L-glycine: benefits and risks

There are 22 amino acids that are necessary for the proper functions of the body and the synthesis of proteins. Glycine is the simplest and smallest of them – its side chain consists of one hydrogen atom. It is the second most common amino acid in proteins and enzymes in the human body.

L-glycine is a substitutable amino acid – it means that your body is able to synthesize it if it is not ingested in sufficient quantities. L-glycine is the simplest amino acid, but far from the most important, since several biochemical reactions are associated with it, besides being characterized by a strong, versatile effect on the body.

Dairy products, meat, poultry meat and fish – glycine is found in these foods. Also, L-glycine can be ingested in the form of dietary supplements. Since glycine is naturally synthesized in the human body, it has very low toxicity. Excess glycine is eliminated from the body in the urine.

Glycine biosynthesis from the amino acids threonine and serine occurs in the liver. In a solid state, glycine is a crystalline substance with a sweet taste. It is the main amino acid in raw cane sugar. In the human body, glycine occurs in high concentrations in muscle, connective tissue and skin.

What is the role of L-glycine?

The presence of L-glycine in the human body plays a number of important roles. It is necessary to synthesize various acids, including bile acids, nucleic acids, porphyrins and creatine phosphate. More broadly, it also plays an important role in ensuring and regulation of various processes important for the body.

L-glycine helps to remove fat by regulating the action of bile acid. It also plays an important role in the digestive tract and central nervous system. Glycine is necessary for the body to biosynthesis hemisthesia , the main ingredient in hemoglobin, which in turn helps maintain the integrity of erythrocytes and ensures optimal blood saturation with oxygen.

Glycine is a key element in the formation of healthy DNA and RNA – genetic "building materials" that are necessary for the proper functioning of cells. There are three amino acids from which creatine is formed and glycine is one of them – it is responsible for providing additional energy during physical activity, as well as increasing muscle mass. Glycine is also the primary component of collagen – collagen forms connective tissue, which mostly consists of the ligaments, tendons and skin of the human body.

This amino acid has been shown to be important in the treatment of various diseases, as well as helps to ensure overall well-being.

Glycine, nervous system and treatment of neurodevegation disorders

The effect of glycine on the nervous system is well known. Glycine affects brain neurotransmediators, the presence of which is important for proper brain function and mental health. It can also be used to treat insomnia. In the 2007 edition sleep and Biological Rhythms, specialists recognized that the use of glycine in the form of a dietary supplement improves both objective and subjective sleep quality indicators in patients with persistently unhealthy sleep patterns.

In the central nervous system, taurine, GABA and glycine, complementing each other, act as a inhibiting neurotransmediator, the main function of which is the transmission of nerve impulses in the spinal cord and brain stem. One of the tasks of glycine is to intervene in the hyper-bullymicity of neurons in the nervous system and regulate it by getting rid of potassium and chlorine.

Several studies have looked at how amino acids can contribute to the treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy and hyperactivity. One such study, relating to schizophrenic patients with resistance to treatment, showed that high doses of glycine in antipsychotic drugs significantly delay the negative symptoms of mental illness. The results of this study are also confirmed by a number of studies of psychological disorders. Meanwhile, the results of some other studies suggest that glycine can help prevent cases of epileptic seizures.

Glycine and metabolism

Glycine is a glycogen amino acid that helps stabilise clevels of ukura in the blood, as well as supplying glucose to body tissue to provide energy. That is why L-glycine can help people suffering from chronic fatigue, anemia, hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar levels.

Glycine and blood sugar regulation

Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels as it converts glucose into energy.  Evidence suggests that the use of glycine makes it possible to normalise blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients in the long term. Glycine is sweet and is therefore often recommended as a substitute for diabetes, especially in diabetic patients.

Glycine and digestive tract

Glycine is vital for the proper functioning of the digestive tract. It is found in high concentrations in the gallbladdious, where it helps to form bile, which in turn is necessary for fat processing processes within the digestive system. Glycine is also part of antacides because, as evidenced by a study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2006, glycine balances acid levels in the digestive tract.

Glycine and muscle mass gain

The amino acid glycine is necessary in the biosynthesis of creatine. Creatine is a direct source of energy for muscles, it helps to improve muscle strength indicators; glycine is used by athletes who want to increase muscle mass. The use of glycine can be useful in situations where the patient is being treated after surgery or any disease related to the system of the mobility apparatus.

Glycine and hormone regulation

Glycine can be methylated into DMG (dimethylglycin), which plays an important role in a single carbon signaling road, which in turn is necessary in the biosynthesis of steroids and stimulation of HGH (human growth hormone) secretion.

Glycine and anti-aging

Glycine also plays a special role in anti-aging processes. One third of collagen, an important protein in the connective tissue of the body and that helps maintain firm and supple skin, consists of glycine. If there is not enough glycine in the body, it is impossible to restore the skin cells. Studies show that glycine protects the body from shock in case of blood loss, and also helps prevent hypoxia and the formation of free radicals.

Glycine and treatment of malignancies

Several early studies indicate that glycine may play an important role in the treatment of certain types of malignancies, including inhibition of melanoma.  One such study confirms that dietary glycine inhibits angiogenesis and stops the development of malignancies.

Risks associated with glycine

For most people, glycine is completely safe. Only very rarely do certain side effects occur – most often indigestion, vomiting, nausea and drowsiness.


Glycine is one of the most common amino acids in proteins in the human body. We have found out how important its presence in our body is, especially in relation to the central nervous system and digestive tract.

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