Two molecules of the amino acid glycine together with one molecule of magnesium form the amino acid chelate magnesium glycinate. It can also be found as magnesium diglycinate or magnesium bisglycinate and is used to supplement magnesium deficiencies. It is well tolerated in high doses, so it is worth knowing why it is the optimal form of magnesium to be supplemented.
Characteristics of different magnesium forms
Magnesium binds to another substance to form a bioavailable compound for the body. In this case, it is bonded with glycine. The glycine molecule is much larger than the magnesium molecule. In 100mg of magnesium glycinate, you will find about 14mg of magnesium and about 86mg of glycine. The implication in taking magnesium supplements is the possibility of gastrointestinal disorders. High-dose magnesium supplementation can cause diarrhea. For this reason, liquid forms of magnesium are sometimes recommended before intestinal examinations such as colonoscopy.
Different forms of magnesium have different tolerability, but the magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, and magnesium glycinate forms seem to be best tolerated. In contrast, magnesium oxide and magnesium carbonate in high doses will usually result in diarrhea. Of all these forms, glycinate is not the best-absorbed form of magnesium, but it appears to be the best tolerated by our intestines. This is likely due to the fact that the molar mass of the glycine molecule is relatively low at 75g/mol, while malic acid is 134g/mol and citric acid is 192g/mol. Therefore, the best-tolerated forms of the supplement are those with low molar mass, in order of best tolerated: magnesium glycinate, magnesium malate (malate), magnesium citrate. This is not an entirely certain correlation, but it is suspected that there is such a relationship.
Glycine is an endogenous amino acid. Endogenous prefix means that the body can produce it itself. It is the smallest of all amino acids, but is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, erythrocytes, keratin, DNA, and glutathione, thus participating in the body’s natural detoxification. What’s more, glycine is involved in cellular energy production. Moreover, glycine can help reduce oxidative stress in the body. The properties of glycine mean that when combined with magnesium, it shows positive effects on many metabolic processes. Here are some properties of magnesium glycinate.
Magnesium Glycinate calms the nervous system
Glycine regulates NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors, which are found in nerve cells. Glycine, along with glutamate, binds to NMDA receptors and thus slows down the flow of ions, calming the nervous system. Furthermore, magnesium itself regulates NMDA receptors, so in combination with glycine, its benefits will be doubled.
Magnesium Glycinate improves memory
Studies using magnesium glycinate confirm that this form helps reduce daytime sleepiness and improves memory. One noted that supplementing 3g of magnesium bisglycinate per day before bedtime improves sleep quality and allows you to more effectively perform tasks that require you to recall information.
Magnesium Glycinate reduces fatigue after a short sleep
Supplementing with 3g of glycine at night reduces feelings of fatigue after a suboptimal amount of sleep. When combined with magnesium, which promotes healthy sleep, it can prove to be a great tool in such cases. However, magnesium glycinate should not be used as an alternative to sleep. Without a doubt, sleep is an indispensable activity for humans, but in emergencies, magnesium glycinate can save the day after a sleepless night.
Magnesium Glycinate lowers blood pressure
Magnesium glycinate was administered to people with magnesium deficiency. Doses of about 368mg per day supplemented for about 3 months lowered systolic blood pressure by 2 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.8 mmHg. While these are not huge changes, this is promising information for people suffering from hypertension. For comparison, similar reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure are seen with an average weight reduction of 2 kilograms.
Magnesium Glycinate may reduce PMS symptoms
Supplementation of 250mg of magnesium along with vitamin B6 was given for women who complained of premenstrual syndrome PMS. A significant improvement in physical well-being was noticed. At this point, it is worth mentioning that one of the symptoms of PMS is digestive disorders such as bloating. Recalling the fact that magnesium glycinate is the best tolerated form of magnesium may also prove to be a great supplement in this situation.
Magnesium Glycinate reduces muscle cramps during pregnancy
In one study, 80 pregnant women took 300mg of magnesium glycinate daily. The frequency and intensity of cramps decreased by an average of 50%. Importantly, the women did not experience any negative gastrointestinal symptoms.
Of all the available forms of magnesium, magnesium glycinate appears to be the best tolerated and therefore safe. However, in order to reduce the risk of any side effects, it is worth taking magnesium with a meal, rather than on an empty stomach. However, – a significant excess of magnesium in any form causes irregular heartbeat or deterioration of kidney function. What’s more, magnesium interacts with some medications – mainly antibiotics and blood pressure-lowering drugs, so magnesium supplementation in any serious medical conditions, or while taking any specific drugs should always be consulted with your doctor.