Glycine is the smallest of the amino acid molecules, yet extremely important in liver detoxification pathways and the production of glutathione, DNA, and hemoglobin.
- Aids in joint and cartilage repair and protection*
- Helps support healthy neurological function*
- Provides an important component for healthy REM and delta sleep patterns*
- Promotes healthy circadian rhythm
Glycine has a sweet taste and can be used to sweeten drinks or powdered supplements without altering blood glucose levels.
What is Glycine?
Glycine is an amino acid found in proteins, most abundantly in collagen, and has many biochemical functions. Glycine plays a major role in liver detoxification, cell repair, and regeneration. It aids in collagen, cartilage, and antioxidant production, supports muscle repair, joint comfort, and nerve health, and promotes deep, restful sleep.
Glycine is available in capsules (for those not using the supplement as a sweetener), powder sticks (for a sweetener on-the-go), or as a powder with a scoop, for flexibility in dosing and personal preference.
How does Glycine Work?
Glycine is the rate-limiting factor in glutathione synthesis . Glutathione is both a prominent player in the liver’s detoxification system (binding toxins to bile for excretion) and functions as the body’s “master antioxidant”. This means glutathione circulates throughout the body, quenching free radicals and repairing cellular oxidative damage. In addition to its role as a glutathione precursor, glycine is a substrate in the synthesis of heme (the non-protein portion of hemoglobin), purines, creatine, sarcosine, and bile salts .
Glycine is also a structural amino acid. It makes up about 1/3 of the amino acids in elastin and collagen (the most abundant protein in the human body) and is a major component of connective tissue and the extracellular matrix . As we get older, collagen production naturally declines, but supplementing with glycine makes more substrate available to combat the natural loss of collagen.
Glycine is a prominent structural component of healthy cartilage and connective tissue but also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, making it an excellent supplement for joint health . It may also contribute to higher bone mineral density .
Glycine contributes to the inhibition of muscular deterioration while boosting muscle recovery . Recovery and re-building of new, stronger muscle happen in part due to the biosynthesis of creatine, for which glycine is an important component .
Glycine is also a neurotransmitter with both inhibitory and excitatory functions within the CNS . In the brainstem and spinal cord, glycine acts as a calming neurotransmitter, similar to GABA. It participates in the processing of motor and sensory information related to movement, vision, and auditory transmission . In the forebrain, glycine modulates excitatory neurotransmissions as well by potentiating the action of glutamate at N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors [2,3].
Through this pathway, glycine induces vasodilation throughout the body which leads to lowering the core body temperature (thermoregulation) which is an important step for initiating sleep. When volunteers who had been suffering from insomnia were given 3 grams of glycine before bedtime, their sleep improved . Polysomnography, a sleep diagnostic tool, showed that glycine supplementation shortened the amount of time it took for them to fall asleep and stabilize their sleep state, without altering sleep architecture . Metabolic Maintenance’s Glycine Sticks are packaged in 3-gram portions based on the positive results of this study.
Glycine has also been shown to help with memory, mental performance, stress, anxiety, and even some severe mental illness .
What are the Suggested Uses for Glycine?
- Joint and cartilage repair, comfort, and protection - glycine’s anti-inflammatory properties, along with its structural role in cartilage, bone, and muscle make this a great supplement for joint support.
- Healthy neurological function - as a neurotransmitter that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, glycine participates in both calming and excitatory pathways in the brain and central nervous system.
- Restful sleep - glycine provides an important component for healthy REM and delta sleep patterns and promotes a healthy circadian rhythm.
- Use to sweeten drinks or powdered supplements without altering blood glucose levels.
Source Materials: Glycine is made by chemical synthesis. Cellulose for capsules is derived from softwood tree pulp. All ingredients are vegan and non-GMO.
Allergens: According to information provided by our suppliers, these capsules are free of the eight major allergens as identified by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA): Wheat (gluten), eggs, milk, soybeans, shellfish, fish, peanuts, tree nuts.
Recommendations: Use as directed by a healthcare professional.
Precautions: Pregnant or lactating women and individuals taking prescription medications should consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplement.