By: Mia Sims
It’s a common dietary supplement among athletes and bodybuilders, but what is glycine and how does it work? It’s a non-essential amino acid responsible for the body’s ability to develop collagen. It is present in bones, cartilage, the ligaments, skin and muscles. Have you ever wondered what would happen to the body if it didn’t receive support to actually have structure? Glycine is responsible for producing 35% of collagen found in the body, which means it plays an important role in helping the body retain its structure and perform everyday functions.
Researchers have studied glycine and its effects on the body for decades. French chemist H. Braconnot is said to have discovered the non-essential amino acid first in 1820, by isolating glycine from acid hydrolysates of protein (x). In 2009, NASA actually discovered glycine inside of a comet, suggesting that the fundamental elements of life as we know it here on Earth are also prevalent in space (x).
Apart from its role helping support the body’s bones and ligaments, glycine is also important for cognitive development and muscular functions and helps with transporting nutrients that the body converts into energy (x). Glycine, unlike some amino acids, is non-essential, meaning the body can create it naturally but it can also be obtained by foods that contain high levels of protein (x).
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and help the body receive the nutrients and essential reactions it needs to continue everyday life (x). Proteins work as building blocks for the structure, function and regulation of the tissues and organs in the body (x). In their digested state, proteins turn into amino acids. The order of amino acids determines the protein’s makeup and ultimately its function (x). Both proteins and amino acids are considered the building blocks of life. Amino acids are separated into three categories: essential, nonessential and conditional.
- Essential amino acids cannot be made in the body and must come from food or supplementation. The nine essential amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, histidine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, threonine, valine and tryptophan.
- Nonessential amino acids are naturally produced by our bodies and don’t necessarily need to come from food or supplements, although they can help. The nonessential amino acids are glycine, arginine, alanine, asparagine, cysteine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glutamine, proline, serine and tyrosine.
- Conditional amino acids are essential in times of illness and stress and include cysteine, arginine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline and serine.
What is Glycine?
Glycine is medically deemed an important nonessential amino acid found in humans, animals and mammals (x). Research states that in its supplement form, glycine may help treat or alleviate symptoms for a variety of conditions and diseases. Studies suggest that as a dietary supplement with proper dosage, glycine may have some benefits for patients suffering from heart disease, inflammatory diseases, obesity, types of cancer and diabetes (x). As a component of protein, glycine carries many of the same benefits that protein has on the body.
Where is Glycine Found?
Glycine is found in the central nervous system and is typically stored in the spinal cord, brain stem and retina. It works as a neurotransmitter, acting as a catalyst in many of the body’s everyday functions dealing with nerves and muscles in the central nervous system. It is medically deemed the simplest amino acid and works with hydrogen as a side chain (x).
What Foods Contain Glycine?
Are you looking to switch up your everyday diet overall? Before adopting glycine into your daily diet, it’s good to know how to obtain it naturally through food. Most foods containing high glycine content are also rich in protein. Here are a few foods you can find glycine in:
What is Glycine Used for?
Glycine is used to help treat a number of irregular functions in the body. It may successfully support the muscles, promote healthy sleep, fortify the liver and strengthen the joints. Additionally, glycine works as an antioxidant and may promote an overall healthy mood and sense of well-being.
Studies show that many people use glycine for mental health, sleep and anxiety (x). In a study evaluating the effects of glycine on daytime sleepiness, fatigue and insomnia, glycine appeared to improve the subjects’ sleep quality (x). Glycine may also fight oxidative stress, which can cause an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body (x). Although these studies suggest that it may help with sleep and anxiety, always consult with your physician before adding this supplement and any other to your daily routine.
Glycine works as an antioxidant to help the body produce glutathione, which helps protect the body’s cells against free radicals that cause oxidative damage (x). Free radicals are molecules with one or more unpaired electrons, meaning they are unstable. Because they are unstable, they can bond with other molecules very easily, which may cause damage and disease.
However, even though they can have negative side effects, free radicals are a natural part of the body. They’re caused by things like radiation, toxins and tobacco smoke, but the body also makes them naturally in the process that converts fat into energy (x).
Research also suggests that glycine may help reduce muscle wasting, which occurs when large scales of muscle mass and strength in the body decrease. Glycine may successfully boost muscle growth and stop muscle breakdown. It works with leucine, which is an amino acid required to treat muscle waste. However, studies show that glycine may stimulate muscle growth in cases where leucine cannot. For example, this is often the case in severe diseases such as cancer (x).
What Does Glycine Do in the Body?
Glycine is the starting point for several metabolites occurring in the body including glutathione and creatine (x). Glycine works as a neurotransmitter and additionally works as an anti-inflammatory agent, antioxidant and modulator of the immune system in the peripheral and nervous tissues.
Neurotransmitters stimulate and inhibit brain cells (x). They are responsible for cognition, mood, appetite, digestion, immune function, pain perception and sleep. Glycine works as a neurotransmitter, so it has effects on the body that can improve overall daily function.
Glycine is responsible for restoring glutathione and helps protect against oxidative stress. One study that tested the diet of sucrose-fed rats, researchers suggested that glycine rectifies vascular reactivity by increasing the biosynthesis of glutathione. Glutathione also protects vascular tissue against oxidative stress which ultimately helps maintain overall health (x).
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a tripeptide that contains cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid (x) and enhances citrulline. It is an antioxidant that helps promote healthy metabolism in the body by working with neurotransmitters, storing cysteine and enhancing citrulline (x).
Component of Creatine
Glutathione is a component of creatine and works with it as an antioxidant in plants animals fungi and some bacteria. As an amino acid, glutathione is composed of cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Together the amino acids create a detoxifying agent (x).
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a chemical in the body found mostly in the muscles, but it is also present in the brain (x). Research suggests that creatine may help improve exercise performance and increase muscle mass. It plays a natural role in energy storage and as a supplement it may potentially benefit deficiencies relating to the brain, aging or bone density. It may also aid in reducing inflammation and promoting healthy brain function.
Collagen is a structural protein made up of a number of amino acids. It provides structural support to the connective tissues that exist outside the cells in the body. In a study testing collagen peptide supplementation in resistance training, researchers found that collagen may create high amounts of arginine and glycine, which are important in creatine production in the body (x).
How to Take Glycine
Why should you take glycine powder? There are many benefits. The protein rich amino acid may aid in protecting muscle, promoting liver health and it may also potentially work as an excellent sleep aid, according to some studies. The best thing about it? Glycine powder promotes healthy bodily functions naturally. If you’re struggling with muscle related issues or suffering from insomnia or liver complications, glycine might be the right supplement for you.
However, before taking glycine, make sure to consult a physician to make sure the supplement fits into your everyday diet. Side effects for glycine vary per person, so it’s important to pay attention to supplement doses and instructions.
How Much Glycine to Take
Glycine should be taken carefully and as instructed by a physician, especially if you are currently experiencing any medical conditions or taking any other supplements or medications. The recommended dosage for glycine powder is 1,000 mg one to three times per day, depending on individual needs, or as directed by physician.
Where to Buy Glycine
You can purchase glycine in both powder and capsule form at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other food and supplement brands to make their products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying glycine as a dietary supplement for mental health, muscle protection or its potential antioxidant properties? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Possible Side Effects of Glycine
Glycine is generally a safe supplement to take orally in appropriate amounts and most people do not experience negative effects. However, like any supplement it can cause side effects including (x):
- Stomach upset
Avoid taking this supplement while pregnant or breastfeeding, as there is not enough information on the side effects of glycine on pregnant women. In addition, make sure to consult a doctor for approval before adding it to your everyday diet. This may help you avoid or manage potential side effects.
Glycine is a nonessential amino acid that helps promote essential immune functions in the body. It is responsible for the body’s ability to develop collagen, which is present in bones, cartilage, the ligaments, skin and muscles. Medically, glycine is considered an important nonessential amino acid found in humans, animals and mammals (x).
Studies show that many people use glycine for mental health, sleep and anxiety (x) as well. Glycine works as a natural neurotransmitter and additionally works as an anti-inflammatory agent, antioxidant and modulator of the immune system in the peripheral and nervous tissues. This function aims to help the body fight inflammation and break down potentially harmful substances in the body.
Natural glycine in the body is responsible for restoring glutathione and helps protect against oxidative stress, which in turn may help alleviate stress-related disorders. The protein rich amino acid can also aid in protecting muscle, promoting liver health and functioning as a potentially successful sleep aid, according to studies.
Remember that glycine should be taken carefully and as instructed by a physician, especially if you are currently experiencing any medical conditions or taking any other medications or supplements. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should refrain from taking glycine, as there is not enough evidence to conclude the supplement would or would not harm the infant or the mother and the developing child. Before adding any supplementation to your diet, make sure to consult a doctor to make sure the supplement is right for you. Glycine is generally safe in appropriate doses, but it can cause side effects.
If you’re looking for a supplement to aid in reducing inflammation, muscle wear or are suffering from collagen production, glycine may be the right supplement for you.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.