magnesium glycinate

Does Magnesium Glycinate Help with Anxiety?

Can magnesium help with anxiety?

Magnesium has become more acceptable as a supplement in treating depression.[1]  It is also being used to help with ADHD symptoms.[2]  But what about anxiety? Some studies are showing a beneficial outcome of magnesium among those struggling with anxiety. [3]

How is it beneficial?

  • It can help regulate the stress hormone cortisol.
  • It can help regulate the neurotransmitter glutamate – an excitatory neurotransmitter.
  • It can help regulate GABA – an inhibitory neurotransmitter. [4]

What does this mean to you? It means magnesium has been found to be helpful in regulating mood, including anxiety. Dr. James Greenblatt, a functional medicine psychiatrist, has identified that supplemental magnesium helps with reducing anxiety symptoms.[5]

What foods contain magnesium?

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Whole grains
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Dark chocolate
  • Avocados
  • Skin-on potatoes [6]

How is magnesium glycinate different from other types of magnesium?

  • This form of magnesium is combined with the amino acid glycine
  • It reportedly has fewer side effects, such as diarrhea [7]
  • More easily absorbed
  • Fast acting [8]

How do you determine if magnesium glycinate is the best choice for helping your anxiety?

  1. Talk with your primary medical health professional. Certain medical conditions, like kidney issues, can be negatively impacted if you begin taking magnesium.
  2. Share the resources at the bottom of this article with your medical provider. Dr. Greenblatt’s article shares dosing recommendations.
  3. Decide together if it is best to increase certain magnesium-rich foods or if supplementation is best.
  4. You may want to consider talking with a naturopath or functional medicine doctor as they consider integrative medicine approaches in their treatment recommendations.
  5. Find a counselor who treats anxiety and is certified in integrative medicine approaches to mental health. They can help you get to the root causes of your anxiety and understand how alternative and complementary approaches are helpful in treatment. You can find a Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional here.

Note: This information is for informational and educational purposes. This is not medical advice. Always talk with your primary medical professional before making changes with medication and/or supplements.


Are you struggling with insomnia? Be sure to check out some recommendations on sleep hygiene.


[1] Botturi, A., Ciappolino, V., Delvecchio, G., Boscutti, A., Viscardi, B., & Brambilla, P. (2020). The Role and the Effect of Magnesium in Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061661

[2] (2019, October 14). Magnesium: The Missing Link in Mental Health? James Greenblatt, MD. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from https://www.jamesgreenblattmd.com/magnesium-the-missing-link-in-mental-health/

[3] Boyle NB, Lawton C, Dye L. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Apr 26;9(5):429. doi: 10.3390/nu9050429. PMID: 28445426; PMCID: PMC5452159.

[4] (2023, November 27). Magnesium for Anxiety: Does It Help? Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/magnesium-for-anxiety

[5] Greenblatt, J., MD (2022, July 4). Calming the Brain Circuitry: How Supplements Might Help. Anxiety Resource Center. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from https://www.anxietyresourcecenter.org/2022/07/treating-anxiety-with-functional-medicine/

[6] (2023, March 16). 25 Magnesium-Rich Foods You Should Be Eating. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/foods-that-are-high-in-magnesium/

[7] (2023, October 16). The Uses and Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate. Medical News Today. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315372

[8] (2023, July 5). Magnesium Glycinate Benefits Sleep, Anxiety, PMS & More. Dr. Axe. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from https://draxe.com/nutrition/magnesium-glycinate-benefits/

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