Glycine: The queen of amino acids
What is Glycine?
Glycine is an amino acid that your body uses to create proteins, which it needs to grow and maintain tissue and make essential substances, such as hormones and enzymes.
Your body naturally produces Glycine from other amino acids, but it's also found in protein-rich foods and is available as a dietary supplement.
Glycine is a safe, non-addictive and effective herbal extract that helps with insomnia and improves sleep quality without the "morning hangover" effect associated with prescription or over-the-counter sleep medication. While you sleep, this amino acid assists your body and performs many essential functions.
Glycine is the smallest and simplest amino acid, making it versatile in many functions. Essential for much different muscle, cognitive and metabolic functions. Glycine is necessary to produce glutathione, collagen, DNA, creatine, bile, haemoglobin, and most proteins. It helps break down and transport nutrients like glycogen and fat to be used by cells for energy, and in the process, it supports digestive solid and nervous systems. In addition, it functions as a calming neurotransmitter in the brain, where it facilitates nerve impulses and is essential for the maintenance of healthy sleep patterns.
What does Glycine do?
Glycine works as a protein builder in the body and enables the production of collagen. It aids in digestion, specifically in the breakdown of fatty acids in foods and helps maintain acidity levels in the digestive tract. It's an essential amino acid that helps regulate blood sugar levels and move blood sugar to cells and tissues throughout the body to be consumed as energy. In addition, Glycine helps regulate the body's immune response, limit unhealthful inflammation, and spur healing. Supplemental doses of Glycine may help strengthen bones and joints and may help prevent arthritis.
As a neurotransmitter, Glycine both stimulates and inhibits cells in the brain and central nervous system, affecting cognition, mood, appetite and digestion, immune function, pain perception, and sleep.
Glycine helps the body make serotonin, a hormone and neurotransmitter that significantly affects sleep and mood. It also supports immune health and keeps inflammation in check, offering protection to cardiovascular function.
Along with being a protein component, Glycine has several other impressive health benefits.
Here are the top 9 health benefits and uses of Glycine:
- Glycine helps your body make glutathione, an important antioxidant that protects your body against cell damage.
- Glycine is a component of creatine, a compound that provides your muscles with energy and has been associated with other health benefits, such as improved bone health and brain function.
- Glycine is the most abundant amino acid in collagen, a structural protein with several health benefits, including for your skin, joints and bones.
- Glycine may promote sleep and enhance the quality of your sleep through its calming effects on the brain and its ability to lower core body temperature.
- Eating a diet with glycine decreases and reverses alcohol-induced liver injury in rats, but its effects in humans are unknown.
- Glycine may lower heart disease risk factors by preventing the build-up of a molecule associated with heart disease and by increasing your body's ability to use nitric oxide.
- Supplementing with Glycine may improve impaired insulin action, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. However, research to make specific recommendations for its use in people with the condition is insufficient.
- Glycine may preserve muscle mass in wasting conditions, such as cancer, malnutrition and burns, though more research in humans is needed.
- Glycine powder is readily available and can easily be added to your favourite drinks and some foods. Collagen supplements are also an efficient way to boost your glycine intake. Both methods are a safe way to get more of this critical nutrient.
The Bottom Line
Glycine is an amino acid with many impressive health benefits.
Your body needs Glycine to make essential compounds, such as glutathione, creatine and collagen.
This amino acid may also protect your liver from alcohol-induced damage and improve sleep quality and heart health.
What's more, Glycine may also benefit people with type 2 diabetes and protect against muscle loss that occurs with muscle-wasting conditions.
You can increase your intake of this vital nutrient by eating some meat products, adding the powdered supplement form to drinks and foods, or supplementing with collagen