Back to blog
Glycine: Its Role in the Body and Longevity

Glycine: Its Role in the Body and Longevity

Back to blog

Proteins, essential components of cellular processes, are built from 20 different amino acids. Glycine, the smallest among them, plays a vital role in various physiological functions, including tissue repair, sleep regulation, collagen production, muscle growth, and overall longevity.

This article explores the benefits of glycine, particularly its impact on sleep and health.

Glycine’s Role in Repair, Sleep, Collagen Production, Muscle Building, and Longevity

As one of the simplest yet most versatile amino acids, glycine contributes to numerous biological processes. It helps build proteins, acts as a neurotransmitter, supports anti-inflammatory responses, aids sleep, and plays a role in detoxification and muscle health. 

Remarkably, glycine constitutes over 7% of amino acids in proteins, highlighting its abundance and importance (1).

Glycine’s Key Roles in the Human Body

Collagen Synthesis:

Glycine is a primary component of collagen, making up about one-third of its structure. This amino acid is crucial for maintaining the strength and flexibility of skin, tendons, and bones. In proteins like fibrin, used in blood clotting, replacing glycine can cause severe health issues such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (2, 3).

Immune Function and Inflammation:

Glycine has significant anti-inflammatory effects, helping regulate the immune system and reduce chronic inflammation, a factor in numerous diseases. It also supports the production of antibodies and other immune cells (4).

Neurotransmission and Brain Health:

Glycine functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, facilitating the transmission of chemical signals between nerve cells. It's critical for cognitive functions such as memory and attention and plays a role in preventing neurological disorders due to its role in binding to other receptors, including glycine and glutamate receptors (5, 6, 7).

Muscle Growth and Energy Regulation:

Involved in creatine synthesis, glycine provides muscles with a rapid source of energy during intense activities. It also supports insulin sensitivity, helping to manage blood sugar levels (8, 9).

Longevity and Cellular Repair:

Glycine helps delay aging by supporting collagen integrity, providing antioxidant protection, and maintaining mitochondrial function. Its role in detoxification processes further enhances its longevity benefits (10, 13). 

Research shows that glycine supplements may also exhibit positive effects on memory, mood, and overall cognitive health (11). As a neurotransmitter, glycine influences communication between nerve cells, promoting cognitive function and mental well-being.

Glycine takes an active part in the synthesis of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. Glutathione plays a key role in protecting cells from oxidative stress, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals (9).

Detoxification Pathways for Optimal Liver Function:

The liver uses glycine for various detoxification processes, helping to remove harmful substances from the body. Glycine's role in the formation of bile salts and toxin conjugation supports optimal liver function (12).

Mitochondrial Function and Energy Production:

Glycine is involved in the synthesis of heme, a component of hemoglobin and myoglobin, and in the formation of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (13). Both heme and CoQ10 are vital for the functioning of mitochondria, the energy-producing powerhouses of cells.

Sleep and Relaxation:

Glycine helps improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation and reducing the time it takes to fall asleep. It influences sleep architecture and body temperature regulation, enhancing overall sleep efficacy (14).

Dietary Sources and Supplements

Glycine is abundant in protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, dairy, legumes, and certain plants like spirulina. 

Supplements offer a concentrated dose of glycine, available as powders or capsules, providing a more potent benefit than dietary sources alone.

You'll find glycine in our Advanced Sleep Repair formula, which goes beyond traditional sleep aids to offer a complete, precision-targeted protocol focused on amplifying restorative and age-reversing processes, including deep sleep.

With a powerful blend of glycine, L-theanine, GABA, magnesium, vitamin B6, L-tryptophan, sour cherry extract, taurine, and zinc, Advanced Sleep Repair targets and corrects deficiencies that can interfere with sleep and helps to enhance DNA repair and metabolic balance, combat oxidative stress, and support healthy neurotransmitter levels.

The Benefits of Glycine Supplementation

Supplementing with glycine can support joint health, enhance mental well-being, and more: Benefits of regularly taking glycine in supplement form include:

  • Promoting joint and skin health and reducing the risk of musculoskeletal issues.
  • Helping with relaxation.
  • Enhancing sleep quality.
  • Supporting cognitive function. 
  • Protecting against oxidative stress.
  • Contributing to overall well-being. 
  • Slowing down aging.
  • Maintaining mitochondria function. 
  • Acting in detoxification processes and support for liver function.

Glycine, and Advanced Sleep Repair, is particularly effective when taken at night just before bed in order to align with the body’s natural repair processes (15). The elimination half-life of glycine (the time it takes for half of the glycine to be eliminated from the body) is about 3-4 hours, so it's crucial to align sleep with the maximum concentration of the amino acid in the blood (15). 

Using glycine in combination with other sleep-enhancing supplements maximizes the positive impact on sleep quality and longevity. Theanine, B6, magnesium, and glycine improve cognitive performance, prevent the development of anxiety and stress, and promote restful sleep.

Tart cherry extract, glycine, and taurine together reduce oxidative stress, enabling cells to repair and renew more efficiently during sleep. The combination of glycine and zinc boosts immunity, reduces the chance of chronic inflammation, and promotes recovery.

Advanced Sleep Repair features these ingredient combinations to amplify each of their effects and assist in regulating healthy sleep-wake cycles.

Key Takeaways on Glycine's Role in Sleep, Health, and Longevity

Glycine is a powerhouse amino acid with roles in nearly every aspect of health, from enhancing sleep quality to promoting longevity and protecting against disease. Incorporating glycine into your daily routine, either through diet or supplements like Advanced Sleep Repair, can provide a host of health benefits, supporting both immediate well-being and long-term health.

Explore the Potential of Glycine:

Discover how glycine supplementation can transform your health by enhancing sleep, boosting cognitive function, and supporting your body’s natural repair mechanisms.

References:

 

  1. Redundancies in protein sequences (1989). Predictions of protein structure and the principles of protein conformation
  2. Structure, Stability and Folding of the Collagen Triple Helix (2005). Topics in Current Chemistry.
  3. A single base mutation in the gene for type III collagen (COL3A1) converts glycine 847 to glutamic acid in a family with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type IV. An unaffected family member is mosaic for the mutation (1992). Human Genetics.
  4. Glycine: The Smallest Anti-Inflammatory Micronutrient (2023). International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
  5. Glycine neurotransmitter transporters: an update (2001). Molecular Membrane Biology.
  6. Glycine neurotransmission: Its role in development (2022). Frontiers in Neuroscience.
  7. Glycine Signaling in the Framework of Dopamine-Glutamate Interaction and Postsynaptic Density. Implications for Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia (2020). Frontiers in Psychiatry.
  8. Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review (2017). Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.
  9. Glycine Increases Insulin Sensitivity and Glutathione Biosynthesis and Protects against Oxidative Stress in a Model of Sucrose-Induced Insulin Resistance (2018). Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.
  10.  High glycine concentration increases collagen synthesis by articular chondrocytes in vitro: acute glycine deficiency could be an important cause of osteoarthritis (2018). Amino Acids.
  11. Beneficial effects of glycine (bioglycin) on memory and attention in young and middle-aged adults (1999). Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.
  12.  Therapeutic Effects of Amino Acids in Liver Diseases: Current Studies and Future Perspectives (2019). Journal of Cancer Prevention.
  13.  Extracellular glycine is necessary for optimal hemoglobinization of erythroid cells (2017). Haematologica.
  14. New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep (2012). Journal of Pharmacological Sciences.
  15. Dose-dependent half-life of glycine (1993). Urological Research.
Back to blog