have migraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium in their bloodstream and their tissues. Due to this, magnesium glycinate supplements may help decrease the frequency of migraine headaches.
Insomnia – Many people prefer using magnesium glycinate supplements as a sleep aid. While the exact mechanisms of how magnesium helps promote sleep are unclear, it is believed that the ability of magnesium to induce muscle relaxation and relieve anxiety is how it helps improve sleep. A study done by the Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology in Iran on the elderly, magnesium glycinate supplementation significantly helped improve insomnia in the participants.13
Boost memory – Research has found that magnesium glycinate helps reduce daytime sleepiness and boosts memory. One study discovered that people taking 125 – 300 mg of magnesium glycinate each day helps improve short-term memory loss and also improves loss of IQ.14
How to Use Magnesium Glycinate?
Magnesium glycinate supplements are available in the form of capsules, which contain 120 mg or 125 mg. Since the recommended dose of magnesium per day is 420 mg in men and 320 mg in women, this means that you will need to take up to four capsules of the supplement unless otherwise told by your doctor.
If you are taking four capsules of the supplement in a day, then you should ideally be taking two tablets at a time twice a day with food. If you take a vitamin B complex supplement along with this, it helps improve absorption, and most doctors tend to prescribe both these supplements together.
You will start to notice improvements in your health condition as early as within a week after starting the supplements. Depending on the severity of your magnesium deficiency, or your medical condition, it may take as long as six to eight months to see results.
While taking magnesium glycinate supplements, it is essential to know that there are many medications that actually cause your body to eliminate any extra magnesium you are taking. This leads to deficiency, and you will not notice much positive results from taking the supplements also. This is why you need to talk to your doctor and let them know of any medication or any supplement that you may be taking as these can interfere with magnesium absorption. At the same time, your magnesium glycinate supplement may also interfere and cause an adverse reaction if mixed with certain medicines. This is why it is so important that you discuss all the drugs you are taking, even alternative/herbal medications, with your doctor before starting magnesium supplementation.
Are There Are Risks Of Taking Magnesium Glycinate Supplements?
Magnesium supplements are usually considered quite safe for most healthy adults. However, it is necessary to take certain precautions while you are using magnesium supplements. These include:
- Only start taking magnesium glycinate after consulting your doctor as they will be able to recommend the appropriate daily dose for your individual condition.
- While choosing a magnesium supplement, always make sure to check the amount of elemental magnesium present in the supplement. You will be able to find this information on the information label.
- Always buy your supplements from a reputed and trustworthy source. Remember that vitamins and supplements are not regulated or monitored by the US Food and Drug Administration, and therefore, there is no guarantee of safety associated with these products.
- If you have any kidney or heart problems, then only take magnesium glycinate after consulting with your doctor.
- If you are also taking some other medications or if you are on antibiotics, then ask your doctor about whether they will interact with magnesium. Also, check if the absorption of the magnesium or the medications will get affected.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for your body. Your body needs magnesium to function properly. It is mainly required by your bones, muscular system, and nervous system. It is possible to get the necessary daily level of magnesium from your daily diet itself if you include a wide variety of green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans, and lentils.
However, if you are not getting sufficient magnesium from your diet alone, then supplementing with magnesium glycinate is a good and effective way of getting the additional magnesium that your body needs.
- Rosanoff, A., Weaver, C.M. and Rude, R.K., 2012. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated?. Nutrition reviews, 70(3), pp.153-164.
- De Baaij, J.H., Hoenderop, J.G. and Bindels, R.J., 2015. Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiological reviews, 95(1), pp.1-46.
- Omicsgroup.org. (2020). Rapid Resolution of Chronic Back Pain with Magnesium Glycinate in a Pediatric Patient. [online] Available at: http://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/rapid-resolution-of-chronic-back-pain-with-magnesium-glycinate-in-a-pediatric-patient-2167-0846.1000101.pdf [Accessed 14 Jan. 2020].
- Arranz, L.I., Canela, M.Á. and Rafecas, M., 2012. Dietary aspects in fibromyalgia patients: results of a survey on food awareness, allergies, and nutritional supplementation. Rheumatology international, 32(9), pp.2615-2621.
- Alraek, T., Lee, M.S., Choi, T.Y., Cao, H. and Liu, J., 2011. Complementary and alternative medicine for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 11(1), p.87.
- Fang, X., Wang, K., Han, D., He, X., Wei, J., Zhao, L., Imam, M.U., Ping, Z., Li, Y., Xu, Y. and Min, J., 2016. Dietary magnesium intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality: a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMC medicine, 14(1), p.210.
- September, E.B.N., Magnesium–The Miracle Mineral.
- Fang, X., Han, H., Li, M., Liang, C., Fan, Z., Aaseth, J., He, J., Montgomery, S. and Cao, Y., 2016. Dose-response relationship between dietary magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-regression analysis of prospective cohort studies. Nutrients, 8(11), p.739.
- Larsson, S.C. and Wolk, A., 2007. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta‐analysis. Journal of internal medicine, 262(2), pp.208-214.
- Orchard, T.S., Larson, J.C., Alghothani, N., Bout-Tabaku, S., Cauley, J.A., Chen, Z., LaCroix, A.Z., Wactawski-Wende, J. and Jackson, R.D., 2014. Magnesium intake, bone mineral density, and fractures: results from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 99(4), pp.926-933.
- Tarleton, E.K., Littenberg, B., MacLean, C.D., Kennedy, A.G. and Daley, C., 2017. Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PLoS One, 12(6), p.e0180067.
- Mauskop, A. and Varughese, J., 2012. Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. Journal of neural transmission, 119(5), pp.575-579.
- Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M., Sadeghniiat, K., Shirazi, M.M., Hedayati, M. and Rashidkhani, B., 2012. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 17(12), p.1161.
- Eby, G.A. and Eby, K.L., 2006. Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Medical hypotheses, 67(2), pp.362-370.
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