Glycine, is a nonessential amino acid due to the body's ability to manufacture glycine from serine. However, glycine is also taken in through a healthy diet of meat, fish, dairy and legumes. Glycine is considered the simplest amino acid in the body and has many important roles. Glycine is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and of major importance to the creation of protein, peptides, creatine, purines, bile salts, glycogen, hemoglobin, ATP, nucleic acids, porphyrins, glutathione, glucose, and other amino acids. Glycine is a water-soluble protein amino acid that displays anti-inflammatory, antispastic, and antipsychotic activity.

Glycine has reportedly made symptoms worse when taken with clozapine in people with schizophrenia. Although this effect has not been reported in connection to other antipsychotic drugs, it is not recommended that glycine be combined with any.

For the most part, glycine is well tolerated by most people. There have been some reported cases of side effects that include nausea, vomiting, and upper gastrointestinal tract discomfort.

What is Glycine?
Like most amino acids, L-Glycine (or just Glycine) is needed in order for your body to build proteins. Considered one of the 12 non-essential amino acids, along with alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartate, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, histidine, proline, serine, and tyrosine, Glycine can be produced by your body through serine, another non-essential amino acid.

A water-soluble amino acid, Glycine is the simplest amino acid found naturally in your body. It has anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic and antispastic activity and properties, and is essential for:

arw Neurotransmissions in the central nervous system

arw The balance of the production of white blood cells, Glycine aids in the maintenance of a healthy immune system

arw The health of your spleen, bone marrow, and many other important organs and glands

arw The supply of creatine in slowing down muscle degeneration

arw The synthesis of other non-essential amino acids

arw Building DNA and RHA

Although Glycine can be produced by other non-essential amino acids in your body, it can also be found in protein-rich foods including meat, fish, dairy products, and some plants and vegetables. Amino acids that can’t be produced by the body, but are still vital to maintaining health, called “essential amino acids,” need to be obtained through a correct diet. The eight essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Glycine is considered an essential amino acid if you have low levels of serine and need to get Glycine through your diet or supplements. Glycine is commonly used to treat manic depression and some hyperactivity disorders, and can be used to increase concentration and mood.

Where it is found
High-protein foods, such as fish, meat, beans, milk, and cheese, are the best dietary sources of glycine.

Product related PDF file
Glycine Relieves Insomnia & Gastric Ulcers
Benefits / uses
Glycine is one of the non-essential amino acids and is used to help create muscle tissue and convert glucose into energy. It is also essential to maintaining healthy central nervous and digestive systems, and has recently been shown to provide protection via antioxidants from some types of cancer.

Glycine is used in the body to help construct normal DNA and RNA strands-the genetic material needed for proper cellular function and formation. It helps prevent the breakdown of muscle by boosting the body’s levels of creatine, a compound that helps build muscle mass. High concentrations of glycine are found not only in the muscles, but in the skin and other connective tissues as well. Almost 1/3 of collagen, which keeps the skin and connective tissue firm and flexible, is composed of glycine. (High amounts of Glycine are also found in gelatin, which is a form of denatured collagen). Without glycine the body would not be able to repair damaged tissues; the skin would become slack as it succumbed to UV rays, oxidation, and free radical damage, and wounds would never heal.

Glycine is considered a glucogenic amino acid, which means it helps supply the body with glucose needed for energy. It helps regulate blood sugar levels, and thus glycine supplementation may be useful for treating symptoms characterized by low energy and fatigue, such as hypoglycemia, anemia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Glycine is essential for a healthy, normally functioning digestive system. It helps regulate the synthesis of the bile acid used to digest fats, and is included in many commercial gastric antacid agents.

Glycine is necessary for central nervous system function. Research has shown that this amino acid can help inhibit the neurotransmitters that cause seizure activity, hyperactivity, and manic (bipolar) depression. Glycine can also be converted to another neurotransmitter, serine, as needed, and may be beneficial in the management of schizophrenia. In one study, twenty-two schizophrenic patients, who did not initially respond to traditional treatments, added glycine to their ongoing antipsychotic medication and found that it significantly, reduced their symptoms. Glycine intake among the participants ranged from 40 to 90 grams daily (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). More research concerning the effects of glycine on schizophrenia is underway. Studies have shown that glycine also helps improve memory retrieval loss in those that suffer from a wide variety of sleep-depriving conditions, including schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, jet lag, and overwork.

Results from preliminary studies of glycine as a potential treatment for cancer have been promising, and suggest that it may help prevent the development of cancerous tumors and melanoma. In laboratory mice, dietary glycine prevented tumor growth by inhibiting angiogenisis, the process by which tumors develop their own blood supply. Glycine also seems to play a role in keeping the prostate healthy. In one study, glycine was shown to help reduce the symptoms of prostatic hyperplasia in men.

Best Form for Human Consumption
With the exception of taurine, GABA and glycine, most amino acids exist in either the D or L form. These forms are the mirror reverse images of each other. The L form represents the natural type found in living plants and animal tissues. The L form is used in human protein structures and is more compatible to human biochemistry than the D form. Only phenylalanine can be present in human protein structures in both the D and L forms.

Doses used for management of schizophrenia have ranged from 40 to 90 grams daily. Studies examining the role of glycine in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia used doses ranging from 390 milligrams to 780 milligrams per day. Supplemental use of glycine at levels of 1 to 3 grams per day is useful in the treatment of certain forms of bipolar depression (manic depression).

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
There are no known toxicities associated with using Glycine. Individuals with kidney or liver disease should not consume glycine without consulting their doctor. Taking any one amino acid supplement can cause a disruption of the citric acid or Krebs cycle, and cause a build-up of nitrogen or ammonia in the body, which makes the liver and kidneys work harder to remove waste. Anyone taking antispastic drugs should consult a physician before supplementing with glycine, since it theoretically could increase the effects of these medications.

Research studies / References
arw The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals (11th ed.), Merck, 1989, ISBN 091191028X, 4386.


arw Dawson, R.M.C., et al., Data for Biochemical Research, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1959.

arw "Nomenclature and symbolism for amino acids and peptides (IUPAC-IUB Recommendations 1983)", Pure Appl. Chem. 56 (5): 595-624, 1984, doi:10.1351/pac198456050595.

arw R.H.A. Plimmer (1912) [1908]. R.H.A. Plimmer & F.G. Hopkins. ed. The chemical composition of the proteins. Monographs on biochemistry. Part I. Analysis (2nd ed.). London: Longmans, Green and Co.. p. 82. Retrieved January 18, 2010.

arw Ingersoll, A. W.; Babcock, S. H. (1932), "Hippuric acid", Org. Synth. 12: 40,; Coll. Vol. 2: 328.

arw Karlheinz Drauz, Ian Grayson, Axel Kleemann, Hans-Peter Krimmer, Wolfgang Leuchtenberger, Christoph Weckbecker “Amino Acids” in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2007, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a02_057.pub2

arw a b

arw U.S. International Trade Commission, "Glycine From China." Investigation No. 731-TA-718 (Second Review), Publication No. 3810, October 2005

arw a b c d e f g Nelson, David L.; Cox, Michael M. (2005), Principles of Biochemistry (4th ed.), New York: W. H. Freeman, pp. 127, 675-77, 844, 854, ISBN 0-7167-4339-6.

arw Hahn RG (1993). "Dose-dependent half-life of glycine". Urological Research 21 (4): 289-291. doi:10.1007/BF00307714.

arw "Safety (MSDS) data for glycine". The Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory Oxford University. 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-01.

arw Yamadera W, Inagawa K, Chiba S, Bannai M, Takahashi M, Nakayama K (2007). "Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes". Sleep and Biological rhythms 5 (2): 126-131. doi:10.1111/j.1479-8425.2007.00262.x.


arw "Notice of Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Glycine From India" Federal Register 72 (7 November 2007): 62827.

arw Snyder LE, Lovas FJ, Hollis JM, et al. (2005). "A rigorous attempt to verify interstellar glycine". Astrophys J 619 (2): 914-930. arXiv:astro-ph/0410335. Bibcode 2005ApJ...619..914S. doi:10.1086/426677.

arw Staff. "Organic Molecule, Amino Acid-Like, Found In Constellation Sagittarius 27 March 2008 - Science Daily". Retrieved 2008-09-16.

arw Reuters (18 August 2009). "Building block of life found on comet - Thomson Reuters 2009". Retrieved 2009-08-18.