Glycine is the simplest of all amino acids. It can be made by the body, but since it doesn’t appear to meet the body’s requirements at all times, it’s considered by some to be semi-essential.
Most of the glycine in the body becomes incorporated in proteins, but free glycine acts as a neurotransmitter involved in regulating appetite, behavior and general homeostasis. It has fundamental roles in support of healthy gene expression, cellular antioxidant processes, detoxification, immune function, growth, development, metabolism and survival. Like other one-carbon molecules, glycine has been linked to longevity in certain species.
Glycine is often used as a supplement to promote relaxation and sound sleep. Research shows that, when taken before bed, glycine may promote healthy quality sleep without causing daytime drowsiness. Glycine may also have positive impacts on mood, cognition and mental health.
Glycine is needed for collagen production and therefore supports connective tissue throughout the body. Glycine has been shown to preserve normal muscle mass and promote healthy body composition. Importantly, it is the rate-limiting component of the major antioxidant glutathione.
Glycine has been demonstrated to inhibit protein glycation and production of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). Evidence from laboratory and clinical trials suggests glycine may help support healthy glucose and fructose metabolism. Research shows glycine may help maintain normal blood pressure. A study that included more than 4,000 subjects found higher glycine levels were correlated with cardiovascular protection and better metabolic health. Glycine has been shown to support health of the gastric and intestinal lining.
Take 1 scoop (1 gram) mixed into your favorite beverage 1 to 3 times daily, or as recommended by your physician.