Glycine Keeps On Giving

Jellyton 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 has broad spectrum anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective and immunomodulatory properties…”

“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?

“…it was reported that dietary glycine inhibits the growth of tumors…glycine can be used not only for treatment of inflammation, but also for chemoprevention and treatment of carcinoma.”

“Glycine inhibits angiogenic signaling of endothelial cells and tumor growth. Glycine would be a promising additive to standard and targeted cancer therapies.”

“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?

I wonder if that includes heart disease, diabetes and obesity, or brain disorders such as Parkinson’s and MS, not to mention mood issues like depression and anxiety? Lets have a look.

“…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.”

“…glycine protected against growth retardation and partially protected embryos from NTD [neural tube defects] caused by hyperglycaemia…”

“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.”

“…glycine ingestion before bedtime significantly ameliorated subjective sleep quality in individuals with insomniac tendencies…”

“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.”

“Glycine-induced augmentation of NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission may thus offer a potentially safe and feasible approach for ameliorating persistent negative symptoms of schizophrenia.”

“Systolic blood pressure (SBP) also showed a significant decrease in the glycine-treated men…”

“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.”

“…reduced concentrations of glycine in the lumen of the small intestine are associated with gut dysfunction…Physiologic concentrations of glycine support intestinal mucosal barrier function…”

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?

“The plasma corticosterone concentration was…decreased by glycine…These results indicate that orally administered glycine suppresses…the plasma corticosterone concentration…”

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.

“Glycine…decreased significantly the cold-induced TSH secretion…Only glycine (50 and 100 mg/kg i.p.) inhibited the TRH-stimulated TSH secretion.”

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.”

“…dietary glycine significantly blunted the rapid activation of NF-κB caused by corn oil…glycine completely prevented the increase in hepatocyte proliferation caused by corn oil…”

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…”

“Average blood glucose concentrations during the third week were significantly higher fasting…and during the day…on PUFA than on the saturated fat diet…”

“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.”

“Glycine supplementation…reduced all the iron induced apoptotic indices. Combining, results suggest that glycine could be a beneficial agent against iron mediated toxicity in hepatocytes.”

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.

See more here

The role of glycine in hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury.

L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent.

Glycine: a new anti-inflammatory immunonutrient.

New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep.

Glycine: a cell-protecting anti-oxidant nutrient

Glutathione Synthesis Is Diminished in Patients With Uncontrolled Diabetes and Restored by Dietary Supplementation With Cysteine and Glycine

Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes

Glycine as a therapeutic immuno-nutrient for alcoholic liver disease.

Glycine, a simple physiological compound protecting by yet puzzling mechanism(s) against ischaemia-reperfusion injury: current knowledge.

Glycine attenuates endotoxin-induced liver injury by downregulating TLR4 signaling in Kupffer cells.

Glycine-Review article

Glycine selectively reduces intestinal injury during endotoxemia.

Effects of orally administered glycine on myofibrillar proteolysis and expression of proteolytic-related genes of skeletal muscle in chicks.

Induced-Decay of Glycine Decarboxylase Transcripts as an Anticancer Therapeutic Strategy for Non-Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma

Glycine confers neuroprotection through microRNA-301a/PTEN signaling

Neuroprotective effects of glycine for therapy of acute ischaemic stroke.

Glycine Regulates Expression and Distribution of Claudin-7 and ZO-3 Proteins in Intestinal Porcine Epithelial Cells.

[Activation of lipolysis and ketogenesis in tumor-bearing animals as a reflection of chronic stress states].

Neuroprotective effects of glycine in the acute period of ischemic stroke.

Tumor-Associated Neutrophils and Macrophages Promote Gender Disparity in Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Zebrafish

Estrogen-like osteoprotective effects of glycine in in vitro and in vivo models of menopause.

Glycine intake decreases plasma free fatty acids, adipose cell size, and blood pressure in sucrose-fed rats

Oral glycine administration increases brain glycine/creatine ratios in men: a proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study

Chronic stress in mice remodels lymph vasculature to promote tumour cell dissemination

Dietary glycine inhibits angiogenesis during wound healing and tumor growth.

Glycine treatment decreases proinflammatory cytokines and increases interferon-gamma in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Effect of Glycine on Helicobacter pylori In Vitro

Glycine restores the anabolic response to leucine in a mouse model of acute inflammation.

Potential Immune Modularly Role of Glycine in Oral Gingival Inflammation

Glycine Regulates Protein Turnover by Activating Protein Kinase B/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin and by Inhibiting MuRF1 and Atrogin-1 Gene Expression in C2C12 Myoblasts

Iron induces hepatocytes death via MAPK activation and mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway: beneficial role of glycine.

Effects of some putative amino acid neurotransmitters on the stimulated TSH secretion in male rats.

Effect of Increasing Glutathione With Cysteine and Glycine Supplementation on Mitochondrial Fuel Oxidation, Insulin Sensitivity, and Body Composition in Older HIV-Infected Patients

Plasma malondialdehyde levels and risk factors for the development of chronic complications in type 2 diabetic patients on insulin therapy.

Structural requirements for protection by small amino acids against hypoxic injury in kidney proximal tubules.

Elevated thyroid stimulating hormone is associated with elevated cortisol in healthy young men and women

A central role for JNK in obesity and insulin resistance.

Glycine as a potent anti-angiogenic nutrient for tumor growth.

Glycine inhibits angiogenic signaling in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Corn oil rapidly activates nuclear factor-κB in hepatic Kupffer cells by oxidant-dependent mechanisms

Glutamate, GABA, glycine and taurine modulate serotonin synthesis and release in rostral and caudal rhombencephalic raphe cells in primary cultures.

Glycine protection of PC-12 cells against injury by ATP-depletion.

Glycine Accelerates Recovery from Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury

Regulation of neurosteroid allopregnanolone biosynthesis in the rat spinal cord by glycine and the alkaloidal analogs strychnine and gelsemine.

Epigenetic regulation of the nuclear-coded GCAT and SHMT2 genes confers human age-associated mitochondrial respiration defects

Efficacy of high-dose glycine in the treatment of enduring negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

GABA and glycine sometimes are interchangeable, by Jaime de Juan Sanz

Glycine modulates cytokine secretion, inhibits hepatic damage and improves survival in a model of endotoxemia in mice.

Amelioration by glycine of brain damage in neonatal rat brain following hypoxia-ischemia.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids may impair blood glucose control in type 2 diabetic patients.

Scallop protein with endogenous high taurine and glycine content prevents high-fat, high-sucrose-induced obesity and improves plasma lipid profile in male C57BL/6J mice.

Glycine is a nutritionally essential amino acid for maximal growth of milk-fed young pigs.

Orally administered L-arginine and glycine are highly effective against acid reflux esophagitis in rats.

A diet containing glycine improves survival in endotoxin shock in the rat

Impaired GABA and glycine transmission triggers cardinal features of rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder in mice.

Dietary glycine supplementation mimics lifespan extension by dietary methionine restriction in Fisher 344 rats

Genome-wide association study and targeted metabolomics identifies sex-specific association of CPS1 with coronary artery disease.

Glucose is a positive modulator for the activation of human recombinant glycine receptors.

Effect of dietary supplementation of glycine on caries development and lipids in rat molars.

Glycine enhances muscle protein mass associated with maintaining Akt-mTOR-FOXO1 signaling and suppressing TLR4 and NOD2 signaling in piglets challenged with LPS

Dietary glycine protects from chemotherapy-induced hepatotoxicity.

Gycine and GABA interact to regulate the nitric oxide/cGMP signaling pathway in the turtle retina.


Glycine rectifies vascular dysfunction induced by dietary protein imbalance during pregnancy

Dietary glycine does not affect physiological angiogenesis and reproductive function, but inhibits apoptosis in endometrial and ovarian tissue by down-regulation of nuclear factor-κB

Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review

Effects of glycine supplementation on myocardial damage and cardiac function after severe burn.

Oral supplementation with glycine reduces oxidative stress in patients with metabolic syndrome, improving their systolic blood pressure.

Glycine inhibits ethanol-induced oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and apoptotic neurodegeneration in postnatal rat brain.

Glycine stimulates protein synthesis and inhibits oxidative stress in pig small intestinal epithelial cells.

Glycine cytoprotection during lethal hepatocellular injury from adenosine triphosphate depletion.

Glycine decreases developmental damage induced by hyperglycaemia in mouse embryos.

Protective effect of glycine on renal injury induced by ischemia-reperfusion in vivo

High-Dose Glycine Treatment of Refractory Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder in a 5-Year Period

Glycine inhibits angiogenesis in colorectal cancer: role of endothelial cells.

Dietary glycine prevents the development of liver tumors caused by the peroxisome proliferator WY-14,643.

Glycine prevents metabolic steatohepatitis in diabetic KK-Ay mice through modulation of hepatic innate immunity

The metabolic response to ingested glycine.

Glycine prevents pressure overload induced cardiac hypertrophy mediated by glycine receptor.

The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus

Dietary glycine prevents peptidoglycan polysaccharide-induced reactive arthritis in the rat: role for glycine-gated chloride channel.

Glycine selectively reduces intestinal injury during endotoxemia.

Effects of glycine on phagocytosis and secretion by Kupffer cells in vitro

Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and cancers of the breast and colorectum: emerging evidence for their role as risk modifiers

Dietary glycine prevents chemical-induced experimental colitis in the rat.


Image: “Jelly on a Plate”
Artist: Unknown

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