Magnesium Supplements: Benefits, Side Effects, & Dosage

by Raksha Hegde last updated -

Magnesium supplements can help reduce hypertension, alleviate symptoms of depression, decrease anxiety, and prevent migraines. It can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Let us find out more about magnesium supplements!

Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplements that are easily absorbed by the body include magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, and magnesium chloride. The mineral is also available in multivitamins. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the diets of most people in the US are deficient in magnesium, and more specifically, in men over 70 years of age and teenage girls. [1]

A close-up shot of all foods rich in magnesium

Magnesium-rich food. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, according to a report published in the Nutrients journal. It is needed by the body for several important functions such as muscle and nerve function, DNA and RNA synthesis, improves heart health, and energy production. Magnesium is naturally present in many foods like green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and fish. You can also get the mineral through milk, yogurt, milk products, and fortified foods. It is present in certain medicines for heartburn and in laxatives. [2] [3] [4]


Let us look at data-backed health benefits of magnesium supplements in detail.

May Reduce Blood Pressure

A 2016 meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials, published in the Hypertension journal, found that oral magnesium supplementation (368 mg/day) for an average of 3 months significantly reduced both, systolic and diastolic, blood pressure in normal and hypertensive adults. Another study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also confirmed that magnesium supplements help in a clinically important reduction in blood pressure, and larger randomized trials are required to fully study the impact of magnesium on hypertensive individuals. [5] [6]

May Enhance Mood

Deficiency of magnesium has been linked to depression and researchers have found that low levels of the mineral, coupled with excess calcium and stress, can cause anxiety and sleeplessness. A randomized, cross-over trial conducted in 2017 found that intake of magnesium chloride for 6 weeks proved to be effective in adults with mild-to-moderate depression. The effects were seen in as little as 2 weeks. [7] [8] [9]

May Help Control Blood Sugar

Magnesium plays an important role in the insulin regulation of blood sugar levels through several enzymatic processes. Researchers found that daily intake of 300 mg of magnesium for 3 months improved fasting blood glucose, 2-hour postprandial glucose, and the lipid profile in people with type 2 diabetic. According to the World Journal of Diabetes, magnesium supplements also help manage insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and inflammation in people with diabetes. [10] [11]

Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Magnesium supplements may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases in people with type 2 diabetes as well as nondiabetic individuals, according to a 2017 report by the British Dietetic Association. Another recent report published in the Nutrients journal stated that evidence from epidemiological studies showed that higher magnesium consumption provided protection against major cardiovascular risk factors, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. [12] [13]

May Help Prevent Migraine

Several studies have found that individuals suffering from cluster headaches or migraines have low levels of magnesium. A 2018 research paper published in the Headache journal revealed that 600 mg of magnesium citrate was a safe and cost-effective treatment to prevent migraines. [14] [15]


The daily recommended amount of magnesium for men is 400-420 mg and for women is 300-320 mg, according to NIH. Pregnant women need more of the mineral at 350-360 mg. Most multivitamins contain 100% or more of the reference daily intake of magnesium. However, if you are not taking a multivitamin and if you feel your diet is deficient in magnesium, it is advisable to check with your healthcare provider on the best form and dosage of magnesium for you. [16]

A 2017 report stated that the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), formerly called the Institute of Medicine (IoM), has set the upper tolerable limit for magnesium supplementations at 350 mg/day. It also says side effects with magnesium is rare. [17]

Top Magnesium Supplements

Some of the top-selling magnesium supplements brands, in terms of sales, include:

  • Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium Glycinate Lysinate (100 mg)
  • Natural Vitality Calm, The Anti-Stress Drink Mix, Magnesium Supplement Powder
  • Nature Made Magnesium 250 mg tablets

Side Effects

Magnesium supplements rarely cause side effects. Possible kind of side effects can include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. An overdose of magnesium can cause thirst, sleepiness, weakness in muscles, and can get fatal too. The supplements can interact with other drugs such as bisphosphonates, used to treat osteoporosis and antibiotics. [18] [19]

It is always advisable to check with your doctor before including any dietary supplements in your daily diet. Protection Status
About the Author

Raksha Hegde is the content director at Organic Facts and helps oversee a team of brilliant, dynamic content writers. She completed her MS in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University, US. A former business news journalist and editor, Raksha followed her passion for wellness to become a certified Yoga teacher and a wellness festival curator. She believes that learning is a life-long process; she did a certificate e-course on “Introduction to Food and Health” in 2019 from Stanford University, US. 

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