Glycine: the functions of the amino acid and where it is found

Glycine: the functions of the amino acid and where it is found

The glycine is a member of the family of amino acids, is part, to be exact, of those amino acids defined as “non-essential”, as our body is able to synthesize them naturally. In the case of glycine, its synthesis occurs from the Serinaalso considered a “non-essential amino acid”.

Glycine is found in proteins that are very important for the physiological functioning of our body, such as the collagen and thehemoglobin.

In addition to the synthesis that takes place inside our body, it is possible to take a certain amount of this amino acid also through food and, in some cases, through the use of food supplements.

So let’s see thing contains glycinei.e. in which foods it is available, but above all what this particular amino acid is used for and when it is useful to take it in the form of a supplement.

Glycine: functions and benefits

Source: Pixabay

What is glycine used for? We already know that this amino acid represents one of the building blocks of proteins, one of the 20 amino acid compounds that the body needs in order to create proteins.

Glycine is also involved in numerous other functions of our body. It contributes to the antibody production and is involved in the transmission of nerve impulsebut this amino acid also performs many other important tasks.

Let’s see which are some of the most relevant.

Anti cancer effects

Glycine is believed to affect blood and nutrition supply to some tumorsthat modifying the intake of some amino acids can somehow “starve” cancer cells and consequently block their growth.

However, more research is needed to confirm such an effect.

Protects kidneys and liver

Glycine could also play an important role in kidney protectionespecially after or during drug therapies administered to patients with organ transplant. Furthermore, this amino acid is known for its hepatoprotective effects in individuals who consume large quantities of alcoholic beverages.

Reduces oxidative stress

Glycine contributes to the synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione on the part of the body, which in turn is helpful in fighting the damage caused by free radicals.

In addition, glycine is also used in synthesis of creatine of which it is a precursor, another essential amino acid for the synthesis of hemoglobin.

Glycine and sleep

Did you know that this amino acid can also affect the quality of sleep? Glycine, if introduced through food or through dietary supplements, can also affect your night’s rest.

Since it is an apolar compound and very small in size, glycine is in fact able to cross the blood brain barrier and bind to specific receptors, acting on the body temperature when you sleep, on the muscle contractions and increasing the levels of serotoninthe famous hormone of good mood.

Effects also for muscles and brain

We have seen that glycine contributes to the synthesis of creatine. This amino acid, in turn, is widely used by athletes for its effects on muscle endurance. Always creatine, it can improve brain functionsupporting the short-term memory not reasoning skills.

Useful for your body

Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, which means that it performs some important functions, such as motor and sensory functions that allow movement, sight and homeostasis of the organism.

The integration of this amino acid is proposed for the treatment of various conditions, such as schizophreniametabolic diseases e benign prostatic hyperplasia.

It is also good for the heart

Glycine is believed to be linked to a lower risk of hypertension, obesity and that it can protect heart health by reducing the risk of heart attack.

The effects of glycine on the hair

We have seen that glycine is an essential building block for the formation of new proteins. It therefore contributes to the formation of keratin, a fundamental protein for hair health.

Furthermore, this amino acid is able to reduce oxidative stress, which in turn can lead to stunted hair growth or hair loss.

Glycine in food: where is it found?

Although it can be naturally synthesized by our body, this substance can also be introduced through a healthy and complete diet. As you will see, there are many food sources of glycine, starting with protein-rich foods. Among the foods that contain it in greater quantities are:

This amino acid is also available in the form of dietary supplementusually sold in capsules or white powder, to be added to smoothies, smoothies and other preparations.

Glycine supplement: when is it indicated?

Source: Pixabay

By diet alone, it is estimated that we consume about 2 grams of glycine per day. The situation is different with regard to food supplements, whose dosage is certainly higher.

As you have probably noticed, often this type of supplement is sold with the promise of countless offers benefits. Some have actually been proven by science, while others still lack sufficient scientific evidence to confirm their effectiveness.

For example, glycine is often sold as a useful product to:

  • Improve performance in lecture and reduce muscle fatigue
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce stomach pain
  • Reduce blood sugar levels
  • Improve joint well-being
  • Reinforce the immunitary defense.

As we anticipated, more evidence is needed to confirm some of these beneficial effects. However, it is believed that a glycine supplement can be useful for people following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

How is glycine taken?

Depending on the format, you can take glycine in different ways. For example, you can add the powdered product to your cappuccino, tea, bowl of oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt. The capsules, on the other hand, can be taken simply with water, usually on an empty stomach.

How much glycine per day?

Usually the recommended dose it ranges from 3 to 6 grams of glycine per day, but you must always follow the instructions on the package or, even better, the advice provided by your doctor.

Side effects of glycine

Source: Pixabay

The use of this type of dietary supplement is usually well tolerated. Side effects such as nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and abdominal pain only rarely occurred. These disorders resolved, in most cases, once the product was discontinued.

Contraindications and drug interactions

Although the consumption of glycine supplements almost never results in adverse effects, it is good to avoid using this product without first asking your doctor for advice. The effects of the glycine in pregnancy or during thefeeding timeso it is preferable to avoid using it in these stages of life.

Furthermore, the product is not recommended, without having first examined the doctor’s opinion, in the presence of kidney or liver diseases or in subjects who have had a stroke. Glycine can ultimately affect the effectiveness of clozapinea drug used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Source: GreenStyle by

*The article has been translated based on the content of GreenStyle by If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!