Do you feel:
- Hormone imbalances?
- Weight gain?
- Brain fog?
- Stomach pain, burning, or aching 1-4 hours after eating?
If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing low glycine levels in your body.
Glycine is a vital amino acid that is beneficial to the body. It helps support the gastrointestinal system, the neurological system, the musculoskeletal system, and the body’s metabolism from harmful factors that can cause the human body to malfunction. Glycine is even a neurotransmitter and can help increase glutathione in the brain by providing anti-inflammatory effects. Glycine provides a sweet taste when it is consumed in the body. Even though glycine has a crucial role in the human body, the amino acid has received little to no attention until recently.
The fantastic thing about glycine is that it is a “non-essential” amino acid. What this means is that the body can make glycine by itself and distribute it to the necessary systems that need glycine. This is different from the “essential” amino acids since some nutrients and vitamins must come from the food diet themselves. When there is a mild deficiency of glycine, it is not harmful to the body; however, when there is a severe shortage of glycine, it can lead to immune response failure, slow body growth, and abnormal nutrient metabolism.
Glycine for The Brain
Since glycine is a neurotransmitter for the brain, it composes both excitatory and inhibitory capacities. For the excitatory capacity function, glycine serves as the antagonist for NMDA receptors for the brain. For inhibitory capacities, glycine helps increase the neurotransmitter serotonin. Studies show that serotonin is the ancestor of melatonin. When the levels are increased due to glycine supplements, the beneficial factors it causes can help reduce insomnia and provide better sleep quality.
Glycine on Sleep
Despite being a massive impact on serotonin, glycine has been known to be used as a therapeutic option for individuals to improve their sleep quality as a novel and safe approach. Studies show that glycine can increase the blood flow to extremities by reducing the body’s core temperature, which is an important signal to initiate sleep. When this happens, glycine can increase a person’s time when they are in REM sleep, providing the person to have a good night’s sleep. Further research shows that glycine can inhibit the stimulatory orexin neurons that are responsible for arousal and energy homeostasis, which is critical and can induce non-REM sleep or even night waking.
Glycine’s Cognitive Effects
There are many beneficial cognitive effects that glycine has to offer. Research shows that the beneficial effect of glycine can help improve episodic memory in young and middle-aged adults. This can be beneficial for patients who have schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Additional research also shows that patients who have Alzheimer’s disease use glycine as energy production for their brains.
Glycine Osteoprotective Effects
There is even more information on glycine supplementation, providing estrogen-like osteoprotective effects for menopausal women. The research shows that glycine helps decreased weight gain and providing an increase in vaginal weight gain caused by ovariectomy. Many healthcare providers recommend their female patients that have menopause to use glycine in their diet.
More Glycine Effects
Since glycine is a non-essential amino acid and a neurotransmitter for the central nervous system, this supplement can help supple muscle, bone, and connective tissue with collagen. Glycine has a small R group, which forms a triple helix structure that makes up of tropocollagen. In the body, 33% of all collagen is composed of glycine. Collagen levels in the body can decrease naturally due to anyone getting old. When this happens, inflammatory symptoms like arthritis occur. Researchers hypothesize that supplemental doses of glycine can strengthen joints and prevent reactive arthritis by blunting cytokine release by increasing chloride influx in the body.
Glycine is one of the three amino acids that can help aid the production of glutathione for the human body. Since this amino acid is a scavenger antioxidant, it will oppose proinflammatory signals from hydrogen peroxide. Studies show that glycine supplementation plays a vital role in balancing the redox reactions caused by metabolic syndrome in the human body and protecting patients from oxidative damage. There is even more research as a study stated that glycine has a vital role in the metabolism and nutrition of mammals and humans. Since glycine protects from inflammation and has fantastic health benefits for the body, when there are decreased levels of glycine in the body, it can be linked to metabolism-related disorders like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.
Glycine provides cytoprotective effects on the liver and gastrointestinal tract by conjugating bile acids. This is crucial because glycine plays a role in helping lipids to be digested and lipid-soluble vitamins to be absorbed in the body. In alcohol-induced hyperlipidemia, studies have shown that glycine can reduce alcohol levels in the bloodstream while also retaining the membrane integrity by reducing lipid levels. Glycine can even protect the stomach and intestines from damages caused by gastrointestinal disorders. Since glycine can maintain enterocyte integrity and prevent apoptosis, its anti-inflammatory effects can fight oxidative stress. They can provide the requirements to the intestines and the gut in the body.
Glycine is a vital amino acid that provides anti-inflammatory properties for not only the body’s metabolism but also helps the gastrointestinal system. With more and upcoming research about glycine, it is essential for this amino acid to continue to provide outstanding effects to the human body and to make sure that it functions properly. When harmful factors start entering the body, or there is a glycine deficiency, it can cause the body to malfunction. So incorporating glycine-rich foods in the daily diet can help alleviate the symptoms gradually. Some products are beneficial for the body since they help support the immune system and make sure the body is functioning.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Bannai, Makoto, et al. “Oral Administration of Glycine Increases Extracellular Serotonin but Not Dopamine in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 17 Mar. 2011, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1440-1819.2010.02181.x.
Díaz-Flores, Margarita, et al. “Oral Supplementation with Glycine Reduces Oxidative Stress in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome, Improving Their Systolic Blood Pressure.” Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24144057.
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Kim, Min-Ho, et al. “Estrogen-like Osteoprotective Effects of Glycine in Vitro and in Vivo Models of Menopause.” Amino Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26563333.
Li, X et al. “Dietary Glycine Prevents Peptidoglycan Polysaccharide-Induced Reactive Arthritis in the Rat: Role for Glycine-Gated Chloride Channel.” Infection and Immunity, American Society for Microbiology, Sept. 2001, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC98707/.
McCarty, Mark F, et al. “Dietary Glycine Is Rate-Limiting for Glutathione Synthesis and May Have Broad Potential for Health Protection.” The Ochsner Journal, The Academic Division of Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855430/.
Razak, Meerza Abdul, et al. “Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review.” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Hindawi, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350494/.
Ross, Krista Anderson. “Glycine: Another Tool for the Hormone and Sleep Balancing Kit.” Doctor’s Data Specialty Testing Clinical Laboratory, 3 Dec. 2019, www.doctorsdata.com/resources/uploads/newsletters/Glycine’s-Role-in-Sleep-and-Hormone-Balancing.html.