Understanding Magnesium Biglycinate and Its Benefits

In this article, we will take a close look at magnesium biglycinate, a form of magnesium supplement combined with the amino acid glycine. We will discuss its high bioavailability, its role in metabolic functions, and the health benefits it offers.
Natasha Puttick

Natasha Puttick

Graduate medical student at Barts and London.

A blue image with text saying "Understanding Magnesium Biglycinate and Its Benefits"

What is magnesium biglycinate?

Magnesium biglycinate is a form of magnesium supplement that is combined with the amino acid glycine. This combination results in a compound that is highly bioavailable, meaning it is easily absorbed through the small intestine [1].

The term "biglycinate" suggests that two molecules of glycine are attached to one molecule of magnesium. This is similar to magnesium diglycinate, where the "di-" prefix indicates the presence of two glycine molecules [2].

The use of glycine in combination with magnesium is beneficial because it enhances the water solubility and bioavailability of the magnesium, making it more effective as a supplement [3].

Magnesium plays a crucial role in over 80% of all metabolic functions, and many people consume less magnesium than they should. Therefore, supplements like magnesium biglycinate can be beneficial in maintaining healthy magnesium levels [1, 3].

What is Glycinate?

Glycinate is a compound formed by combining elemental magnesium with the amino acid glycine. This form of magnesium is valuable as it’s highly bioavailable. [1]. Glycinate can also refer to other compounds where glycine is combined with different elements, such as iron bis-glycinate, a compound used in iron fortification of foods [4], or metformin glycinate, a medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes [5].

Glycine, the amino acid component of glycinate, is a nonessential amino acid that serves as both an inhibitory and an excitatory neurotransmitter [6]. It is also involved in the production of bile, nucleic acids, porphyrins, and creatine phosphate [7].

Glycinate compounds have been found to have various health benefits. For example, Metformin glycinate has been shown to decrease glycated haemoglobin A1C concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes [5]. Iron bis-glycinate has been found to have a high bioavailability, making it a good candidate for iron fortification of foods [4].

Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium glycinate has been associated with a variety of health benefits [1].

One of the key benefits of magnesium glycinate is its potential to alleviate anxiety. It has been shown to help manage anxiety symptoms, providing a sense of calm and relaxation [1].

Another significant benefit of magnesium glycinate is its positive impact on bone health. It contributes to the maintenance and strength of bones, potentially reducing the risk of bone-related health issues [1].

Magnesium glycinate also plays a role in blood sugar management. It can help manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and may even lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes [1].

Furthermore, magnesium glycinate can help maintain regular heart rhythms. It may reduce the risk of stroke, heart failure, and cardiovascular disease, making it beneficial for heart health [1, 8, 9].

Additionally, magnesium glycinate can help reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), providing relief from discomfort and mood swings [1].

It's also been suggested that magnesium glycinate can enhance exercise performance and reduce pain, although more research may be needed to fully understand these effects [1].

Lastly, some research suggests that magnesium supplements may help treat conditions like fibromyalgia, although more studies are needed to confirm these findings [1].

It's important to note that while magnesium glycinate can offer these benefits, it should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional to avoid potential interactions with other medications or supplements [1].

What is the difference between Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Bisglycinate?

It's important to note that both forms are generally well-tolerated and easily absorbed by the body. They are often recommended for individuals with conditions that affect magnesium levels, such as diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease, or for those who consume less magnesium than they should [1].

Magnesium glycinate and magnesium bisglycinate are often used interchangeably in the context of dietary supplements. Both refer to a form of magnesium bound to glycine, an amino acid. This form of magnesium is known for its high bioavailability and gentle effect on the stomach.

However, there may be a slight difference in the structure of the two compounds. Magnesium glycinate typically refers to a single magnesium ion bound to one glycine molecule, while magnesium bisglycinate refers to a single magnesium ion bound to two glycine molecules. This difference in structure could potentially influence the absorption and bioavailability of the magnesium, but there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to definitively state whether one form is superior to the other.

Natasha Puttick

Natasha Puttick

Natasha is a medical student at Barts and the London school of Medicine and Dentistry, with an interest in the social determinants of health. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Human Sciences and has obtained two publications. Her most recent work investigating clinical vaccine trials has been published in BMJ Public Health.