Magnesium And Diarrhea


Magnesium is a cofactor in over 300 enzymatic systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including control of blood sugar, synthesis of protein, muscle and nerve function, and regulation of blood pressure.¹ Absorption is  complex and involves several regulatory cascades, depending on the individual’s magnesium status.²

Diarrhoea is passing looser or more frequent stools than is normal for an individual who has a previously predicted bowel movement

Does magnesium cause diarrhea

A study showed that ingestion of excessive amounts of 

magnesium in antacids or food supplements can cause diarrhea. However,

magnesium-induced diarrhea often remains undiagnosed until the tedious fecal analysis for magnesium is carried out3

Which magnesium will be less likely to cause diarrhea?

Magnesium glycinate (magnesium-bound glycine, a non-essential amino acid) is one of the most absorbable and bioavailable forms of magnesium and is also noted to be the least likely to induce diarrhea. It is the safest option for correcting a long-term deficiency.4

How much magnesium should I take to avoid having diarrhea

High doses of magnesium ingestion (more than 400mg) for a short time can cause diarrhoea.

There's not enough evidence to say what the effects might be of taking high doses of magnesium for a long time.5

The amount of magnesium needed by adults between 19 to 64 years is  300mg daily for men and 270mg daily for women.


We hope this article has helped answer your question: does magnesium cause diarrhea? As we can see, studies have shown that higher doses of magnesium can cause diarrhea.  

Therefore, taking excessive ingestion of supplements is not encouraged

If you notice your bowel movement has changed compared to previous experience, it is important to talk to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.


  1. Mounsey A, Raleigh M, Wilson A. Management of constipation in older adults. afp [Internet]. 2015 Sep 15 [cited 2023 Jan 13];92(6):500–4. Available from:
  2. Jahnen-Dechent W, Ketteler M. Magnesium basics. Clin Kidney J [Internet]. 2012 Feb [cited 2023 Jan 17];5(Suppl 1):i3–14. Available from:
  3. Fine KD, Santa Ana CA, Fordtran JS. Diagnosis of magnesium-induced diarrhea. N Engl J Med [Internet]. 1991 Apr 11 [cited 2023 Jan 19];324(15):1012–7. Available from:
  4. Schuette SA, Lashner BA, Janghorbani M. Bioavailability of magnesium diglycinate vs magnesium oxide in patients with ileal resection. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1994;18(5):430–5.
  5. Vitamins and minerals - Others [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Jan 19]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Michael Rotimi Kadri

Master of Public Health - MPH, National Open University of Nigeria

Michael Rotimi Kadri is an ECFMG certified medical doctor and Senior Operating Officer with a laudable 9-year track record in the health sector, collaborating with industry giants. With specialties in clinical care, patient-centered care, and clinical pharmacology, Michael stands out in developing healthcare and community health intervention programs. His expertise extends to health informatics, digital health, and telemedicine. A fervent advocate for cancer care, he is also versed in electronic medical records and clinical governance. Michael's passion for healthcare technology has made him a sought-after figure for advisory roles in emerging health tech startups.

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