Magnesium glycinate supplements with the fewest additives

Magnesium glycinate (also called magnesium bisglycinate) is one of the best forms of magnesium for supplementation, and probably the most frequently recommended. However, it's expensive to produce. That cost has caused at least one magnesium manufacturer to include the cheaper magnesium oxide form without including it on the ingredient label! There actually a lawsuit against Albion and Bluebonnet about this unlabeled ingredient behavior.

If you know of a source of magnesium glycinate that can provide evidence that their product is 100% magnesium glycinate, please let me know in the comments. In the meantime, I'm just accepting that some magnesium glycinate products may contain magnesium oxide, which isn't the end of the world (just harder on the digestion and absorption).

If you don't have a strong preference for glycinate, and don't mind some work, making your own homemade magnesium bicarbonate is another good alternative.

Suggestion for a low-additive magnesium glycinate capsule:

I can't be 100% sure that Pure Encapsulations' capsules don't have some magnesium oxide included, but they inspire a lot more confidence than the other companies I've looked at. They've confirmed that they do not use Albion's magnesium glycinate (the source of the known magnesium oxide cost-cutting) and their Director of Product Development has said that they do not contain magnesium oxide to the best of their knowledge.

Photo of Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate (Veggie Capsules)
Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate (Veggie Capsules)
Available on pureencapsulations.com
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • titanium dioxide-free
Negatives:
  • may contain hypromellose / hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
All ingredients:

Magnesium glycinate, ascorbyl palmitate, vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water). The cellulose is probably hydroxypropyl methylcellulose from pesticide-free Southern Pine.

Suggestions for magnesium glycinate powders:

Reviews suggest that these don't have a strong taste, so these can be easily mixed into a drink. They both contain some magnesium oxide, presumably to cut costs.

Photo of BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate Powder
BulkSupplements Magnesium Glycinate Powder

If there is a strong ammonia smell when opening the package, contact BulkSupplements' customer service. There may have been a strange batch in 2015, at least.

Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • titanium dioxide-free
  • hypromellose-free / hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-free
Negatives:
  • contains magnesium oxide
All ingredients:

Label ingredients: Magnesium glycinate.

Actual ingredients (after getting supplier information): magnesium glycinate, magnesium oxide.

A recent certificate of analysis is available.

Photo of PureBulk Magnesium Glycinate Powder
PureBulk Magnesium Glycinate Powder
Available on PureBulk

If there is a strong ammonia smell when opening the package, contact PureBulk's customer service. There may have been a strange batch in 2015, at least.

Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • titanium dioxide-free
  • hypromellose-free / hydroxypropyl methylcellulose-free
Negatives:
  • contains magnesium oxide
All ingredients:

Label ingredients: Magnesium glycinate.

Actual ingredients (after getting supplier information): magnesium glycinate, magnesium oxide.

A recent certificate of analysis is avialable.

Other magnesium glycinate supplements

The following are the magnesium glycinate supplements I compared, sorted alphabetically. Be skeptical of any of the ones claiming to be exclusively magnesium glycinate.

Name Ingredients
Designs for Health Magnesium Glycinate Chelate (Veggie Capsules)

Magnesium (TRAACS magnesium glycinate chelate buffered), microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable stearate.

The TRAACS buffered magnesium probably also contains magnesium oxide.

Doctor's Best Magnesium High Absorption 100% Chelated (Tablets)

Magnesium (from magnesium glycinate/lysinate chelate), amino acid chelate supplied by albion advanced nutrition, cellulose, stearic acid, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, magnesium stearate (vegetable source).

KAL Magnesium Glycinate (Veggie Capsules)

Magnesium (as magnesium glycinate), sodium, cellulose, stearic acid, magnesium stearate.

Life Extension Magnesium Caps (Veggie Capsules)

Magnesium (as magnesium oxide, aspartate, citrate, succinate, TRAACS magnesium lysyl glycinate chelate), vegetable cellulose (capsule), microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable stearate, silica.

Solaray Magnesium Glycinate

Vegetable cellulose capsule, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, cellulose, silica.

Source Naturals Ultra-Mag (Tablets)

Vitamin B-6 (as pyridoxine HCl), magnesium (as magnesium citrate, taurinate, malate, glycinate and succinate), sodium, stearic acid, acacia gum, modified cellulose gum, magnesium stearate, and silica.

Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate (Powder)

Magnesium (as TRAACS® magnesium bisglycinate chelate taste free), citric acid, monk fruit concentrate (fruit) (Siraitia grosvenorii).

Thorne's reply about the glycinate: "We can confirm that our Magnesium Bisglycinate is free of magnesium oxide."


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