Glycine Keeps On Giving
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an extremely safe, cheap and readily accessible substance, that could be used dietarily and therapeutically, to protect against stress and inflammation, and help prevent and heal all kinds of metabolic illness. Something like glycine perhaps.
“Glycine protects against…injury to a variety of tissues and organs including liver, kidney, heart, intestine and skeletal muscle…Multiple protective effects make glycine a promising treatment strategy for inflammatory diseases.”
“It is now clear that…glycine protects against shock caused…by blood loss or endotoxin…improves recovery from alcoholic hepatitis…prevents hypoxia and free radical formation…useful in other inflammatory diseases since it diminishes cytokine production”
“Glycine inhibits growth of tumor in vivo most likely because of the inhibition of angiogenesis…Glycine can be used…for chemoprevention and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in alcoholic cirrhosis…Glycine is a potent therapeutic immuno-nutrient for various kinds of chronic liver disease”
“Glycine is a simple, easily available and inexpensive substance with few and innocuous side effects. Despite the recent unveiling of tantalizing aspects regarding its mechanism of action, biological activities and therapeutic potential, clinical use has remained scant.”
With glowing reviews like these, you’d think they would be talking about glycine on the news every night….or maybe not.
I guess it’s only really useful when it comes to protecting against cellular irregularity, or helping the immune system to function effectively, whilst powerfully reducing inflammatory issues. That’s no big deal, I suppose.
I mean, apart from it’s ability to inhibit or prevent cancer growth, and to improve rates of survival from difficult to treat (very often deadly) liver and kidney related issues, there can’t be that many important uses, can there?
“Ischaemia is amongst the leading causes of death…there are only a few therapeutic approaches…inhibition of the inflammatory response in the injured tissue is considered to contribute decisively to the glycine-induced reduction of IRI (ischemia-reperfusion injury)”
“Several experimental studies have observed better outcomes after glycine treatment in patients with endotoxin-induced liver injuries…Dietary glycine improved survival rates…by regulating the production of proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokines in liver.”
Would things change once we considered the possibility that there is not really a disease or condition in existence, which isn’t at least in some way (directly or indirectly) related to inflammation, interference with cellular function, or immune system activity?
“…results…demonstrate that glycine may be a novel cardioprotector against pressure overload induced cardiac hypertrophy. Thus, glycine would be useful in the prevention of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.”
“Treatment with glycine is likely to have a beneficial effect on innate and adaptive immune responses and may help prevent tissue damage caused by chronic inflammation in patients with Type 2 diabetes.”
“…an important reason underlying elevated oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes is deficiency of glutathione, which occurs because of…limited availability…glycine….supplementation with…glycine…restored…synthesis rates of GSH [glutathione] to those observed in nondiabetic…subjects. This was accompanied by significant declines in both oxidative stress and plasma markers of oxidant damage.”
“Dietary intake of…glycine correlated negatively with body mass gain and total fat mass, while intake of all other amino acids correlated positively. Furthermore…glycine intake correlated positively with improved plasma lipid profile, i.e., lower levels of plasma lipids…prevents high-fat, high-sucrose-induced obesity whilst maintaining lean body mass…”
“Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD…is clinically relevant because it predicts neurodegenerative disease onset (e.g., Parkinson’s disease)…we show that deficits in glycine- and GABA(A)-mediated inhibition trigger the full spectrum of RBD symptoms.”
What if glycine could also be used to reverse epigenetically driven mitochondrial aging? That would be pretty cool.
“…defects in glycine metabolism in the mitochondria…would be partly responsible for…age-associated respiration defects…continuous glycine treatment restored respiration defects in elderly human fibroblasts…benefiting the health of elderly human subjects.”
Or just imagine if glycine had been demonstrated to effectively extend lifespan in a manner similar to methionine restriction. That would simply be crazy!
“Dietary methionine (Met) restriction (MR) extends lifespan in rodents by 30–40% and inhibits growth. Since glycine is the vehicle for hepatic clearance of excess Met…we hypothesized that dietary glycine supplementation (GS) might produce biochemical and endocrine changes similar to MR and also extend lifespan…”
I don’t suppose glycine could help to protect against stroke, osteoporosis, autoimmunity, tooth decay, Periodontitis, alcoholic liver injury, sleep issues, mitochondrial dysfunction, muscle wasting, obesity, acid reflux, vascular dysfunction in pregnancy, metabolic syndrome and hypertension, NAFLD or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, intestinal injury, colitis and arthritis. Don’t be silly. That’s impossible, isn’t it?
“…glycine…was found effective beginning with the first 6 hours of the stroke development during 5 days. Multicomponent neuroprotective action of glycine was established directed at correction of the unbalance between stimulating and inhibiting aminoacidergic neurotransmitters, as well as at a decrease of excitotoxicity and oxidant stress.”
“In the current study we found that glycine prevents nonalcoholic, metabolic syndrome-related steatohepatitis…Indeed, glycine feeding largely prevented oxidative stress, inflammatory infiltration, and induction of inflammatory cytokine production in the liver.”
“Dietary glycine prevents chemical-induced colitis by inhibiting induction of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. It is postulated that glycine may be useful for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases as an immunomodulating nutrient.”
Wouldn’t it be so good if you could find evidence that glycine helps with all the above mentioned issues, in the list of studies attached below?
There are so many biologically valid reasons why glycine may be able to help when it comes to improving energy metabolism, and protecting against stress and disease.
You can probably imagine what some of these reasons are, if you consider the significance of the relationship between bacteria and disease promotion, in light of the ability of reasonably small doses of glycine to protect the intestines from bacterial endotoxin [LPS], in circumstances which can often be deadly.
“The present results demonstrate that glycine selectively protects the small intestine during subacute endotoxemia, even after manifestation of a severe systemic impairment. Because glycine is non-toxic at low doses, an administration of a moderate glycine dose…may be suitable to protect from intestinal damage during sepsis…”
It’s no surprise, when you consider that bacterial endotoxin has been shown to interfere with liver function, to cause inflammation throughout the system, and to promote a rise in levels of circulating stress substances which suppress thyroid energy metabolism and promote disease, including nitric oxide, serotonin and estrogen.
“…tumor growth decreased by 15%…and tumor microvessel density dropped by 20%…with dietary glycine..iNOS protein levels were decreased significantly…we found that dietary glycine is a potent anti-angiogenic agent that can reduce wound healing and tumor growth through reduction of iNOS expression.”
“Control of serotonin release and synthesis by amino acid neurotransmitters was investigated…Glycine…decreased…5-HT [serotonin] release in both types of cells, synthesis being diminished only in rostral raphe cells.”
Do we even need the additional information showing that glycine helps with high cortisol, and that high cortisol is a factor in the development of many different stress related inflammatory illnesses, including depression and cancer?
Or what about the fact that glycine lowers TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)? You might be more interested if you found out that TSH rises under stress, is a good indicator of high cortisol levels, and also promotes inflammation throughout the body.
Should we care that glycine limits oxidative stress, and the inflammatory stress inducing damage to metabolism that results from exposure to the breakdown products of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)?
“This study was designed to evaluate the effects of daily administration of an oral glycine supplement on antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation…Glycine plays an important role in balancing the redox reactions in the human body, thus protecting against oxidative damage in MetS [metabolic syndrome] patients.”
Would it make any difference if it had been demonstrated time and time again that lipid peroxidation of PUFAs is a major factor in the development of cancer and diabetes, and inflammatory disease in general?
“…high intake of ω-6 PUFAs stimulates several stages in the development of mammary and colon cancer, from an increase in oxidative DNA damage to effects on cell proliferation, free oestrogen levels and hormonal catabolism…”
“MDA levels increased in type 2 diabetes…Chronic hyperglycemia and other biomarkers…were correlated with MDA levels, suggesting the involvement of lipid peroxidation in the pathogenesis of diabetes complications.”
How significant is it that glycine is pro androgenic and promotes the production of protective steroid hormones (including allopregnanolone and DHT), and improves protection against harmful levels of estrogen in the brain and elsewhere in the system.
“…neurosteroid allopregnanolone…is well characterized as a potentially therapeutic molecule which exerts important neurobiological actions including neuroprotective, antidepressant, anxiolytic, anesthetic and analgesic effects…results demonstrate that glycine…Glycine markedly stimulated…progesterone conversion into [allopregnanolone]…”
How can one take advantage (in everyday life) of the many beneficial and highly protective effects of glycine?
One way, of course, is to supplement directly with glycine. The other way is to just eat more gelatin, seeing as glycine is an amino acid which is found in abundance in gelatin.
But remember, it’s always a good idea to consume sufficient quantities of sugar with glycine (or gelatin) in order to avoid any stress (or low blood sugar) related issues which might arise because of metabolic stimulation by glycine, or as a by-product of the need for insulin in the assimilation of glycine.
Because glycine helps limit things (such as inflammation, liver overload and oxidative damage) that interfere with the proper use of sugar, supplementary glycine can also help sugar to up-regulate thyroid energy metabolism, protecting against disease.
A diet avoiding PUFA and including sufficient protein from milk, cheese and gelatin, plus plenty of sugar from sweet ripe fruit and fruit juice, white sugar and honey, is one potential way to lower stress and assist the ability of glycine to reduce inflammation and improve cellular and immune system function.
One great way to get extra glycine is to make homemade jelly to use as a snack throughout the day. All you need is some gelatin and maybe some orange juice and plenty of white sugar, and you’re in business.
Surely there are at least one or two good reasons to want to include glycine or gelatin in your daily food or supplement intake.
Is there anything else glycine can help with? Yes, how much time do you have?
“Glycine protected neonatal rat brains against HI [hypoxic-ischemic] encephalopathy, in part by inhibiting TNF-α-induced inflammation and gliosis. Hence, systemic glycine infusions may have clinical utility for the treatment of HI injury in human newborns.”
“Myocardial histological structure and function were damaged significantly after burn. Glycine is beneficial to myocardial preservation by improving cardiomyocyte energy metabolism and increasing ATP and GSH abundance.”
Do you ever wonder why glycine is not widely known and used, or more commonly recommended? Mustn’t be helpful enough to get the official tick of approval, I guess.
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Image: “Jelly on a Plate”