Glycine15 years ago
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m.
By Bill Freeman
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Glycine is a non essential amino acid found naturally in beans, brewer
Glycine is a non essential amino acid found naturally in beans, brewer’s yeast, dairy products, eggs, fish, gelatin, legumes, meat, nuts, seafood, seeds, soy, sugar cane, whey, and whole grains. Glycine is important in the control of gluconeogenesis - the manufacture of glucose from glycogen in the liver. Glycine is also one of the few amino acids that can spare glucose for energy by improving glycogen storage. Therefore, inappropriate blood glucose control may be managed by increased glycine intake. Glycine is also known to serve as a source of nitrogen for the manufacture of many other amino acids and is useful in the synthesis of hemoglobin, glutathione, DNA, and RNA. Glycine is required by the body for the maintenance of the central nervous system, and the synthesis of the porphyrin core of hemoglobin. It also enhances the activity of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain that are important for memory and cognition. The amino acid is also required for the prostate gland to function correctly.
ROLE FOR ANTI-AGING:
Several studies have found that high doses of glycine, in combination with standard therapy, may be useful in the treatment of schizophrenia. Glycine may also be useful in treating stroke victims. One study found that relatively small doses of the amino acid were able to significantly reduce the damage to brain cells that occurs after a stroke. However, some studies have found evidence to suggest that high doses of glycine could actually increase stroke damage. Thus, the benefits of glycine in limiting stroke damage remain inconclusive.
Animal studies have found that dietary glycine may protect against chemical damage to the liver and kidneys, however there is no human data to back up these findings. Finally, there is some evidence to suggest that topically applied glycine may aid in wound healing. Results of at least two studies have shown that supplementary glycine taken in combination with equal amounts of the amino acids, alanine and glutamic acid, significantly improves the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
There are no known symptoms of glycine deficiency.
THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:
Dosage depends on a number of factors; doses ranging from 2 to 60g daily have been used for therapeutic purposes in clinical trials.
MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL:
Not established, however no serious adverse effects from using glycine have been seen even with doses as high as 60g per day.
Some studies have shown that glycine may be harmful when taken in combination with newer antipsychotic drugs, for example clozapine. Therefore, people taking such medications such not take glycine. People with kidney disease or liver disease should consult their doctor before taking glycine.